Other than weddings, one of the many other events we host here at Olde Stone Villa is family reunions. We decided to share some family reunion ideas to help make your next reunion special.
Some of these ideas can be done spontaneously, some require a little planning while others require a great deal of planning. Don’t place all of the responsibility on one person to handle all of the planning. Set up a committee to delegate responsibilities to make everyone’s lives easier.
Family Reunion Ideas
Whether you have a small or large family reunion, it’s best to have a welcome address. These do not have to be that long unless you have a really good speaker in the family.
Some topics you may want to cover in the welcome address:
- Welcome everyone and thank them for attending
- Mention the different families or family lines that are attending
- Thank those that help put the reunion together
- General outline of the activities
Awards and Certificates
In order to make your family reunion special, create awards and certificates to pass out to family members. Think of as many categories as you can to cover as many family members as possible.
Here are a few award category ideas:
- The oldest and youngest family members in attendance
- The family members that traveled the shortest and greatest distance
- The family member that has attended the most consecutive reunions
- Couple that has the most grandchildren, great grandchildren
- The youngest grandparents
Consider some unique and fun categories. Let your imagination run wild!
- The most unique talent
- Who can stand on their head the longest
- Oldest person who still has all their teeth
Family Recipe Book
Create a family recipe book to share with everyone that attends the reunion. Collect a few favorite recipes from each family before the reunion and use a word processing program to create the book.
You can use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to make the book easily and for free. Just type out the recipes (family photos attached to each recipe optional), create a PDF document from the Microsoft Word or Google Docs program and print as many as you need. If you need guidance for any step in creating the book, a simple search on Google or YouTube should provide all the answers.
If you don’t mind spending a little money, you can always use the local print shop. Just type out all the recipes and take the file using a thumb drive or email the document to your local print shop and they can put the recipe book together for you.
Family History Book
Family history books can be made using genealogy software. If you don’t already have the software, clicking here will take you to a Google search page so you can find one. If the software you use can print pictures in the book, ask family members to provide pictures. Hopefully they’ll provide digital pictures but you can scan pictures yourself if needed.
A good way to collect family pictures and also pass along family information is to create a group or family page on Facebook. A group or page can be created in a matter of minutes. Once created, start inviting your family members to join the family group or like the family page.
Once the books are created, be sure to take a highlighter to the reunion in order to make edits (babies, new in-laws etc) for the next year’s book.
Large Family Wall Charts
One of the most popular family reunion ideas is a large family wall chart. These charts show how all of the family members are related. Starting with ancestors and listing the descendants so everyone attending the reunion can see how everyone is linked together. Pictures can be added if you have them.
A family newsletter is a great way to keep everyone in touch and updated about important events. Sending a newsletter does not have to be a weekly or monthly task unless needed. Two or three times a year should suffice.
Family newsletters can be created numerous ways. Email is the easiest and most convenient but collect street addresses also for the family members that do not use email so they can be sent a copy in the mail.
Creating a Facebook family group or page as mentioned earlier is another way to pass along family information and collect family information to add to the newsletter mailing lists.
Ideas for family newsletter content:
- Spotlight a family member
- Upcoming birthdays, wedding anniversaries, high school/college graduations
- Update mailing addresses for family members that have moved
- Memorials for family members that recently passed away
- Upcoming family events and reunions
Purchase a guest book (similar to those used at weddings and funerals) and have all family reunion attendees sign with their name, address, phone number, email address. There could also be a section for each family to return later and write down their favorite moment of that year’s reunion. The guest book can be saved and shared at future reunions to remember fond memories of reunions past.
Out of all the family reunion ideas, this one is a must! Make sure to have name tags available for all family reunion attendees. Someone can purchase a large package of stick-on nametags for attendees to use upon arrival. Along with their name, adding their city and state or family descendant (“Grandson of” for example) could be something neat for everyone to do.
This one is self explanatory. Create a directory of your family. List your family members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, ages, important anniversaries, special interests, hobbies, school information, business/work information, pictures and any other information you want to use to describe them.
Put everything together in a book form similar to the Family History Book or Recipe Book and either give them away or charge a small fee to recoup any expenses incurred making the book. Keep the book updated by asking family members to check/edit their information yearly.
Family Reunion Scrapbook
Scrapbooking is quite popular. After the reunion is over, ask a creative family member to make a scrapbook of the reunion. They can bring the scrapbook to next year’s reunion for everyone to browse through.
Some suggestions to include in the scrapbook:
- A short overview of what everyone did at the reunion
- Pictures that were taken at the reunion
- A record page for all the awards and certificate winners
- A statistics page showing how many attended, how much food you went through, location, weather or anything else you find interesting
Family Reunion Website
In concluding our list of family reunion ideas, the family reunion website is the one your family will find the most helpful. A family reunion website is everything discussed in the scrapbook portion and put online for the whole family to see throughout the year. In addition, you can post information about next year’s reunion. This can help increase attendance to future family reunions. When family members see all the pictures and remember how much fun they had, chances are they’ll attend future reunions.
There are plenty of free resources to create family reunion websites. They’re easy to create and will be a great service to your family. With today’s technology, you no longer need to be a web designer to create a website. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you along the way.
Here are a few options to create a free website:
We hope you find these family reunion ideas useful. Keep Olde Stone Villa in mind if you need a great venue to host your next family reunion. We’ll be more than happy to help you any way we can. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a tour. Tours are scheduled weekly for your convenience.