Family reunions are a lot of work and can cost a lot of money, but it is worth it to be able to spend quality time with family members you don’t see very often. Creating a budget and sticking to it can make this occasion not only fun but affordable.
Family reunion interest letter
Before planning your family reunion, it’s a good idea to make sure your family would be interested in attending. By sending a simple letter, you can find out who would like a family reunion to be held and approximately how large the gathering will be.
It is important to know the approximate size of your reunion since this will affect everything from your venue to how much food you will need.
Feel free to use this sample letter below:
Sample Letter of Interest:
It’s time for the (insert family name here) family reunion.
This year I, (insert your name here), will be heading up the planning committee. If you would like to help with planning, add funds to our reunion, or have any ideas or concerns, you can contact me by phone at (insert your number here), by email (insert email address here), or you can join our Facebook group (insert Facebook Group) to keep up to date with the planning online.
I am also enclosing a postcard to get an idea of how many family members are interested in attending. To allow ample time for planning, please return the postcard by August 1st.
Once our planning is complete you will receive an invitation with all of the details by mail.
Looking forward to seeing you!
(insert your name here)
(include your contact information)
Enclosed post card:
The (insert your family name) Family Reunion
( ) Our family IS interested in attending the (insert your family name) Family Reunion
( ) Our family is NOT interested in attending the (insert your family name) Family Reunion
We have ______ members in our family who would like to attend.
Family reunion organizer / binder
Keeping an organizer or binder for your reunion planning is a must.
A simple 3 ring binder divided into sections of budget, communication, venue, food, games, and decorations is a great way to keep your planning organized and in one place.
Another way to organize your reunion planning paperwork is an accordion file organizer. These aren’t very expensive and can be picked up in the office supply section of most big box stores. Just add the tabs on top of the dividers the same way you would in the binder.
Once your binder or organizer is ready, you can find a great free family reunion budget worksheet to print here.
Inexpensive family reunion locations
The location of your family reunion can make or break your budget. Large venues can get pricy.
If you are looking for a space large enough for your family reunion but don’t want to break the bank, check with your local town administration. Some towns have parks or buildings that they rent out for activates at reasonable prices or even free. The town I live in offers covered picnic areas at our local park that you only have to reserve in advance. This has saved me a ton of money on birthday party venues.
Family reunion games to play
Make sure to add games to your budget but be careful, they can get expensive if you are purchasing them pre-made.
If you are holding your family reunion outside, providing games like giant checkers or twister gives young and old a great way to spend time together.
If you don’t have time to make games, try to purchase them when they are on sale. In the spring most big box stores usually run big sales on things like lawn furniture and outdoor activates, so keep and eye out for those circulars to come in the mail. If you can save money on this part of the budget, you will have more money when you need it elsewhere.
If you do have time to make the games yourself, it’s a great way to save a few bucks. Check out my post DIY Family Reunion Games for some great indoor and outdoor game ideas.
Decorating for a family reunion
If you have ever planned a wedding or any other large gathering, you know just how fast the cost of decorating can add up. My advice is don’t go overboard. It is very easy when shopping for a family reunion to say “Oh! Wouldn’t that be cute on the tables.”, and then you end up with $75 worth of extra items in your cart that you really do not need.
Before you go shopping, have a plan. Plan in advance the look you are going for and ask yourself what you will need to achieve that look.
For table settings, think of what will need to go on the table and make a list of the items, then multiply those items by the number of tables you will need.
Once you have that list, you can shop smart, not spontaneously. Planning everything out in advance will also give you a chance to snap those items up while they are on sale.
Family reunion food ideas -recipes
Food is a big part of a family reunion and large family gatherings. It is also one of the biggest expenses. Some of the best reunions I have been to have been pot luck. Everyone brought at covered dish, we loaded it up on sheet covered picnic tables, and there was a little something for everyone. The perk of holding a pot luck style meal was that no one had to worry about a food budget and that money could be spent elsewhere such as on the venue.
If you are not having a pot luck though, having a menu planned is a great way to know what you will need and how much you will be spending to make it.
By having a menu, you can make a master list of ingredients in each dish and breakdown the of cost of the dish. If one dish seems like it is going to break the budget, try to replace it with one equally as tasty and filling but that costs less to make. Think of it kind of like you do home meal planning. What will taste good and be filling, but won’t cost an arm and a leg to cook? For some great food ideas and recipes for your family reunion, check out our post Family reunion food ideas -with recipes.
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