All you have to do is do google it and you will have plenty of choices to select from.
Below, we have listed a few that are unique to us since we have actually planned and executed them on our own.
In planning our family reunion, we learned two valuable lessons. The first thing we learned was that attendance was higher during the years that we had a family reunion theme. The second thing we learned was that the attendance was higher still when we incorporated the theme into the following five categories:
After selecting a family reunion theme, we tried as much as possible to incorporate the theme into the above categories to “complete” the reunion and give it a memorable feel. Years later, we still have relatives who come up to us and mention “I loved the Southwestern Rodeo family reunion and hope you can come up with something just as fun this year”.
Here are some of the family reunion themes we have used in the past.
1. Invitation – Have your invitations start with “Hello Y’all, Come one come all, We’re havin’ a family reunion, And we’re gonna have a ball. The envelopes had bull horns, and cowboy boots imprinted to add some more of the southwestern flavor.
2. Food – Our picnic consisted of taking a horse ridden trail up to a mountain peak where we all had beans, and meat slowly cooked over a campfire.
3. Music – Cowboy music or western music played in the hospitality suite.
4. Entertainment – We hired someone to read old cowboy stories for our banquet. The stories were handpicked by our family reunion planning committee.
5. Decorations – We had cardboard cutouts of cowboys, fake pistols, and some clint eastwood posters in the hospitality suite to give it the ambience. We even had a little cheat sheet on “How to talk like a cowboy”. At the end of the family reunion, we had a vote on who was the best dressed cowboy/cowgirl.
1. Invitation – Our invitation letter and envelope had a beautiful mask that invited folks to the family reunion.
2. Food – Keeping to the theme, we had Gumbo, King Cake, Crawfish mashed potatoes, Jambalaya Fettuccini, and creole seafood soup for the banquet. Snacks were also laced with cajun spices.
3. Music – We played a lot of Mardi Gras music in our bus, banquet hall etc. We even convinced the hotel to play mardi gras music on their system on the day of our check in. Here are some of the songs. Carnival Time is Mardi Gras Music by Al Johnson, When The Saints Go Marching In is Mardi Gras Music by Olympia Brass Band, Mardi Gras Medley is Mardi Gras Music by Mardi Gras Big Shots, Bourbon Street Parade, South Rampart Street Parade, If Ever I Cease To Love is a Mardi Gras Song by A.J. Loria, Ain’t My Fault is a Mardi Gras Song by Olympia Brass Band.
4. Entertainment – Since our family reunion was during MArgi Gras, all the adults went to a club where some local New Orleans type bands were playing. The waiters were wearing colorful costumes, and serving cajun style food too.
5. Decorations – Mardi Gras is all about color, very bright color. Dress up the space with bold reds, yellows, and browns to give it the flavor of Mardi Gras. We also dressed the part during our masquerade ball (No beads… this is a family affair)
Come Back Home
1. Invitation – Since our family was mostly from one particular area, our invites went out with the theme of coming back home. Our invites included maps and pictures of places where we all grew up.
2. Food – We took recipes from our favorite restaurants from back home and used them at our picnic. In cases where the restaurants were still there, we catered.
3. History – We had a small (Too small for me) session on family history and how our family came about settling in the area. We also talked about a notorious family incident that got our ancestors in the paper. If you decide on this theme, definitely spend more time reseraching your families history. Talk to relatives, neighbors, and town officials to get a different perspective on how others perceive and/or remember things about your family.
4. Entertainment – We selected the local car pileup derby as our entertainment since that is something that was very popular while we grew up. Select something that was famous to do in your town and make a day of it.
5. Activities – We did an exptensive workshop on our family tree. The younger generation was very active here and loved every moment of watching me trying to draw a tree.
Beat It (Themed after the 1980’s)
1. Invitation – While the Michael Jackson title is just one song, it represents a whole generation of us so we decided to use the music of the 80’s as our theme. The invites had a “remember this song” motif along with the names of popular entertainers of the 80’s imprinted on the envelopes.
2. Food – We handed out Chuckles candy and hubba bubba bubble gum in our welcome gift bags, Our banquet had quiche, wine coolers (Remember those), Jello pudding and french bread pizza (The kind you stuck in the oven toaster).
3. Music – Music by Boy George, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Madonna etc.
4. Entertainment – We watched several movies of the 1980’s including Ferris Bueller, Airplane, Fast Times At Ridgemonth High.
Spending time with the family is the ultimate goal and a family reunion does just that. Having a theme at your next family reunion will help increase the attendance and keep people more occupied while they are there. Use one of the themes listed above or have fun creating your own. Just make sure that the theme has some meaning for your family.
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