Deciding who should attend your family reunion can be tricky. You must narrow down your decision before you can begin the planning stage.
Remember to know your limits and be specific on the relatives you wish to invite.
Who Should You Invite To The Family Reunion?
Inviting every family member is not very feasible, unless you have a very small family. In most cases, it’s best to invite family members from entire branches rather than individually picking and choosing. There are several ways to figure out who to invite and we will mention a couple here.
To begin, make a list or a family tree of your immediate family starting with Great Grandparents and work your way down from there. You may decide to stop there and only invite this part of your family. If you decide to invite extended family you will need to consider your Great Aunts and Uncles their children and possibly your second or third cousins as well. Remember your budget and your accommodations before you finalize your plans.
Inviting the Immediate Family
If you have decided to stick with the immediate family including Great Grandparents and working down to the youngest generation remember to invite their spouses and make enough invitations for everyone. Inviting only the immediate family is usually preferred by first time family reunion planners. Lacking the experience to a full-scale 100+ people event, this kind of reunion helps in working out the kinks.
Inviting the Extended Family
If you have planned family reunions before, then getting into inviting extended family is a great option. Just remember to create either a family tree or a complete family list and make sure to invite everyone. Selectively inviting families will just cause bigger headaches down the line.
If you are planning a larger reunion, make sure to arrange for accommodations. If you will need more than 10 rooms, you’re going to need to block hotel rooms (learn how).
To get the lowest group rates for hotels in any city, fill out our group hotel rates form. Hotels in your desired city will e-mail you their group rates for free.
Use an Ancestor
Another method by which you can invite family members is to select a specific ancestor and work your way down from there. A popular idea is to use the first person that arrived in the country that you currently live in. Your entire family reunion can be themed based on your family’s history, and culture.
For example, if your family is of Polish descent, you would use the first person that entered the United States and invite as many of your relatives as you can that are direct descendents of this one person. Preparing a family tree based on this direct lineage and having foods that have a Polish bent to them would make the entire reunion memorable.
Invite the Neighbors?
Make sure to keep friends and neighbors off the family reunion guest list as that will just complicate matters for both you and the rest of your family. Unless the friend is extremely close to a majority of your family, they should not be invited and don’t really belong there.
It may happen that a few people that were not on the guest list or that did not confirm show up at the family reunion. Don’t panic. Simply try to accommodate the individuals by adding an extra dish to the menu or pulling up extra chairs. Just because they are surprise guests doesn’t mean that they don’t belong. After all, everyone is family. It is important to be prepared for such an occasion and plan a little bit more of everything. Be aware that you may need to find a room for them.
Knowing who to invite to your family reunion and how to invite them is key to a successful family reunion. Use the pointers above to help you to make your decisions and to prepare for this stage of your planning process.
What should you read next?
Since you’re planning a family reunion, take a look at some money saving ideas for your next event.