Organize Your Reunion


Start to Organize

So, you’ve decided to have a reunion. Now what? The key to a successful gathering is planning, and here we’ve included some resources to assist you with this task. Visit the links below for more information on these specific reunion planning topics:

Click here for a turn-page version of the Prince George’s County Reunion Guide. It’s filled with everything you need to know to have a wonderful reunion in our County.;


Why Create a Reunion Website?

Keep in touch with long-distance friends and relatives. Everyone can be “in the know” on details…whether it is for a family, military, alumni, church, or sorority/fraternity reunion. Share genealogical information and resources if you’re holding a family reunion. It can be free!

For example, check out these free resources for creating your very own family reunion website:

Books & Magazines for Reunions

For Every Season – The Complete Guide to African-American Celebrations Traditional to Contemporary, Barbara Eklof

The Family Reunion Planner, Donna Beasley

Family Reunion Planning Kit for Dummies, Cheryl Fall

Your Family Reunion: How to Plan It, Organize It, and Enjoy It, George G. Morgan

How to Plan Your African-American Family Reunion, Krystal Williams

Family Reunion Handbook: A Complete Guide for Reunion Planners, Barbara E. Brown

A Family Affair: How to Plan and Direct the Best Family Reunion Ever, Sandra MacLean Clunies

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook: Recipes and Food Memories by National Council of Negro Women

The Family Reunion Sourcebook by Edith Wagner

The Rocking Chair Reader Family Gatherings: True Stories of Celebration And Reunion (Rocking Chair Reader) by Helen Kay Polaski

Fun & Games for Family Gatherings: With a Focus on Reunions by Adrienne E. Anderson

Creating Family Newsletters: 123 Ideas for Sharing Memorable Moments With Family and Friends by Elaine Floyd

Reunions Magazine

Family Tree Magazine

For Children and Family Reunions

The Family Reunion Is Not A Real Vacation by Valerie Rose

Kenya’s Family Reunion (Kenya, Growing Up Proud) by Juwanda G. Ford and Cristina Ong

Ray and the Best Family Reunion Ever by Mildred Pitts Walter

Family Reunion by Marilyn Singer and R.W. Alley

Messy Bessey’s Family Reunion (Rookie Readers) by Pat McKissack, Fredrick McKissack, and Dana Regan



Reunion Planning Timetable

The key to staging a successful reunion is time. Give yourself enough time to plan, execute and follow-up.

12 to 18 months before the reunion:

Create a database of family names, addresses, phone numbers, and email
Determine family interest, number of people that may attend
Assemble a list of relatives who will help with the event

11-12 months before the reunion:

Form reunion committee(s) and establish responsibilities and schedules
Create a budget/bookkeeping system. Keep records of everything you do related to the reunion
Site Visit – scout potential locations and facilities (if needed)
Set the date
Select the location
1st Mailing – Send out a reunion announcement with a tentative reunion date, schedule, and plans
Arrange or hire a caterer, photographer, etc.

6 to 9 months and counting:

Finalize reunion date and location
2nd Mailing – Send out reunion invitation
Reserve block of hotel rooms
Begin list of attendees

5 months and counting:

Confirm reservations, photographer, entertainment, caterer (if used)
Finalize menu

6-8 weeks and counting:

Complete address/memory book
Draft checklist for reunion tasks
Coordinate volunteers and designate their assignments

2 weeks and counting:

Purchase last-minute decorations and supplies
Confirm eating, lodging and meeting arrangements
Review final checklist

One day and counting:

Solve or Resolve any last-minute problems
Walkthrough all final details

Big day – no more counting – the reunion is here:

Get to the reunion site early
Coordinate day-of details, meet with volunteers, etc.
Decorate reunion area
Set up displays, rental equipment, and registration table

Done – What Now?
Evaluate – What worked and what didn’t work
Thank all the committee heads and volunteers
Settle all accounts; finalize bookkeeping
Set a date to starting planning for the next reunion!


Reunion Check List

  • Appoint a coordinator for the event
  • Form a Reunion Committee
  • Create a reunion notebook to track progress
  • Make a master list or file of members and guests
  • Poll your guests on possible reunion activities, location, time, etc.
  • Set reunion date(s)
  • Choose/reserve a reunion location
  • Choose menu for reunion meals and casual get-togethers
  • Set/finalize reunion budget
  • Send first mailer – notify members of tentative reunion plans/schedule
  • Arrange entertainment and activities
  • Arrange for a photographer or videographer
  • Send second mailer – invitations to all invited guests
  • Reserve/confirm/block accommodations and/or hotel rooms
  • Reserve/confirm entertainment and activities
  • Reserve/confirm caterer/dining options
  • Purchase souvenirs, t-shirts, hats, etc.
  • Assign day-of-event responsibilities
  • Decorate reunion location
  • Arrange for ample number of chairs, tables, etc.
  • Arrange for special needs of elderly or disabled
  • First Aid Kit (and medicine cooler if the event is outdoors)
  • Set up registration table with registration/guest book
  • Distribute and collect reunion evaluation forms
  • Set a tentative date for next year’s reunion while everyone is together
  • Post-Event review, survey and follow-up