Hosting a Family Reunion at Home

Hosting a family reunion is a great way to bring long lost cousins and out-of-town family together again. Summer and early fall are both ideal times to plan a reunion because kids are out of school—making it easier for people to get away. While hosting a bunch of people at your home can be intimidating—family or not—a little planning and preparation can make a reunion run smoothly. Here are a few tips for hosting a family reunion at home:
Gather interest. It’s not worth planning a big reunion if only a few families can come. Send out a few possible dates and choose the one that works for the majority of people. It’s also a good idea to ask about any food allergies up front to avoid any bumps in the road later when you’re finalizing the menu.
Set a menu. Food is an important part of a family reunion, so you’ll want to spend some time thinking about and planning the menu. Based on the responses you get about food allergies, plan a menu that everyone can enjoy (although it’s impossible to please everyone!). Trying to cook hamburgers and hotdogs for a crowd can be stressful, so consider choosing a main dish that can be prepared or ordered in advance. Ordering barbeque from your favorite restaurant and having families bring sides to go along with it is an easy solution to feeding a crowd. However, if most of the family lives out of town, consider making the sides yourself and asking everyone to pitch in donations to help with the cost.
Send out invites. Once you’ve settled on a date, it’s time to think about invitations. Paper invitations are classic, but they can get expensive if you’re sending them to a large crowd. E-vites are a less expensive option and arrive almost instantaneously if you’re short on time. Be sure to include date, time, location, driving directions and instructions if guests need to bring anything special.
Prep the kitchen. The kitchen will most likely be command central during the reunion, so you’ll want to make sure you have things in order. Whip your kitchen into shape with Inside Cabinet Organizers and Accessories from TheRTA Store. Closer to reunion time, clean out the refrigerator to make plenty of space for food you’ll be picking up before the reunion or for dishes people will be bringing. Prepare dishes the hold up well in the fridge a day or two before to cut down on stress the day of. Stock up on disposable plates, flatware, cups and napkins, which can make clean-up much easier. Do an inventory of serveware to make sure you have everything you need.
Prep the yard. If you’re hosting the reunion in your backyard, you’ll want to get it ready for guests. If you have a pet, make sure to pick up after him or her in the yard. It’s a good idea to get the lawn treated for summer pests like mosquitoes and ants, which can put a damper on backyard fun. Mow the lawn and do any landscaping a few days before guests arrive, and set up tables and chairs the night before the reunion, unless the forecast is calling for rain. Be sure to have a rain plan ready for summer storms!