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Are you thinking of getting the extended family together for a reunion this year? As the warm weather approaches, lots of families in the Doylestown and Philadelphia area are putting plans together for an epic party. There’s a lot to organizing a successful family reunion, though. Where’s the best place to start?
Here are helpful questions and answers that will enable you to put together a fun, memorable, and stress-free family gathering.
WHO SHOULD BE INVITED?
The simplest answer is everyone. Think about it: the random uncle you never thought would make it might end up being the life of the party!
If you can’t include all branches of the family tree, then decide on the parameters first. Will you invite second cousins, third cousins, or beyond? Once this guideline is set, then include everyone that falls under that definition.
WHEN SHOULD YOU START PLANNING?
You should set a date as soon as possible, preferably a full year in advance. Families with school-age children need extra time so they can plan around school schedules, and just about everyone who works will need to reserve vacation days. Giving family members ample notice also helps them budget for travel.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE PARTY LAST?
If your family gets together every year or so, a weekend is plenty. If you only see each other rarely, plan a few extra days for those who can stay longer. But remember: the longer the gathering, the more room you need to spread out. It can be stressful to share a small cabin or campground if you’ll be together an entire week.
HOW SHOULD YOU ORGANIZE YOUR EVENT?
The best way is to identify a point person from each family so that wires don’t get crossed, and take an informal survey of what people are willing to spend and when they would like to go.
HOSTING AT HOME: THE PROS AND CONS
Having your reunion at a family member’s home is great for smaller groups, families with older relatives, or families who generally live in one geographic area. The greatest benefits are that nearly everyone saves money, and organizing is simpler overall without the need to coordinate with an outside venue.
On the negative side, the host family might get stuck footing most of the bill. To avoid this, collect cash before the event or hold a raffle or silent auction with each family contributing something of value, like a homemade quilt or piece of original art. The hosts can then use the money to pay for professional catering services or enlist a cleaning crew to help tidy up afterward.
If you’re the designated host, remember that not everything has to take place in your living room. Give yourself a break by planning games and sports at a local park. (Check to see if you need a permit.) Share maps with local spots such as coffee shops, walking trails and museums for those who might want to strike out on their own. Know your limits as far as togetherness goes, and allow everyone some downtime during their visit.
While potlucks and barbecues are favorite ways to feed everyone, you’ll save lots of stress by hiring a professional catering service, or even a food truck caterer. The catering team can help you with details that are difficult to estimate if you’re not accustomed to serving a big crew – such as the number of portions, the drinks and condiments to have on hand and how to accommodate special dietary needs within a coordinated menu.
FABULOUS FAMILY GATHERINGS START WITH JERRY’S KITCHEN
Put more fun and relaxation into your family reunion with help from the catering services experts at Jerry’s Kitchen. We’ll bring the party to you with our award-winning food truck catering specialties – or, if you prefer, a classic menu with fresh favorites to please everyone, from kids to great-grandparents.
To book catering services for your family reunion near Doylestown or Philadelphia, just give us a call!