How to Plan a Family Reunion in the Texas Hill Country
Families big and small are itching to spend more time together after being locked down and social distancing for the past couple of years. The perfect anecdote is to plan a family reunion. To make the planning process easier for you, we’ve laid out the 10 steps you need to take to plan, enjoy, and remember your next family reunion.
Discuss Preferences with the Family
Before you can start planning, you need to talk to each family group in your family. Ask them these questions:
- Are you interested in attending a family reunion?
- What activities would you enjoy doing?
- What dates are you unavailable? (Think 1-2 years out.)
- What amount of money would you be willing to spend on attending a reunion?
- How far are you willing to travel for a family reunion? Would you prefer a local or destination reunion?
- Would you prefer a 1-day, 3-day, or week-long reunion?
- Does anyone in your family group have any allergies? Is anyone on a special diet?
These details will give you some ideas for the next steps in the planning process. Make sure you also ask for up-to-date contact information, including phone number, email address, and mailing address.
During this process, you should be able to identify a few other family members who want to help with the planning process. This group will be the reunion planning committee. After all, you shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself!
Pick a Date
Armed with the dates of your family member’s weddings, graduations, and vacations, you can pinpoint a date or dates for the family reunion.
If your family prefers to have a reunion over a holiday – like Labor Day weekend or the week of the fourth of July – then consider looking 2-3 years out. This will ensure that you’ll be able to find a venue for the reunion since holidays typically book first.
Plan Your Budget
If you’ve had family reunions before, you might already have someone in charge of the finances for family events and you might already have some money put away from your upcoming reunion.
If not, consider the budget of each family group. Each family group’s budget will likely be different, so calculate the total by adding every family group’s budget together. This will be your reunion budget, which will pay for the venue, activities, food, lodging, travel, and invitations.
Keep in mind that some family groups may need to travel farther distances than others or that some may want to fly rather than drive to the reunion location, which may require different costs for each family group.
Choose a Location
Now that you have a total reunion budget in mind, it’s time to choose the location of the reunion. In many cases, you will choose a venue for the reunion. The venue cost will typically eat up much of your budget, which is why you want to choose it first.
Do you want to choose a local venue or a destination venue? This will largely depend on your family’s budget and preferences.
Determine Reunion Activities
The Texas Hill Country is a great place to have a family reunion because there are so many activities you can choose from, including:
- Visiting restaurants, wineries, and breweries
- Explore cities like San Antonio, Fort Worth, San Marcos, and Austin
Reunions are also great opportunities to celebrate your family history and remember those family members who have died, so consider creating activities that are relevant to your family.
You want to schedule these activities so your family knows what to expect and look forward to. Make sure you also leave some downtime for everyone to catch up and relax, too.
Not sure what activities to plan? Check out our itinerary for ideas.
Plan the Menu
The venue you choose may determine your menu. If you choose to go to a restaurant, then the restaurant will provide the menu. If you choose to go camping, then you will likely grill out.
In many cases, you will plan your own menu. Consider the allergies and food preferences your family members have when determining the menu. Also consider the time of year and family recipes.
Will family members be cooking? Will you enjoy catering? You decide.
With the bulk of the planning complete, it’s time to delegate tasks. Start by delegating tasks within the planning committee. Then involve other family members.
Depending on the size of your family, budget, and preferences, you may need to have people helping with these tasks:
- Collecting the money from family groups and paying for everything
- Taking photos (or hiring a photographer)
- Creating custom shirts (and finding out everyone’s T-shirt sizes)
- Making and serving food
- Providing entertainment and leading activities
- Cleaning up
More people are likely to become invested in the reunion if they help create it.
Send Out Invites
You set the date, chose a location, and determined activities, so now it’s time to send out the invitations. On the invitation, you will want to include details about special activities that require bringing anything specific (e.g. swimming suits to go swimming).
You can send out the invitations via email, text, or paper, or you can create an event on social media. How you send invitations depends on your family’s preferences as well as your reunion budget.
Make sure you send the invites out far enough in advance that everyone can make travel plans and take time off work.
Be sure the family member who is in charge of the reunion finances also notifies your family about how much money they are expected to pay toward the reunion, how they are supposed to pay, and when that money is due. This individual will also likely need to pay for the venue, lodging, catering, and activities to hold the reunion date(s).
Attend the Reunion and Get Photos
You’ve been planning for months and it’s finally time to enjoy time with your family! Make sure the family member or photographer who has been delegated to take photos arrives on time with camera in hand.
After the reunion, make sure the person in charge of the photos shares those photos with everyone in the family (likely using the email addresses you collected from everyone earlier on).
If it fits in your budget, it’s also nice to send thank-you cards to everyone who helped with and attended the reunion. Try featuring a family photo (in your custom T-shirts, if you made them) on the thank-you cards!
Simplify Your Reunion Planning with Cypress Creek Cottages
If you’re planning a reunion in the heart of Texas, kill two birds with one stone when you choose Cypress Creek Cottages for your next reunion. Not only can you use our Outdoor Gathering Area for the reunion festivities, but you can also make a weekend (or week) of it by booking your cottages in the same place.
Each cottage offers a full kitchen, outdoor grill, outdoor deck (which is the perfect picnic area!), hot tub, and access to Cypress Creek. Combined with our Outdoor Gathering Area, your entire family can enjoy time together, no matter what their favorite activities are.
Because we want to make your reunion special and memorable, streamline the preparation process by working with a dedicated Cypress Creek Cottages staff member.
Plus, if you choose to stay at Cypress Creek Cottages, your pets are welcome, which means no one needs to leave their pets with a sitter or at a kennel during the reunion.