Designing Invitations and Connecting with Relatives Back to Event Details
When it's time to spread the word, send invitations by mail to attract the most attention and generate more interest. Customizing invites specifically for your group is a fun way to build excitement.
- Incorporate current digital photos or scan old snapshots. (Remember that leisure suit Gramps used to wear?)
- Think outside the envelope and send a 3-D invitation. It might be a box with small items that relate to your family, the reunion location or the reunion's theme (such as circus tickets or golf tees). You could include an order form to purchase family reunion T-shirts printed with a special logo to commemorate the occasion. If your gathering will be especially large, consider color-coding T-shirts to identify who belongs to which immediate family.
The A List
- Plan who to invite (which side of the family and how deep to go with your invitations).
- Track down long-lost relatives. Start by asking immediate family members to comb their address books. Then play detective using online phone directories; resources at the public library like city directories and phone books; and alumni offices or association websites for leads.
- Make a master list of invitees, including all members of each family, and keep an RSVP log to track responses.
- Set up a check-in table to greet family members. Ask everyone to sign a guest book upon arriving. Keep a master list with mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for each person to verify and update.
- Supply name tags, color-coded by family grouping so newcomers can more easily get acquainted.
- Provide disposable cameras to capture various perspectives of the reunion. Develop the photos and display them on a bulletin board on the last day.
- Ask relatives who can't attend to send a note or a video that can be shared with everyone else.
- Videoconference with those who cannot be there in person. Free computer-to-computer video communication is possible by downloading Skype. Computers do need to be set up with speakers or headphones and cameras.