” The greatest reflection of your priorities is your time. Whatever you say about what matters to you, the true test is where you place your time.”
You keep saying you should get together. It really would be nice to catch up. The kids are getting so big and time is flying by.
If this past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that time is precious. And the time spent together even more so! We all missed one another so much and have had time to reflect on our priorities. Things have shifted. It’s time to get reacquainted, perhaps on a whole new level. Time together is so much more precious and rare.
This is why we wanted to create this planning checklist. To help make it a bit easier to organize and plan your next family reunion and make it one for the scrapbooks!
18 months before the event
Gather your team, you know the ones. The doers and shakers. The ones who can get stuff done. And start getting organized! Divi up the responsibilities…many hands make light work. But remember it’s always good to have one captain in charge to be sure all the pieces come together seamlessly.
- Call around to your family members and see who’s interested in attending.
- Create a contact list of those folks interested and share with your team.
- Get together with your team and start brainstorming ideas. Make a list of potential dates, locations and venues.
- It’s time to lock down that venue and those dates! Be sure to read your contract carefully with your venue and understand cancellation policies and deposit requirements.
- Determine the budget and how much each family member will need to pay.
- Send out a save the date with an RSVP via email. Give them some idea of what it will cost so your numbers are more accurate.
- Book your photographer and caterer…these pros are popular folks and will need to be booked early.
- Design the invitations and send them out. Get those RSVP’s locked down!
- Consider choosing a theme and start planning the decorations and displays. This will also help with the invites.
- Order favors and souvenirs. T-shirts are fun!
- Gather family mementos to display. Maybe put together a video. Reunions are about making new memories but also about celebrating the ones already made as well.
- Create a schedule of activities
- Collect the RSVP’s and send out email with the finalized details including venue, activities, costs, meal plans, maps, helpful travel information, etc. Have deposits been paid?
- Confirm your catering and photographer.
- Send a reminder announcement. Can be as simple as an email as well. This also helps build excitement and anticipation of a memorable event.
- Make name tags, decor and signs. Prepare a printed program.
- Designate an event emcee. You know who this one is…the one who just loves that microphone!
- Determine the venue layout and how you will use the spaces provided. Do they have a microphone you can use?
- Update your attendees list.
- Assign potluck dishes if needed.
- Recruit help for set up and clean up.
- Inventory needed items. Make lists!
- Shop for remaining non-perishable supplies.
- Your captain needs to make the rounds and confirm all items on the list have been handled.
- Double check that all payments have been made to your vendors.
- Confirm with venue, photographers, caterers, and who knows, the bounce house man! Be sure everyone is ready!
- Triple check food prep if self catering. Is your team ready and do they know what they need to bring?
- This is the most important step. Enjoy yourselves!!! Nothing kills a party quicker than the hostess running around like a chicken with her head cut off! Relax, smile, exhale. You did it and your family is grateful!
At Crane & Clover we have given so much thought to the perfect family reunion. After all, we are a 3 generation family farm and truly prioritize family and how much we mean to one another. From the very beginning we were so excited about hosting families and have taylor made our retreat venue for just such an occasion.
We will have 9 cabins and yurts, cozy and comfortable with climate control and fantastical designs. We can host 32 guests total. The dining pavilion will have a professional caterers kitchen that can be used to self cater or to hire in a chef to cook for your family. Or a combination of both! We think families will appreciate this flexibility for not only budgetary reasons but how is it going to feel like home if grandma isn’t making her delicious cobbler or Uncle Ray isn’t serving up his famous BBQ?!
But what about the kids you say? We’ve got them covered! We will feature a lucky charm treasure hunt that will take them adventuring all over our farm finding horseshoes and 4 leaf clover coins. They can also fish, kayak, hike and explore without worry of stranger danger. We will have plenty of farm animals to get acquainted with and lawn games to draw them away from those ipads. We can also offer half day arts and crafts classes in the art studio, so mom can enjoy a quiet moment in a hammock with her book. How’s that sound?!
So say you want go explore a bit? Great! We are located in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains, in beautiful Goochland County, Virginia and have access to endless hiking trails. Another popular day trip is a float down the James. How about a whisky tasting or a museum visit? We will have a long list of suggestions and will be happy to organize anything that strikes your fancy. This area is packed full of history and scenic beauty.
When you return from your adventure, a campfire waits for you to gather around, make s’mores and tell stories.
The very best part of this is that you will have the full 98 acres to yourselves. No one else will be allowed to book while you visit our farm. And we think that is just priceless!
To download a PDF of this checklist, Click Here!