Bringing the Family Together: A Guide to Planning a Memorable Family Reunion

By: Lillian Miller, Event Coordinator

Attending family reunions in the summer was one of my favorite memories growing up. It is a time when you get to see family members you do not usually see, meet the newest additions to the family, and reconnect with everyone. It is always fun to hear old stories from older relatives about when they were growing up and learn things like old family recipes! You can make your family reunion even more fun and memorable in many ways. Here is a 5-step guide to help you plan your upcoming family reunion and select the right event venue near Suffolk, VA. 

Have a small planning committee

You should not try or feel like you must plan it all alone, especially if you have a big family. Having 3-4 people in the family help plan will alleviate a lot of stress. But also keep in mind that more is not always better. Too many people can lead to indecision, resulting in too many hands in the pot. Some things might help distribute some responsibility to other family members. 

  • Create a shared task list, for example, using Google Drive, with committee members to track what items must be done and what has been completed. A simple chart listing out all the To-Do List items, due dates, and who is responsible for each task will save a lot of headaches in the future. This is a good way to make sure nothing is forgotten. An example of a to-do item may be research event venues near Suffolk, VA, or family reunion venues in VA. 
  • Make a sign-up list for memorabilia and photo albums to be brought. 
  • Make a sign-up list for activities. Some members may not want to bring food and might contribute to bringing items for your planned activities.

Book a Family Reunion Venue in VA

There are different options for event venues near Suffolk, VA, that can help you plan your family reunion! The Suffolk Conference Center offers both outdoor and indoor event space. If you want to have events outside, we have a park and veranda outside the hotel where you can have dinner and games! We have had guests do many outdoor activities and utilize the riverfront for their events! We also have our Nansemond ballroom, which can be divided into 4 smaller ballrooms. This is great because it can accommodate parties large and small. When researching family reunion venues in VA, here are a few key questions to ask.  

  • Since you have already narrowed down your location for the family reunion, is this event venue near Suffolk, VA?
  • What group events will be planned at the event venue? How many people are you anticipating for each group event? Are you planning a welcome reception on Friday, a large family dinner on Saturday, and a farewell breakfast on Sunday? If that’s the case, family members will probably arrive and depart at different times, and the guest count may differ for all 3 events. 
  • Will the family reunion venue in VA be able to provide the catering, or is that another vendor that you will need to coordinate with? 
  • Does the event venue have accommodations for the family to stay on-site or nearby?

Send out Invitations

Sending out invitations might be tricky, especially if you have long-distance relatives or if not all your family members are tech-savvy. You can use different web-based platforms to ensure everyone gets an invite, and you can receive RSVPs to give you a general idea of how many people to expect. This is typically a more cost-effective way to send invitations. Depending on your family, electronic may not be the best fit. Either way, ensure you have the family reunion venue in VA address available, so everyone knows where to go. (For reference, our is 100 E. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434)

  • Facebook is great because you can create a group with all your family members in it. This way, once they are added to the group, you can send updates and add pictures for everyone to see. You can create polls and get RSVP information on this platform as well. Some people do not use Facebook. So, this may not be the best all-encompassing way to invite family members; it depends on what works for your family.
  • Another electronic option is utilizing companies like Evite to send invitations to everyone by email. There are many websites out there like this that can assist with sending out invites.
  • Traditional USPS mail:  Create an excel sheet of everyone’s names and mailing addresses. This way, everyone can get an invitation in the mail. The tricky part is ensuring everyone’s mailing address is correct and does not return to the sender. But once you have a good list going, you can use it for future parties. Companies on Etsy make it easy to pick out invitations, make edits, and then print locally. 

Plan Group Activities

Having activities and games keeps everyone interacting, especially the little kids. It can also help bring the family closer and help them get to know each other better! The activities can be small, from getting to know your family bingo to something as big as a Talent show. Here are some more ideas for activities to run by your family! Make sure to confirm with your family reunion venue that there is ample space or if there are any restrictions on activities.

  • Cornhole
  • Relay Races
  • Who’s Who; guessing whose baby pictures are who.
  • Family Trivia
  • Outdoor Movie night 
  • Food eating contests

Memorable keepsakes

Another idea is having something organized that everyone can have and ties them all together. These keepsakes are good things to pass down to newer generations and can be added on and on. I always love to look at where my family came from or see any recipes I grew up loving. Chat with your sales manager at your family reunion venue in VA for additional ideas as well. Here are some keepsakes you and your family can consider if you haven’t already done! 

  • Cookbook with all Family Recipes.
  • Taking a yearly entire family picture and putting it on a google drive for everyone to see. 
  • Drawing a family tree or map shows how everyone is connected.
  • Matching family shirts is inexpensive and fun to show off that family reunion spirit!

The Conference Center offers a breathtaking, flexible event space when you are considering different family reunion venues in VA. We offer indoor and outdoor event space, on-site catering, and hotel accommodations. And is part of the Hilton Garden Inn, a full-service hotel with popular amenities like an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, bar, and restaurant. Contact us today to book your upcoming family reunion and schedule a property tour!