Reading Time: 8 Minutes
Deciding on a theme when planning your upcoming family reunion can be a bit tricky. Most reunion organizers may start their planning by start discussing colors and a quick statement first. This will certainly get the ball moving in a direction of forward. However, for a successful and more “involved” reunion, we have to do a little bit more than that. Your theme sets the tone for your whole event. Once in place, it drives all of your planning decisions.
The right theme attracts family members to attend and most importantly will build the reunion planning reputation once and for all which can really get a pretty cool buzz going. But a boring or tacky theme can put your committee’s reputation and the attendees decision to go on the line.
So if you’re looking for ideas on Family Reunion Themes, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 5 tips to consider before you decide on your Family Reunion Theme and Mission.
1. Set the Tone
This comes down to you, and your committee. The tone of your family reunion will starts long before your first family member registers to attend the reunion and arrive at the front door of the venue. You must set the level of intent. Raise your level of expectation not only for yourself, but for the committee members, and family. People are always watching what you are doing whether you know it, like it or not, so this is an opportunity where you can build your family culture as a force for good.
Keep in mind that the planning process, traditionally 2 years or at minimum 1 year can consist of long hours, exhausting days of those conference calls, leg work and can be quite taxing on the brain – but there is something about bringing family together that deems rewards and blessings upon blessings!! Create an empowered, excited and highly motivated culture of family who is eager to share this excitement.
Setting the right tone at your family reunion will make it more successful in both the reputation as the committee and attendance. The time of the year, location, and venue where the reunion is taking place will also help to set the tone as to whether or not the reunion is formal or informal. If you can align your theme with your venue, your event will have that extra special aspect of being seamless. You can do this by either having a theme in mind and choosing a venue which can accommodate it, or you can choose your venue and then your theme to suit it.
2. Determine Reason for Hosting
Only when a purpose of bringing family together is established can the message be developed. Many reunion organizers should consider and define this very important matter, although it seems simple enough right? But oftentimes the purpose is vague, such as “back to the roots.” and “we are family - Ahem.. well, sorry to tell you, but you definitely need to offer a lot more convincing than that to bring a feuding Aunt and a long lost Cousin together to look over their 10 year drama and instead at the bigger picture so they can attend this long awaited affair - that they have to pay for.
Dig deep and really determine the true reason for this event. What is the significance of the location? Is it an Elder’s birthday? Who is the oldest living relative in your family? Who is the longest married with the most children - Get on the phone with them and get their words to the wise. Once you determine why you are hosting this reunion, you have something to implement into your materials for your theme and mission. Not to mention, you’ll definitely need this clearly defined so you have something to go back to look at when you feel like you want to throw in the towel at some point during the planning process - as it will happen (you’re welcome).
3. Determine Color Palettes
This is where you can have a bit of fun. Colors are everything and in terms of importance, it literally can be placed on the list next to setting the tone. Colors can create an emotional response from people. Family Reunions in itself are very emotional on so many different levels both good and (sorry to say) bad.
What does this mean for you? Well, first we are in 2019-2020 so gone are the days of “black and red” or “black and white”, “Purple and Gold” ! This makes me cringe. We can totally get more creative than that, so it’s time to toss the “two-color” schemes. Sticking with two colors doesn’t play well when trying to plan an event from A-Z and it’s very restrictive to all elements of the entire affair - including guests. Layer on the colors. I’m talking shades of similar, contrasting and pops of colors and watch your family reunion theme come alive and be a true festive celebration. If you’re used to having the classic colors “black and white”, there are tons of gorgeous colors you can layer on this to create a beautiful palette. Once you go this route, now everyone gets a chance to play in the colors from the website, event decor down to the wardrobe. Try to build a color palette of at least 3-5 colors and watch your family reunion come alive :-) Need Help? Download my Family Reunion Color Palette Cheat Sheet.
4. Create Family Crest or Logo
Most people go to events for a lot of different reasons, but most of the time it’s because they want to have fun, learn or see something new, trendy and get inspired. It’s no different for a family reunion. What’s even more challenging is family members are going at their expense. We are moving very quickly in the world of technology and our goal is to capture family members of all ages to keep a reunion on the books. If the overall design and organization doesn’t look fun or inspiring, family won't feel compelled to go. So it’s great to start with the look and feel of the event with family crest or logo.
Study suggests that more than 65% of the information retained is through visuals. That’s a lot of real estate when it all comes down to what you’re using to promote your family reunion. Logos are the first visual cues for your event. Thus, it is very crucial to have a logo. It may seem daunting to think of this task, but it’s actually much easier these days to get a logo in a matter of minutes, especially now that you have your colors (you’re welcome). Keep the logo simple and attractive.
In saying this, you want to create two versions of your logo, one with just artwork or monogram in case you want to use it again for all your reunions, and the second to include the “who, what, when, where and why (your mission or statement) right underneath the logo. This will make your logo completely informative and practical”. Use this for all your materials, gift bags, invitations, website, and so much more.
5. Family Mission or Message
If you’ve been following these tips and have actually taken the time to write your reason for hosting your family reunion, your mission should be be fairly easy and actually done for you! Just shorten it, keep the message simple and impactful, This can help add structure to the family reunion décor and activities as well as tie it all neatly together. This is the most exciting way to create a buzz and inspire family. Getting creative is also an opportunity for family to get involved (which is what you want) and it can be a fun.
Hopefully these 5 tips has helped you in considering your theme (your overall look, feel, and vibe) and your mission. You also have some great notes to take to your family reunion committee to switch things up a bit from the “old norm”. True MVP :-) Not only will your family reunion feel like a breath of fresh air, but you can be guaranteed it will be talked about for months and years to come.
If you’re ready to start jotting down some serious ideas, I’ve got an organized helpful worksheet you can use totally free to get you a leg up in this part of the planning. You can download it here.
Hope this was helpful! Which one of these helpful ways will you implement now in creating your family reunion theme and mission?