How To Be a Reunion Survivor
You've accepted the challenge of planning your tribe's get-together. Gain immunity from hassles and headaches with our 10-step guide to pulling off a successful family reunion.
I was 30 years old when I attended my first family reunion. When I received word of the upcoming event, I envisioned reminiscing about childhood adventures and catching up on the years since I'd last seen my aunts, uncles and cousins. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed — the reunion planning consisted of merely calling a few relatives and buying stick-on name tags. Many of my closest cousins weren't even notified.

I left the reunion downcast at the missed opportunity to reconnect with the cousins I played with as a child. I made a solemn promise to never let this fiasco happen again and went a step further. To help other families avoid reunion disaster, I started a professional reunion planning service. Over the years, I've consulted with many families and given them tips to make their reunion a successful, fun event. I didn't want anyone else to miss the chance to reconnect with far-flung families.

You have the opportunity to make your own reunion a meaningful, memorable occasion. But you can't expect to simply call a few cousins and let the rest fall into place. Planning a family reunion is a challenge — it takes time, diligence, strong organizational skills, and a dose of humor is always helpful. As the head reunion planner, you'll be inundated with ideas from your family ranging from brilliant to bizarre. Your job is to filter through the ideas, recruit a host of volunteers, then pull off a fabulous, fun and fantastic reunion to remember.