Peter Walsh
Exhausted by the idea of planning your family's reunion? Family reunions don't have to be a lot of work, says professional organizer and event planner MJ Rosenthal. In the May/June 2008 issue of Organize magazine, MJ outlines basic steps to organizing your family reunion. MJ talk with Peter about practical ideas to plan for such a special family event.

  • Start early. Select the location and dates of the family reunion and then let people know the details by sending out e-mails and making calls in advance.
  • Know your limits. Develop a budget so you know what you're spending. Not everyone may have money to spend on an exclusive vacation, MJ says.
  • Ask for volunteers. It's important to have a team of people supporting you, MJ says. "Do not be the lone ranger," she says. "Not one event planner does it alone."
  • Book it. Whether you need hotel rooms for a local family reunion or a resort for a destination event, make sure to organize all your outside vendors—caterers, hotels, professional photographers.
  • Plan activities. Ask yourself, "What is going to make this event special?" Some creative ideas include having each family member bring a baby picture to the reunion or having the family work together on a charity project.
  • Have a program or timetable. "Make sure everyone knows where they need to be, when they need to be there and what they need to have," MJ says. This will minimize the guests' questions so that everyone can enjoy the reunion.