Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Food


Food and lodging are vital pieces to your reunion hosting. Once you have the date and location set for your family reunion, and an idea of who will be in attendance, research lodging in the area. 
Offer information on hotels and motels in the area that includes a wide range of amenities and prices. Families will have differing budgets for their expenses during the reunion.  If you know that some families have tight budgets, try to limit eating out during the reunion.  Instead, host potluck meals with families living closest to the reunion site providing the food, and the travelers assisting with preparations and cleanup.
Unless you’re all going to be staying in the same resort or campground, give your family several choices in lodging.  Everyone loves a bargain, so do not skimp on researching all the options.  There are those bare bones kind of motels that basically just provide a bed and a bathroom and not much else, in comparison to the places that have swimming pools and a hot tub, complimentary breakfasts and playground equipment for the kids.  Depending on the makeup of the family and their budget, any of these could be a possibility.  Attempt to have the choices not far from the main location for the reunion to reduce travel time to and from the festivities.
Once you have sent out the list of lodging to your participants, you can get down to other fun planning details.  Like the food!
A way to make a reunion affordable is to avoid eating in restaurants.  Families with children will appreciate more simple meals; kids are often just as happy with eating from a buffet table where they can pick and choose their food and then sit down on a picnic blanket with their cousins, where they can be as loud as they want with no one at the next table looking askance at them.
If you are hosting in a family member’s home, arrange a menu for the meals and ask for those who live nearby to bring food.  If desired, you can ask for monetary donations from those who have traveled to attend the reunion, but remember, they’ve spent more money on just getting there.  A nicer alternative would be to ask them to clean up after the meals or set up for the next shared meal.
If you are not holding the reunion in someone’s home, be creative with serving meals by contacting caterers in the area to bring the food to where you are meeting, or have someone pick it up to save even more.  That way you do not have to be concerned about a restaurant owner wishing you would all leave when you’re done eating, while you just want to sit and visit.
The other nice thing about eating buffet style is you can accommodate many different food choices and restrictions:  vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar free, etc.  It is often more difficult to order in a restaurant where choices are limited, and kitchen staff may not have all the equipment or food to accommodate special diets.

With advance planning, feeding everyone at the reunion should not create undue stress.


  1. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge - where I am part of Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team.
    How has the first week of the challenge been for you so far? Are you meeting your goals of posting and hopping to other blogs?
    My blog has a giveaway with bonus a to z challenges to encourage people to visit more stops.
    Fascinating stuff. The special diets are big now with the increase of food allergies and whatnot.

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I have been posting daily, not easy since I was out of town the first three days of April, and it's tax season! I plan to look at others' blogs this weekend. I will prevail!