Whether it's once in a blue moon or an annual event, getting your entire extended family together in one place can be a true logistical feat. If you're part of the planning committee, you will need to send out that all-important invite. Before you whip out the fancy quill or pop open the keyboard, take a few prep steps and consider your audience. And remember: Penning just the right invitation not only gives your relatives an incentive to attend, but also all the information they need to mark their calendars for the big event.
Compile the List
Don't worry about the content until you have contacts. If your family is spread around the globe, make sure you have the means to get street or email addresses for everyone. Yes, that includes your mother's cousin who rambles on and your rambunctious little niece. You can pick your friends, but you're stuck with your family members. Once you have a fairly representative list, you can move on to what to say, how to say it and how to deliver it.
Grab their attention with an appropriate opening paragraph that gives them a reason to attend. Discuss a family memory or accomplishment. Perhaps you could say, "Remember eating Grandma's apple pie with all your favorite cousins? Come do it again at this year's reunion!" or "Kudos to our family graduates! See them before they head off to college." Whatever your enticement, be both bold and brief.
Get to the Where and When
Include the location, date and time. Make sure to have contact info for an RSVP reply and give a deadline date. You're throwing this shindig, and you'll need to know if it's for 20 or 200. How big is your family?
Consider Customized Cards
You can turn your letter into card invitations complete with your personal thoughts. Online tools like Shutterfly allow you to create customized invites for any occasion. You can even upload addresses and have the invitations sent directly through the platform.
Send It Out on Multiple Formats
It’s a reunion! By definition, it’s a social gathering. So be social about that invitation. Mail the letter, but also send out an email and an evite. Post the event to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Let the kids reach out to their cousins on Snapchat. Remember, the more the merrier. Just be careful. Use privacy settings to ensure you don't invite the whole world.
Remember the Telephone?
Especially if you have older family members you don’t want to exclude, you may need to turn that letter into a phone call. Pick up and dial. If it’s to a long-lost relative, create a script offering the very same reasons to attend that you do in your letter, email, evite or Facebook post.