Planning a high school reunion? Here are some reunion ideas to help you plan the perfect get together, whether you’re setting up one night of fun or a whole week’s full of adventures.
Class reunions are really exciting events. You get to meet up with classmates that you may not have seen for years as a lot of them have moved away from the old neighborhood to different cities, counties or states. Some of them may have even moved out of the country since graduating.
Maybe you’ve lost touch with a lot of your old classmates, even if it’s only been ten years since graduation. A lot of alumni may only see their old classmates at a class reunion so planning one that makes sure these alumni will keep coming back takes some good advanced planning.
So where do you start? Well, here are some planning ideas to help, starting with how to find all of those former classmates now that you’ve been out of touch for a while.
- Find some former classmates to help with planning a class reunion. Planning takes a lot of work but it doesn’t have to be stressful, especially if you can locate and “hire” some assistance from your old pals. And with today’s technology, not only can you find a lot of your old classmates through social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Classmates.com for example. And with the help of Facebook and free websites, you can even do a lot of the planning online as well. Once you find a few enthusiastic classmates with some good reunion ideas, start assigning out tasks such as…
- finding those elusive classmates and getting email and physical addresses for invitations.
- having someone look for a venue that’s large enough so you don’t have to worry about the size of the guest list later on.
- planning a format for entertainment like music, games, etc.
- making name tags for your classmates. This may come in handy if people have changed as they’ve aged.
- planning a menu, keeping in mind that you may need a really wide variety to accommodate different diets like gluten free or diabetic. You want everyone to have some nice choices for their meals.
- high school reunion ideas for decorations. This can be in the form of banners, posters, streamers, balloons, table decorations, etc. You might even decide to center it around a theme like the year you graduated high school.
- Location! Location! Location! Choosing where to have your reunion is extremely important for a couple of reasons:
- Your former classmates may have to travel quite a distance to attend so you want a place that’s close to hotel accommodations for your long-distance buddies.
- Size matters when it comes to planning a high school reunion location, especially if you had a large graduating class and you manage to get most of them to attend. And if they bring their spouse, significant other, partner or what have you, that’s twice the size of your class so you need to make sure the room or space is large enough to comfortably accommodate the amount people you expect to attend.
- Price plays a role in the venue you choose. You don’t want to price anyone out of attending so your high school reunion ideas for choosing a location should definitely include price shopping for the best value. For example, if you find a hotel with a nice large room that’s often used for wedding receptions, maybe they’ll give you a discount if you book it early or give bulk discounts if X amount of guests book a room for the night at the same time.
- Plan months – if not years – ahead. You think you need to give plenty of notice to wedding guests? The exact “rules” apply for a high school class reunion. So one of the high school reunion ideas is to make sure you set the date out far enough for long distance classmates to plan their schedules accordingly. Some may have to take vacation time, hire sitters, board pets and save money to make the trip. High school reunion invitations should be fun and – well – inviting. Add a list of all of the classmates you’re inviting and if you have their permission, include their emails too. Add a list of alumni you haven’t been able to locate through normal channels and ask the invitees to get back to you if they know where any of the missing can be found.
- Use social networking sites like Facebook Groups to help give your classmates a head’s up about the upcoming reunion and to help locate your long lost high school pals. You can even set up a free website or forum to get the ball rolling plus ask for more high school reunion ideas from future attendees.
- Ask for donations. High school reunion planning can turn out to be pretty expensive, probably almost as much as a wedding reception when you really think about it. But don’t be nervous about asking your former classmates for a little monetary assistance to get done what needs to be done to make the reunion successful. One of the most helpful high school reunion ideas to help defray upfront costs is to make sure the reunion is “by invitation only” and sell the tickets well ahead of time. These funds can be used to pay for decorations, caterers, venue deposits, entertainment and favors or gift bags for the guests.
- Hire a photographer. You’ll want lots of pictures of your old classmates and even a new class portrait to commemorate this event. To cut costs here, check with your high school or community college to see if any of the students in photography classes would like to make some money. You’ll get really good photos and help another student in the process.
- Roll out the red carpet. Just like celebrity entrances, have your guests enter on a red carpet with the photographer taking their picture as they enter.
- Play music from your year of graduation. You can do this a couple of ways. When you check your high school or community college for photographers, ask around for music students or groups of students who have a band who’d be interested in playing at the reunion. Another option, if you have a local School of Rock, these kids would love the opportunity to show off their talents at an event like a high school class reunion. My nephew attends the School of Rock in Exton, PA and we’ve been to several of their “garage band concerts” and these kids have talent!
- Make up name tags for your former classmates. This will come in handy for those people who really look nothing like they did in high school.
- Gift bags or swag bags for favors. High school reunion ideas call for getting creative and nostalgic while being practical and fun at the same time. Like with any party favors, you can put together edible favors, useful favors, funny or gag favors or things that remind you of the year you graduated.
Custom laminated bookmarks make great favors because you can create them with different quotes on each one. Your classmates can share and swap them for their favorite quotes and photos. You can find quotes for your bookmarks just about anywhere and some suggestions are song lyrics from the top songs during the high school era and quotes from the backs of the yearbooks. Add magnets to the backs of the bookmarks. Magnets are always useful and fun favors for any party. In fact, you can use even us laminated bookmarks to mail out Save the Date notices to your classmates letting them know to “bookmark the date” on their calendars and watch for the invitations to come in the mail.
Hopefully these high school reunion ideas will help you with planning a high school reunion that all your classmates will love and look forward to for years to come.