Big, blended families have so many benefits. You always have someone to talk to, a ready-made support network of people who want nothing but what’s best for you. You have a place in the world that you can rely on.
While all of the above is true, having a large extended family has its issues. Parties are tricky regarding logistics, as you try to figure out if your table can handle three times the people it was meant to support. Buying gifts turns into a long slog of remembering preferences while trying to keep yourself sane. It’s worth it, of course- but it doesn’t stop it being complicated.
When it comes to bringing the whole family together, it can feel a little bit like wrangling cats. As in, it can feel impossible. There are many reasons to get the whole group together; a wedding, a christening or a wedding anniversary of grandparents. You’re going to want to focus on what’s happening at these life events, not worrying about how to control everyone. If you’re trying to bring together a large family for a wedding, then here’s a few tips to make it go as smoothly as possible.
Try and Keep Planning As Inclusive As Possible
If you have been tasked with being the planner and organizer, then your job begins weeks before the event. Try and gather all of the adults together for lunch; those that can’t travel can join in by Skype. Get a few ideas of what everyone is expecting. This is also a good time to get information on dietary requirements, traveling times and when people expect to arrive. Who’s making their own way and who needs to arrange wedding bus transportation? Write it all down; it’s going to become invaluable.
You Might Have To Issue An Itinerary
Now I know, it doesn’t sound like fun. The idea of everyone having to consult a timesheet of where they should be and when sounds boring, but think of the alternatives. If it’s that versus having to run around tracking people down, starting late or losing track of someone – what’s better? Get everyone nailed down to a set of ideas and then you can go from there.
Assign Buddies For Younger Children
You want everyone to enjoy themselves, which for young kids might mean a little adult-free time. Talk to older children and pair them with a sibling or cousin. This gives the older child a feeling of responsibility and being a grown up, while the younger always has someone to go to if they are in need of assistance. You can reinforce the bond between the buddies with cheap matching color-coordinated wristbands.
Check In With Everyone
Hopefully, your event is going to go off without a hitch, though there’s more you can do during to assist with that. Every hour or so, go around your assembled guests and check that everyone is okay- don’t just expect that they are. This will give you a chance to act on ill-feeling before it develops into something more severe.
There’s no doubt that controlling an event for a large family is a lot of hassle and work, but it will be worth it! Remember to take lots of photos too- this is going to be something you want to look back on.