Planning a 10 year reunion. How was yours?

10 years ago, I was elected as my senior class president.

What they don’t tell you when youre running for this coveted application accolade as a 17/18 yr old, is that this means you will serve as the classes’ party planner once every ten years until you die. Had I considered this back then, I probably wouldn’t have ran–but the people had spoken.

I was (not too seriously) considering dropping off the face of the planet. But with social media, that has made it impossible. Please keep in mind, the main people asking about the reunion also declined to be on the volunteer committee -__-. I have wrangled up a few of the class officers that I can remember. We have just begun exchanging emails.

Our teachers were absolutely horrible and I’m sure tried their best to destroy us. Thus, I’m pleased to say we all agreed to NOT invite of them.

Other than that - I really don’t know where to start. Obviously, we need them to register to see how many people will come. But I can’t send an invite without having the location on there. And I don’t know how to book a location without first getting the money from them registering…

If anybody has any advice or suggestions. Or just experiences of what they liked/didn’t like during their reunion - Please share.

At 10 years just keep it simple. Depending on the size of your class just have everyone meet at a bar or maybe BBQ at a nearby lake.

There always seems to be a very small but very vocal contingent that wants a huge extravaganza. Ignore those people, they will ruin everything.

Hey, ours was a huge extravaganza! Our class president didn’t do most of the work (as she didn’t live in the area anymore, and couldn’t even attend), although her mom, who was closed to the class, did help out. Instead, another very vocal classmate, who wanted the party and wanted it to be fabulous, stepped in to coordinate most of the stuff.

First she prepared polls asking people to decide on a date. She used the class group page in FB and all the emails she had and all the contacts to remind people to vote. Once the date was selected, she made a poll about what type of party people wanted.

She got access to the class funds, so she had a preliminary budget. I think she may have also polled us regarding what was the maximum amount we were able to pay to attend.

Closer to the date, she asked what type of music we wanted, and gave sample menus so that we could pick them.

I have to say, she’s not my favorite person, but she was one awesome planner. And I liked that for many decisions she opted to consult the rest of the class via online polls.

No teachers were present, and only a couple of moms were invited (those that controlled the money).

In the end, it was fabulous! We celebrated it the 30th of December, as a pre-New Year’s party. There was an open bar, awesome DJ, and even some live music. Lots of food too.

It was great!

Something to consider, depending upon where you live: Time of year. Where I am, there are a lot of BIG college football fans, and the reunions we’ve had have been done in the spring (just not around Easter) for several reasons:

  1. Deep South - milder weather
  2. Fewer people with vacation conflicts in spring
  3. Not competing against football season (It’s a big thing here)

As always, YMMV. This is just my observation. I’ve never been a planner, but have been party to discussions.

I know nothing about what went in to planning our 10th reunion. What I do know:

[li]It was held in an armory - HORRIBLE place to have a live band - conversation was next to impossible and my ears were ringing 2 days later.[/li][li]Of the 850-ish in our graduating class, I think fewer than 200 showed up - it was a pretty sad showing.[/li][li]It was rather disturbing to see how little some of them had changed, or maybe they regressed for the evening.[/li][li]Whoever put it together insisted on the stupid “Who gained the most weight/lost the most hair/traveled the farthest/has the most kids” pre-reunion questionnaire. That was pretty lame.[/li][/ul]

Frankly, I’d have been just as happy with a picnic at a park, but I tend to prefer informal gatherings. This summer is supposed to be a combined 40/41 year reunion with our class and the one that came after. I’m probably going to take a pass - high school just wasn’t that big a deal to me.

Only if you want to.

Seriously. You can just say no. There’s absolutely nothing to hold you to it if you don’t want to do it. If anyone gives you crap, tell them if they want a party, they can plan it.

That was apparently the route that my high school class went. The only thing I heard about a 10 year reunion was a facebook invite two days in advance that people were going to try to go to a particular bar on Saturday night.

200 sounds like an excellent showing actually. I would expect less than 10% to show up today with most people not staying in their home towns anymore after graduation. There aren’t many people that care about high school enough to travel cross country to attend a reunion. I think most people that would are probably trapped in the past anyway.

Yeah, I thought that a 20% turnout sounded pretty good.

Actually, the 10 yr reunion is the best: old friends still look the same, dress the same, and have a lot of the same mutual memories, so you have interesting things to talk about.

By the 20 and 30 yr reunions, it’s more awkward…You’re looking at people who are hard to recognize…fatter, and balder, wearing suits and talking about their medical problems.

Take the initiative now, and then you’re off the hook. A decade from now you can simply refuse, by saying “no thanks, I did it last time, now it’s your turn.”

Depends, ours was planned so far ahead because many of us had moved. And even with that, we did manage close to a 50% attendance. Our class was small, and even those who couldn’t attend made videos about the reunion that were shown to the rest during the event.

My dad (same high school) will be having his 50th event this year. I’m not sure if he will make it or not, but they always have a good turn out.

My 10th reunion sucked. Not the actual mingling of old friends…that was cool, but the setup of the reunion was awful. It was located above a bar in a rented room that was pretty sparse, with a handful of snacks, a single keg of crappy beer and a few chests with pop. (or soda if you prefer).

Luckily, they improved for my 15th reunion, which was 2 years ago. It was still simple, in a banquet hall along a local lake, with just a bunch of tables, some music playing, but with catered food that was pretty good and a better stocked bar. We mingled and had a good time for about 3-4 hours, then a bunch of us went down the street to a bar and hung out a little more.

I don’t think there’s a need to go extravagent, as the whole fun part of a reunion is just mingling and chatting with people you haven’t seen in a long time. Anything that takes away from that is just annoying fluff. Give them food and stuff to drink in a nice open area with places to dance as well as sit/stand and talk, and you’ll be good to go.

Keep it simple. If you don’t have a budget and nobody wants to pitch in beforehand, make it a potluck and have an informal gathering somewhere free. In my hometown there are several parks with picnic tables, something like that would be appropriate.

Tell anyone who wants you to plan something fancy they can plan it, if they like. If they don’t like, then they’re stuck with what you pick.

You had a 10 AND 15 year reunion? Wow.

Our ten year reunion was nice. Not fancy but nice.

The big surprise was hearing about what certain classmates were doing now. We’d had one guy who was going into show business. He’d been in all the plays, musicals, choral groups and presentations. He led us in the school song at graduation!

After ten years, where was he? In a Catholic seminary, preparing to become a priest!:eek: In our update book he said it was something he’d never even thought about growing up, he wanted to be an actor. But he quite literally got “the call” from God, so he went off on a different track. Short little blonde dude he was, served as a missionary priest in Africa for some years, but he’s been all over in the US I understand.

I went to my five year. Seeing everyone was all right, but most of us were either just out of school, going to grad school or schlubbing away at a blue collar job. Not enough had changed.

I didn’t go to another until my thirty year one two years ago. It was fun! The planners were a couple of the cheerleaders who were still local (Our class prez had passed a few years before). They did a really good job of not overplanning it and had a committee of other locals to help. They also did a lot of polling via Facebook.

One of our classmates manages the visitor’s bureau in my home county and, as a committee member, hooked us up with several hotel discounts for those of us coming in from out of town. The same hotels also lent gathering rooms for our meet and greet and set up a family breakfast event.

Get all of the help that you can, use the heck out of FB and see if any of your local classmates have connections to hotels, restaurants, bands, photographers, caterers and event venues.

Have fun!

Thank you for all the insight and great advice. I particularly enjoyed this piece:

Ahhh. remembering that you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to, and other people’s expectations are not yours to live up to. Priceless…

I don’t know - I wasn’t invited to mine!

I went to my high school’s 50th reunion, which was my 30th. It was good.

My biggest gripe with my 10th reunion was they had a DJ blasting music which resulted in people standing around yelling at each other to be heard. At a reunion everyone wants to talk and catch up, so keep the volume down.