Most of my family’s reunions are still planned by my parent’s generation, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be more accessible to today’s computer generation. So far this summer, I have set up 3 reunion blogs (yes, I have lot of family!). People are using blogs to update guests about weddings and other big events. Why not family reunions? You can decide whether to make the blogs private or not, depending on how many of your family will be willing to sign-up for an account to read it, but I would highly recommend choosing the setting that doesn’t add the blog to the list or submit it to search engines. Hopefully, that way, the only guests that will show up to your party will be the ones that you have given the blog address to. The only drawback is that you will have to remember that Great-Aunt Gertrude may not have Internet access and will need more old-fashioned reminders. I have sent out postcards (like the one above) with the main information and the link to the webpage with more detailed info. I use vistaprint. You may want to get on their mailing list, because they often have deals where you can order 100 postcards for Free (+ shipping)!
Things to include in the blog:
- Map to reunion
- Schedule of Events
- Assignments (potluck, etc.)
- Countdown to reunion (I made one at http://www.springwidgets.com/)
- Links to area chamber of commerce or other area attractions for out of town guests
- Hotel recommendations or camping amenities(if applicable)
- Contact info for those in charge
- Polls about reunion planning
- Guest book to collect current addresses/email of distant family members
- Slideshow/photos from previous reunions
- Anything else your family would enjoy
Now to the insanity part…When I set up a blog, I can’t settle for a standard template and header. I have to create a header using digital scrapbooking elements, and coordinating background paper to add to the html. When I decided on a picnic theme for this reunion, I realized I didn’t really have any picnic-themed digi–scrapbooking supplies. Rather than scouring the web for one that I liked, I designed my own picnic table cloth paper, little ants, and scanned in and edited the napkin and plastic tableware. I had fun doing it, though. So if I ever get serious about digital design, I have about half of a picnic kit ready to go.
Other credits are the sky paper from Lisa Sisneros at Little Dreamer Designs (cropped and recolored). The tree from Jen B. from the LDD apprentice program. Alphabet from Lori Barnhurst at LDD. Grass is a picture tube on Paint Shop Pro X2. Fonts are 2peas weathervane, TrashHand, and tahoma.