Putting together a book or booklet for your family reunion can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few tips to get you started.
As soon as you know when and where your family reunion is going to be held, start sending out letters or emails to all of the families that you believe will be in attendance. In the letter, you can either just make a simple request for information such as where they live, what they are up to, and who is doing what, etc. You can make it easier for them – and increase participation — by sending them a list of interview type questions they can simply reply to. You’ll want to ask the basic questions as stated above, but you can include some fun questions too, such as “what is the funniest thing that has happened to your family this year?” or something of that nature. Some uniformity is great for the continuity of your book, but you want to leave room for each family to show some of their personality as well.
Do what you can to make sure that each family contributes some photos too, as well as contact information and birth dates for each member. The more information you have, the easier it will be to put your book together. Do as much of this information gathering as you can via digital formats such as email. This will make putting the booklet together much less time-consuming in the long run.
Put It Together:
Start to put together your booklet in either a word processing program such as MS Word, or in a layout program such as PageMaker, InDesign, or Qwark Xpress if you have such a program. As stated above, you will have a much easier time if you follow some sort of format, such as each family gets a similar headline followed by a photo and whatever information they have provided. Choose a sans serif font that is friendly, yet easy to read, and consider using fun headers and sub-headers that convey a little bit about each family’s personality. Something like: “The John and Rebecca Hadleys: Wishin’ They Were Fishin'” or something like that. You get the idea.
Take all the contact information and put it in one place at the end of the book, sort of like a family directory. When it comes to placement of the families in the main section, you can either list them alphabetically or by age.
Another great addition to you book might be a family tree. There are a few software programs out there that aren’t terribly expensive and allow you to simply input your information, then import into the main document.
Depending on how large your family is, and how many members you can get to contribute their information, you can either just do a simple two-staple saddle stitch, or something more elaborate and permanent such as twin loop binding or perfect bound hardcover. A lot of times, you can purchase these machines and do the binding at home for less than a print shop would charge, and you’ll then have the ability to create books whenever you choose. Take a look online or go to your print shop to see what your options are.