This depends on a number of factors, including how big of a reunion it will be (i.e., how many generations will be invited), distance to be traveled, and time of year. Many family reunions happen in the summer so that parents won’t have to worry about missed school days, but long weekends (especially those that fall on a national holiday) are also good candidates for a fete. To be on the safe side, plan six to eight months ahead of time – further if you have a large clan traveling sizable distances. But if your kin are only a couple dozen and live within five or so hours of each other, three to four months should suffice. Just try to avoid busy seasons, such as the holidays or graduation time, when everyone’s schedules tend to overflow.

Other factors to consider are the expenses involved (more expensive travel plans should be given longer lead times) and the length of the reunion: A multi-day event requires more planning than an afternoon barbecue.

Some families make it a point that, like the Olympics, family reunions occur every so many years at a certain time (ex: every four years on Labor Day). This is particularly helpful for large-scale reunions. Or you can hold it the same time every year and welcome whichever assortment of kinsfolk are able to make it.