If you’re organizing a high school reunion, chances are you could use some class reunion ideas to revive your planning. It’s a massive effort just to get your old classmates’ contact information and find a suitable venue, which means you don’t always have much mental energy left over for making the event special.
That’s where this blog post comes in. From cheap reunion invites to fun games that get people mingling, we’ve got you covered!
1.) Mail Invitations & Create a Facebook Event
Facebook is a great way to get the word out about an upcoming class reunion, but bear in mind that you won’t reach everyone this way. A good chunk of your former classmates only use Facebook occasionally (particularly men), while others never created an account in the first place or have closed their accounts.
If you want a good turnout, it’s best to cast a wider net by sending invitations in the mail AND creating a Facebook event. On the physical invitations, be sure to include information about the reunion website or Facebook event so you can keep your former classmates in the loop.
2.) Get Creative with Yearbook Photos
Photocopies of your old yearbook photos yield an unending treasure trove of decoration ideas. Here are three of our favorites:
- Collage Your High School Acronym with Yearbook Photos.
Create a custom display of your high school acronym using large foam board letters from your local craft store. You can use the above example featured on the Be Colorful blog as inspiration. Customize the foam letters by collaging it with photocopies of yearbook photos!
- Create Yearbook Photo Votive Centerpieces.
The A Beautiful Mess blog has an awesome tutorial for making DIY yearbook photo votives using simple glass jars. Although they do take a little elbow grease, we think these would make gorgeous centerpieces at your class reunion!
- Add Yearbook Photos to Nametags
Adding yearbook photos to the nametags at your reunion is not only a fun personalization, but it also lets your former classmates instantly see how their old friends used to look in high school.
3.) Have a Photo Booth with Quirky Props
Let your former classmates create new memories by providing a photo booth or photo backdrop at your high school reunion. While you can certainly spring for an actual photo booth rental if your budget allows, many event organizers opt to create their own DIY photo backdrops instead. The example below captured by Adam & Jenn Photography used a simple paper background, but here are some other ideas:
- Cover a sheet of plywood with wallpaper, then add cut-outs for guests to poke their heads through. Mount to a simple frame built out of 2x4s.
- Create a simple frame out of PVC pipe, then dangle a solid sheet of fabric or tie multi-toned strips of fabric from it in your school colors.
- For a “schoolhouse” feel, cover a sheet of plywood with chalkboard paint, then add your own class year in a faux calligraphy arch across the top.
Fun props might include old letter jackets from your high school, cheerleading pom-poms and megaphones, backpacks, oversized pencils, and other school-themed items. We love the custom props below available from the Big Dot of Happiness Etsy store.
4.) Create a DIY Tissue Paper Graduation Year
To add a pop of color to your reunion, create a vibrant graduation year display using foamboard and bright tissue paper. You can even use tissue paper in your school colors in the spirit of the reunion. Once you’ve finished your project, you can mount it using dowels and glass bottles. Check out the full tutorial over on the Sugar Bee Crafts blog.
5.) Have a Mini Awards Ceremony (& Let Guests Vote!)
Remember voting for homecoming king and queen in high school? Relive those memories by asking reunion guests to cast their votes for awards that will be given out at the end of the evening. Good examples for voted awards might include “Best Looking,” “Most Changed,” “Best Dressed,” or “Coolest Car.” For some awards, you might need to gather some information in advance. For example:
- Traveled Furthest Distance to Attend
- Most Fascinating/Unusual Job
- Longest Marriage
- Most Kids
- Most Eligible Bachelor/Bachelorette
Since many of your former classmates will be bringing their significant others, you can even include a fun category, like “Hottest Date” or “Sexiest Spouse.”
6.) Encourage Mingling with Class Reunion Games
At a class reunion, you can encourage mingling with some simple class reunion games designed to get people talking. To encourage participation, offer desirable prizes like Starbucks gift cards, bottles of wine or liquor, fancy chocolate, or tasty baked goods.
- Class Reunion Bingo
Create a bingo sheet where each bingo square contains a description of a person likely to be attending the reunion. Challenge attendees to find people who meet the description for each square. Examples might include “Has blue eyes,” “Has never broken a bone,” “Wearing a tie,” or “Owns Multiple Cats.” Have each person gather the signature of the person who meets the criteria and award a prize to the person who gathers signatures for each bingo square first.
- Four Corners
Four Corners is a classic icebreaker game where each corner of the reunion venue is labeled with a number (1, 2, 3, and 4). A designated emcee instructs everyone playing to go to the corner that best describes them. Get started by saying “Let’s see what each of you has in common! We’ll start with your favorite season. If your favorite season is spring, make your way to corner 1; if summer, go to corner 2; if fall, go to corner 3; if winter, go to corner 4.” Give people a chance to chat a bit with those in their corner, but keep the game moving with similar questions that have four distinct answers, like favorite sport, favorite ice cream flavor, etc. Be prepared to repeat the options a time or two.
- Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is a classic party game designed to get your former classmates to reveal fascinating details about themselves (check out the rules here if you’ve never played). While this game is often played as a drinking game, you can tame it down by simply having people stand up from their chairs if they’ve done something the game leader says rather than taking a drink. A few examples might include: never have I ever ridden an elephant, traveled to Europe, gotten a tattoo, kissed on the first date, etc.
- Speed Meeting
Another idea is to create a speed dating spin-off called “speed meeting.” The reunion emcee makes it clear that this version doesn’t have romantic connotations so that everyone feels comfortable playing. Anyone wanting to play will be paired up with another random attendee and will have the opportunity to chat for a set period of time (5 minutes is a good limit). When the time is up, a bell rings and each person moves on to speak with another person. This is a great way to encourage guests to get to know people outside the group they came with.
7.) Play Songs from Your Decade
You know those songs that make you think of high school every time you hear them on the radio? Play them at your class reunion! A little online research is all it takes to find the songs that were hits your graduating year. Add them to a big playlist to create a sense of nostalgia. Better yet, hire a cover band to play these songs live if you have the budget for it.
8.) Have a Signature Drink at Cocktail Hour
It’s customary for everyone attending a reunion to meet up for drinks the night before at a local bar. Ask the bartender in advance to concoct a signature drink for everyone to enjoy as they catch up with old friends. As an alternative, you can offer a reunion-themed cocktail as an option at a cash bar at the actual reunion. Name the drink something clever, like “Reunion Rum Punch” or “Memory Lane Martini.”