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How to Host a High School Reunion

Last updated: March 27, 2024

In this guide, I’m going to help you host an incredible high school reunion.

I’ll walk you through a few key steps to throw a high school reunion that’ll have your classmates talking about it for years to come.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Host a memorable high school reunion in just two hours.
  • Choose the perfect date for your event.
  • Keep the reunion concise and engaging.
  • Effectively send invitations and secure RSVPs.
  • Build anticipation with reminder messages.
  • Organize the reunion day with creative name tags and icebreakers.
  • Successfully end your 2-hour cocktail party.
Why you should listen to me: My name is Nick Gray. I’ve hosted hundreds of parties all over the world. After making it a habit, I can easily host a gathering and make new friends with no sweat. New York Magazine once called me a host of “culturally significant” parties.

Decide and Commit

Make the decision to host your high school reunion. It might seem daunting at first, but trust me, it’s worth it. Once you’re committed to the idea, you’re on the right track.

Pick the Perfect Date

Choose a date that’s approximately three weeks from today.

Here’s a little tip: aim for Tuesday or Wednesday night. These days are what I call “non-socially competitive days”, making it easier for your fellow alumni to attend and enjoy themselves.

Keep It Under 2 Hours

Now, the key to a successful high school reunion in just two hours is to keep it concise.

You don’t need a marathon event. Two hours is perfect for catching up and having a blast without overwhelming anyone.

Send Out Invitations

Reach out to your friends, colleagues, and neighbors from high school. Spread the word and get them excited about the upcoming reunion.

Create an RSVP page, as this will help you be more organized and this will set the expectations for the reunion. Be sure to ask everyone to RSVP and confirm their attendance.

Send Reminder Messages

To get everyone hyped for the big day, send out three reminder messages leading up to the party.

Share some fun and relevant information about your high school days. Keep everyone informed about the schedule, special announcements, and planned presentations.

Essential Supplies for Hosting a High School Reunion

A high school reunion requires careful planning and close attention to detail, making it a labor of love to organize.

It’s essential to have the necessary materials available if you want to guarantee your event runs smoothly.

The following checklist includes all you need to know to throw an unforgettable high school reunion, from setting a warm and inviting ambiance to preserving priceless memories.

  • Decorations: Utilize school colors, banners, and memorabilia to evoke a strong sense of school spirit.
  • Memory Lane Photo Showcase: Establish a photo wall showcasing images from high school days. Encourage attendees to contribute their own photos, creating a visual timeline of shared memories.
  • Printed Guest Bios: Instead of a guest book, opt for a printed Guest Bios instead. This includes a short introduction for each guest and their contact information.
  • Refreshments and Catering: Ensure an ample supply of food and beverages, considering dietary preferences and restrictions, whether through professional catering or a potluck-style or just basic snacks and seltzers.
  • Music and Entertainment: Craft a playlist with hits from high school years or consider hiring a DJ to infuse a festive atmosphere.
  • Signage and Guidance: Incorporate signage for easy navigation, providing directions to key locations like restrooms or snack bars.
  • Audio-Visual Equipment: Prepare necessary equipment for speeches and presentations.

Success in hosting a high school reunion lies not just in planned activities but also in the thoughtful consideration of supplies that enhance the overall experience. By addressing these essential items, you’re well on your way to hosting a reunion that leaves a lasting impression on all attendees.

The Day of the Reunion

Weeks of planning and preparation have led to this moment, and now it’s time to ensure that every detail is executed flawlessly for a memorable event that will be cherished by all attendees. Here’s a guide to help you navigate and make the most of the day of the reunion:

Name Tags with a Twist

Use name tags with first names only. This encourages everyone to reconnect and learn each other’s names all over again. Incorporate class year displays to spark conversations.

Do Three Icebreakers

Start the evening with three quick icebreakers. Share funny high school stories, play a quick trivia game, or have everyone reminisce about their favorite high school memory.

These icebreakers will get everyone chatting and laughing in no time.

Capture the Moment

Don’t forget to take a group photo. It’s a great way to document the evening and create lasting memories. Plus, everyone loves a good group photo!

End on a High Note

Finally, stick to the two-hour limit. As tempting as it might be to keep the party going, ending on time is essential. It leaves everyone with a taste of nostalgia and a desire for more, setting the stage for future reunions.


In just two hours, you can host a high school reunion that’s filled with laughter, reconnecting with old friends, and creating unforgettable memories.

So, decide to take the plunge, pick that perfect date, keep it short and sweet, send out those invitations, and make sure to add some fun touches to your reunion.

Your high school reunion is bound to be a hit, and you’ll have your fellow alumni thanking you for bringing back those high school vibes in the best way possible.

Who says you need a whole weekend to celebrate the good old days? Here’s to making your high school reunion an event to remember! Cheers!

In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone interested in meeting new people.

When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus, I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties, and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.

Leave a comment on this article here.

About the author

Nick Gray is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and in a popular TEDx talk. He sold his last company Museum Hack in 2019. Today he’s an expert on networking events, small parties, and creating relationships. Read more about Nick Gray here.

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