Etiquette for Homecoming Reunions (Do's and Don'ts)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

At the end of the month, Terry and I will be attending his 20 year high school reunion.  And of course, whenever I think of a high school reunion I always think about this movie...

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
So we do not make the same hilarious mistakes of Romy and Michele, I'm happy to be sharing with you a guest post from Kristen Swope.  Kristen sent me an email stating she read my recent blog post on a reunion I had with some previous co-workers (now best buds) from The Clarion Ledger and she had some tips she thought would be great to share with my readers.  I hope you enjoy her list of do's and don'ts below.


"When you get to a certain age, invitations to homecoming reunions start to arrive in the mail.  Being in my late thirties, my husband and I have been getting reunion invitations in the mail for quite some time. Even though I have kept up with many of my friends from college and high school, (or caught up with them on various social networks) I still get a rush from the idea of seeing all those faces again and have responded yes to most invites from homecoming reunions either on my husband's side of mine.

These unions can be social landmines though, and seeing old flames while you have your husband or child in tow can get pretty hairy at times.  Even seeing old friends you have had a falling out with can be a thorn on the otherwise happy occasion.  After going to a few of these events, I've compiled a few do's and don'ts on etiquette for attending reunions.

DO:  Dress to impress.  Like's article, I think we should look our best at any occasion, and at a homecoming reunion, coming in confident and impeccably dressed will determine your mood for the whole soiree.  Dress appropriately for the occasion.  If it's an afternoon barbecue, wear something more casual like a summer dress or a white linen shirt with jeans.  If it is a hotel ballroom affair, a little black dress with hells that you're comfortable with is always a classic.  Dressing to impress doesn't necessarily mean to impress others, but having you at your most comfortable and confident will definitely radiate through your persona.

DON'T:  Wear your skimpiest outfit because you lost a lot of weight since high school.  It may encourage unwanted attention or give off a trying too hard vibe.  I've seen this happen twice, too often I see conflict arise from a husband trying to fend off his recently slimmed down wife's admirers as they tried to get closer than what is appropriate.

DO:  Be polite.  Ask others how they have been.  Introduce yourself with anecdotes from high school.  Congratulate your former classmates on their successes and console them on their losses.  Introduce your hubby to your former boyfriends if you have remained friends, just don't go reminiscing about your past with him around;  it can be hurtful to one of the other to do so.

DON'T:  Gossip.  While it can be truly tempting to do so, gossiping can only lead to trouble at reunions. Never repeat what a casual acquaintance offered as a snide remark about your friends to their faces.  Don't giggle in the bathroom with your girlfriends about how an old high school crush has gone to seed.  Hearing bad things said about you can really hurt, so don't do it to others in a vulnerable situation.

DO:  Keep your alcohol intake in check.  While a sip of beer of half a glass of wine is definitely fine, drinking too much is a party to trouble at reunions.  Keep alternating sips with water if you're a light drinker, and tell others that you have to drive after the event so as to politely decline more offers of libation.

DON'T:  Party like it's 1999 (or worse).  Sure, seeing old friends can be a blast, but drinking until you see you lunch come up or forgetting what happened the night before?  Not really.  By drinking only what you can handle, you'll still have fun and the respect of your classmates afterward.

DO:  Socialize with the while group.  The whole point of a homecoming reunion is to catch up with everyone, and by sticking to one group, you will be alienating others.  Learn about how your other classmates have been and circulate.

DON'T:  Create an adult clique.  Adults are not free from creating social cliques, where we end up just how we were in high school, forgetting that other people exist too.

A homecoming reunion can be nerve-wracking, but it can also be one of the most fulfilling events to go to.  Make yours a memorable one with the proper etiquette for a good time!"

The guest blog post was written by proud WAHM (work at home mom) Kristen Swope, who does freelance writing about everything from swimming pools to home lighting.  She devotes most of her quality time to taking care of her five-year-old-daughter Isabel, and being a loving companion to husband John.  She lives in Fremont, California in a house with a kidney-shaped swimming pool.


Thank you Kristen for this great post!  I'm ready for his high school reunion, now!

Do you agree with Kristen's do's and don'ts?  What kind of pointers do you have for reunions?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


  1. Great post! My former high schools have had reunions recently but it has been difficult for me to attend due to the death of my identical twin sister in 2008. I hope the day will come when I can attend these events and not feel uncomfortable. Take care and my best wishes to you.

  2. Gotta love Romi and Michelle's reunion hehe. These are great tips that I will have to look back for my next reunion :-)

  3. First, LOVE Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion! Post-its? haha

    Second, GREAT advice from Kristen.... even though I just don't like reunions (my 20th is coming up in about 3yrs and I didn't attend my 10th), I think the advice given is awesome!

  4. Love this (and the Romy and Michelle reference...classic).

    I avoided my reunion like the plague. When Chris's 10 year came up he said outright he wasn't going...and apparently that was the feeling of 95% of the Class of '98. Only 5 people showed up to theirs.


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