a swing in a garden is one of the many celebration of life ideas

7 Celebration of Life Ideas

One of the most powerful, comforting ways you can say goodbye to someone you love is to make the funeral, burial, or reception a celebration of life. Planning a celebration of life is a personal project. There are a wide variety of ways to do it, and you want to find something that feels right to you. Here are a few of our favorite celebration of life ideas to honor your loved one.

A Memorial DVD of Photos

Gather pictures from their entire life, starting with their childhood, and create a slideshow set to some of their favorite songs. This can be a nice intermission or background to the reception.

Share Stories

Host an open mic of sorts, where anyone who would like to share a story of your loved one is free to do so. Tears may flow, but it can be a great time of love and laughter. Friends and family often get to hear stories of their loved one that they’d never heard before.

Choose a Theme

If your loved one was partial to a certain color, sports team, animal, or hobby, incorporate those elements into the decor of your reception. You could ask that everyone send yellow flowers, share memories of time spent watching the big game with your loved one, or have a horse-drawn hearse take him or her from the funeral home to the burial. We’ve even had a motorcycle brigade escorting the hearse in honor of an avid, life-long motorcyclist.

Plant a Tree

Planting a tree at the cemetery (if allowed), the deceased’s favorite park, or in your backyard is a beautiful gesture of love. This can be done privately, of course, or you can invite all the guests to share in the ceremony. You could also give tree seedlings to each guest, and ask them to tell you about where they plant it.

Create a Memorial Garden

If you host the reception at your home, take time to turn a small patch of soil in your backyard, plant your loved one’s favorite flowers or vegetables, and decorate it with stones and a bench. Lay a concrete path and press small mementos or etch quotes into the cement before it dries.

Make Donations in Your Loved One’s Name

This could include the memorial money sent by friends and family or your loved one’s personal belongings. You could ask each guest at the celebration of life service to bring an appropriate gift that can then be donated to your loved one’s favorite cause, or the charity can be named in the obituary.

Make a Scrapbook

Ask guests to write their favorite memories or share a photo of your loved one, and compile them together in a book. Now you have something you can look back on and see how others remembered your loved one.

Celebration of Life Ideas that Bring Resolution

No matter how you choose to do it, finding a unique way to pay tribute to your loved one brings resolution and comfort for all of their family and friends. Choose something that they would have loved and you will be well on your way to a fitting celebration of life event.


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