Unique Celebration of Life Ideas for Turning a Funeral into a Extraordinary Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life Ideas, Find Great Ideas Below

These celebration of life ideas will help you plan a service with special touches that will leave friends and family with warm everlasting memories when they think of your loved one.

Candles create a special feeling of warmth. Consider having a candle at the entrance to the celebration of life. Here are a couple options for inspiration:


 You may also have families and friends light a candle. You could have a procession and put the candles around the casket or urn. Candles can then be given to families and friends as keepsakes at the end of the ceremony.  See our candles and memorial frames.
Memorial Heath with Candles

Memorial Heath with Candles

Create A Memory Tree

A memory tree is a place to capture special memories of your loved one. Family and friends take a card and write their memory on the card and then tie the card onto the tree branch. After the service, the tree can be put in a special place where you can go to it and read all the memories shared or you can take off the cards and put them in a special box where you can go back and read them from time to time.

You’ll need memory cards, ribbon, pens, a vase, a tree branch, some moss and a card for inside the vase.

The card could say:

Pat Johnston
As We Celebrate his Life
Please Share Your Special Memory

Here are some versions of memory trees. The branches on the left are manzanita. Place pencils alongside your tree with a sign asking guests to inscribe a memory on the card and to place it on the tree. Doves are symbols of love and harmony. Click to see our memory cards, dove cards and butterfly cards.

 Have A Memorial Balloon Release At The Celebration of Life

Consider a balloon release. Family and friends could write a note on a card attached to the balloon. You can find balloons at many grocery stores or in the Yellow Pages.

In order to keep a balloon release environmentally safe:

– Don’t tie anything to balloons that is not biodegradable.

– Only use biodegradable balloons- FYI latex is naturally occuring material made from tree sap.

– Always use fully inflated balloons, release shortly after filling.

See a sample invitation to a memorial balloon launch:

Balloon Launch Invitation

Balloon Launch Invitation

Wondering what to do with children at a funeral? Here’s an idea:

Children are no different than the rest of us, they have a very hard time understanding death and the feelings that come with the loss. Many therapists recommend having kids draw to help them express their feelings. Consider this celebration of life ideas setting up a table at the service with markers and paper where they can draw a picture. The pictures can be put in a book for a keepsake or they can be incorporated into cards and sent as Thank You notes.

Make Clay Hearts

A customer told me she was busy baking clay butterflies and hearts to give away at the celebration of life she was in charge of planning. She told me how much she enjoyed the process of making each and every one of them. I thought, what a great celebration of life idea! All she did is buy Sculpey Polymer Clay which can be found at most craft stores. She rolled colors she liked together (it’s sort of like play-doh it stays soft until you bake it). When you bake it looks and feels like clay. It can be sanded, drilled, carved or painted.

 Select a Unique Urn

We had a customer who was taken by our raku urns. She was buying it for herself. I liked her thinking –  she could enjoy it while she is still alive, and when her time comes her family will know she picked it out and that it was special to her. She was so kind to send us a photo of how lovely it looks in her home.

More Unique Memorials

 Memorial Banner

Let the entire community know that someone special has passed away with an aerial banner that flies over the memorial service, funeral or community event. Search for”aerial advertisement” and you will find companies who provide this service.

Celebration of Life Aerial Memorial Banner

Here’s a wonderful Celebration of Life Idea Fly an Aerial Memorial Banner

You may also want to consider personalized seeded cards that contain wildflowers. The cards can be placed on the memory table and friends and family can take them and keep the card as a keepsake and plant the seeds.

See Personalized Plantable Seed Cards and plantable forget-me-not bookmarks. Great for the person who loved to read and garden. Find more gift ideas here:  What do they hand out at funerals.

Unique Flower Arrangements

Visit our Unique Flower Arrangements for Funerals page for a bunch of great ideas for special flower arrangements that can personalize a celebration of life.

Read about people who have used unique ideas to create memorable tributes 

Have you found these ideas helpful? Check out this downloadable book with everything you need to create a personalized memorial service. It is only $7.50 and includes a handy checklist for planning a funeral. Planning a Life Celebration

Celebration of Life Ideas Guidebook

Celebration of Life Ideas Guidebook Including an easy to use checklist

We welcome your celebration of life ideas and suggestions, please email them to us at [email protected].

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Next Gen Memorials
Next Gen Memorials