How to Plan a Life Celebration and Personalize a Memorial Service and Turn it into a Celebration of Life

Planning a Celebration of Life? Use these memorial service ideas to turn a funeral into a memorable Life Celebration.  This page contains ideas for creating a personal memorial service. Use one or several of them to turn a run-of-the-mill funeral into a memorable celebration of life.  From Memory Tables and Memory Boards to Register Books, there are a lot of ways to make a funeral interesting and unique to your loved one, and to preserve the memories of the guests and family who attend.  For more cool funeral ideas, visit What do They Hand Out at Funerals.

Memorial Idea: Create a Memory Table and Memory Boards


 Memorial Pocket Charms (click on photos for more info)

More memorial charms and favors

Memory Boards

Create a memory board photo collage to display at the funeral or memorial service.  Guests can gather around the photos and reminisce.

Click to order kit for creating professional looking memory boards

How Can I have Family and Friends Share Their Memories?

Memorial Notecards: (click for more info)

Consider lined 3” x 5” cards that say, “My Special Memory of You ”. They become a reflection of ancestors’ lives for generations to come.  They are available for purchase here: Memorial gifts and cards

Memory Trees are beautiful way to collect memories and thoughts from the guests. The memory cards are tied onto trees like leaves.  View this page for examples and ideas.

Memory Books / Guest Books:

Guest books are not very practical as they require people to wait in line at the service. Unless feelings and memories are shared, what is the long term use of a guest book? If feelings and memories are shared, the wait could become very long and delay the service.

When planning a celebration of life you may want to consider a memory book/guest book/photo album combination.  This register book is ideal for capturing the essence of the person, their passions, hobbies, interests, accomplishments and family history. You’ll want to make completing the book a family activity. Encourage children, grandchildren and all family members to participate. It will be therapeutic and rewarding; collecting photos, memory cards, notes and letters. Share friends and family’s personal memories by inserting the “My Special Memory of You” cards into the book. Additionally, the book can be used as a guest book at the life celebration. This book will be treasured for generations to come.

Writing Letters as a Form of Grieving

Many grief counselors recommend letter writing as a way to begin to work through the grief process. It’s becoming more popular for the host of the service to suggest attendees bring a letter to the departed. By writing their thoughts they will be able to express how they are feeling. People also want to contributing in some way to the service. The letters are commonly placed in the casket (some caskets now have drawers especially for this purpose). If the person is cremated the letters are included placed inside the urn.

Unique Flower Arrangements

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

Using Photos Creatively

Photos can be incorporated into the service. View this page for some cool funeral photo ideas:  Unique Funeral Photo Ideas.

How can I help my guests connect?

One of our customers named Linda Lee provided everyone with name tags when they walked in. Her mother was 85 years old and most of her friends were about the same age and many were suffering from memory loss. She didn’t want her mother’s friends to be embarrassed for not remembering names of people they hadn’t seen in years. Her mother’s favorite color was pink so she got plain white labels from the office supply store and put a pink border on them using

Nametags for Funerals

Nametags for Funerals

the computer. The pink bordered tags were then given to a couple close friends who sat at the front on the reception area at a table writing out name tags. The tags not only said the person’s name but the relationship to her mother. For example, Esther Hodges (High School Friend, Class of 1938). It’s rare that everyone knows each other at a service. If everyone has a name tag that says not only the person’s name but the relation to the deceased it makes the service much more personal. The name tags also gives guests conversations starters.

Download our nametag template for Avery 5164 stickers: Nametag Word Document Pink (Microsoft Word Document) or Nametag Template for Word: Dark Green


View more resources for planning a funeral:
Funeral poems and memorial verses.   Funeral and memorial songs.

How to write an obituary.   How to give a funeral eulogy.

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

Planning a Celebration of Life Guidebook

Planning a Celebration of Life Guidebook

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Next Gen Memorials
Next Gen Memorials