4 Tips for Planning a Celebration of Life for a Loved One
If you’re planning a celebration of life for a loved one, you’ll likely want it to be meaningful and reflective of that person – Here are 4 tips to consider.
Losing a loved one derails your life for a moment. The pain is unbearable, and the worst part is having to think about all the things that need to be done while you’re grieving.
Perhaps you want to avoid the somber, formal proceedings of a funeral in favor of a celebration that encapsulates your loved one’s spirit.
Planning a celebration of life allows you to do just that, personalizing the celebration to make it everything that the departed would have loved.
We know that trying to put together an event in this difficult time is no easy feat. So, we’ve put together a guide with four essential tips to help you plan the perfect celebration of life.
1. Celebration of Life Ideas
The first step to planning a celebration of life is to consider the type of celebration you’d like to have.
If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you knew the departed very well. While you’re brainstorming ideas, it’s important to make that person the focus, but also to consider the mourners and loved ones, too.
When you’re trying to come up with different celebration of life ideas, you can consider a couple of important things.
Firstly, what were the spiritual beliefs of your loved one? If they were deeply religious, then it goes without saying that there should be a strong religious element in their celebration of life service.
Think about their distinctive qualities and characteristics, their passions, and life dreams, and try to embody this in the celebration of life.
For example, perhaps your loved one was a music enthusiast. You can ensure that this takes center stage by incorporating live music and singing.
Or maybe your loved one has an ancient heritage, and you’d like to include some old traditions and rituals.
2. How to Plan a Celebration of Life
A celebration of life differs from the traditional funeral service. It’s more like a party with a purpose — to remember a loved one and show gratitude for the beautiful life that they lived.
It’s festive and fun, rather than somber and muted. Of course, it will be bittersweet, but often this service takes place weeks or months after the burial when grief is not at its peak.
So, the most important thing to consider is timing. Of course, you may choose to do it immediately.
But as mentioned above, for a celebration of life, it’s completely acceptable to wait several weeks or months after the passing. This is often preferable, so that a celebration, rather than mourning, can take place.
Consider the loved ones and guests, too. Do they need time to grieve before attending a celebration? Think about yourself too. Planning a celebration in the wake of a loss is no easy feat.
After settling on the date, the next thing to consider is the guests.
You may want to keep it small and intimate or invite as many people as possible.
This will also depend on what the departed would have wanted. Were they a socialite who would love the thought of a huge celebration? Or did they prefer intimacy and small group situations?
Next, you’ll need to choose a venue. Perhaps you’ll choose a religious location if your loved one followed a religion. If not, then consider your budget and the number of guests.
To save money, you could throw the celebration in your home or the home of a family member.
3. Planning a Celebration of Life Checklist
There is a lot that goes into planning a celebration of life, especially if you want to make it an elaborate and extravagant party.
You need to think of food, invites, venues…and more. Here is a quick celebration of life checklist to help you out:
- Guestlist – determine the number of people you’ll invite
- Send invites – this should be done as much in advance as possible
- Venue – book venue in advance according to number of guests
- Food – plan menu, catering, or homemade options
- Beverage – catering, open bar, or DIY beverages
- Music – decide on the celebration of life songs and live music
- Speakers – will there be speakers? Plan with friends and loved ones
- Photographer/Videographer – hire a professional or speak to a friend
- Personalizations – photo memory board, screening home videos, etc
- Decor – flowers, ornaments, themed decorations, etc
- Mementos – consider gifting guests special fingerprint jewelry
Of course, each of these checklist items may change slightly according to the type of celebration of life that you have decided to plan. For example, you may do a certain theme, perhaps you want to include dress-up, or games.
Personalize it as much as possible to resemble the uniqueness of your loved one.
4. Celebration of Life Program
You may choose to throw the idea of a program out of the window in lieu of a completely informal event — party style.
However, if you plan to have some friends and family members do a speech, if you’re going to show a video, play a game, or anything similar, it’s a good idea to have a program.
You can send this program out with the invitations so that the guests know what to expect and to be present at the important parts of the day/night.
A program is also important for you as a planner, to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Focus on Planning a Celebration of Life
Planning a celebration of life is bittersweet, sometimes very sad and overwhelming, and there’s a lot to think about.
With these four tips, you are prepared to plan a special celebration of life for your departed loved one that embodies their unique personality and celebrates their full life.
We know how difficult it is to lose a loved one. If you’ve lost someone special in your life and are in need of cremation services, contact us today.
We can take care of all of your requirements so that you can focus on grieving and planning a beautiful service.