Tips and Ideas for Holding a Celebration of Life

Tips and Ideas for Holding a Celebration of Life

Dealing with the death of a loved one is a harrowing emotional experience. Honoring the deceased doesn’t always have to be a traditional somber memorial where guests feel the weight of grief in their chest. Instead, consider a relatively upbeat alternative where friends and family are brought together to share fun memories of the dearly departed.

A celebration of life requires deliberate planning of all its elements. From the casket or ash storage placement to the music and even decorations, it must be agreed upon by family and close friends to create an environment that best represents the deceased.

What It Means to Celebrate Life

Remember the two dates engraved on grave markers? The first one represents the day one was born, and the second date represents the day they died. The dash in the middle represents the long and rich life that an individual lived.

This is what the celebration of life is about. It focuses on how they enjoyed their time on Earth and how they loved and were loved by those close to them.


A number of funeral homes offer an area to hold a celebration of life. However, some families prefer a more personal location such as their own backyard or a place close to the loved one’s heart.


A theme is usually assigned to determine the proper decorations. It can be as simple as the deceased’s favorite color or something related to a hobby they enjoyed in life. To set the tone, tables can be adorned with photos and other memorabilia. 

From disco to an art gallery, the venue can be transformed into anything the deceased love during their lifetime. Let your imagination run wild and make it happen.


Forget all-black outfits; this is not a traditional funeral, after all. The theme and season dictate the guests’ outfits of the day. You can choose to mandate costumes, specific colors, or custom shirts. Whatever the decision is, inform the guests about the expected attire well in advance.

Food and Drinks

Food brings everyone together, and it is always the center of any event. Create an inspiring atmosphere to celebrate the departed through meals by either serving their favorite food or signature recipes they developed.


Similar to food and drinks, music unites people and can help create an uplifting environment. Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs to bring back memories and connections among guests. You can also consider hiring a musician or a small band, but a curated playlist is an acceptable tribute to keep the costs down.

Tokens of Remembrance

Mementos or small tokens are the cherries on top of any personalized event. Consider the loved one’s biggest passions. If they were an avid comic book fan, send guests home with customized miniature toys. If they loved cooking, you could create a mini-cookbook. If they are known for their muffins, make sure that guests take some on the way home. These wonderful personal touches make an event memorable and heartfelt.

The beauty of a celebration of life is the ideas come from the life of the departed, so it is always unique. Take some inspiration below to help initiate the planning stage.

  • Organize a tournament inspired by the loved one’s favorite sport.
  • Set up an arts and crafts table where guests can make a craft as a souvenir from the event.
  • A puppy party or adoption event for an animal lover.


The options for a celebration of life are endless, but one thing is for sure—it is always special because it is honoring a life well-lived. You can draw ideas from everything the departed loved and enjoyed.

If you are looking for cemeteries in Jacksonville, FL, Evergreen is your best pick. By combining a cemetery, funeral home, and crematory in one, we offer families a cost-effective arrangement in one location. Reach out to us to start planning the best tribute for your loved one. 

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