Tips to Plan a Celebration of Life

If you are opting to plan a celebration of life instead of a memorial service or traditional funeral, it can be hard to get started, thinking of the best ways to memorialize your loved one. We have rounded up some tips to help you get started in planning your own celebration of life, one that is anything but somber, where lots of laughter and storytelling have time to be shared among family and friends.

Focus on what made the life of the deceased unique.

Celebrations of life aren’t funerals, or memorials, which is to say, they are governed by the same rules or social expectations as more traditional end-of-life ceremonies. Think about what made the deceased unique, and go from there. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Activities they loved. If they played a sport, a group could go to a game as an activity as part of the event. If they were a conservationist, perhaps a ceremonial tree planting.
  • Play their favourite music during the event, or read their favourite poems, excerpts of their favourite books, etc.
  • Serve a cuisine they loved to cook, or create a cocktail program based on their classic drinks.

Start with a guest list, and go from there.

Decide on how many people you would like to attend. A smaller, more intimate event? A large event, where an extended group of friends could be in attendance? This number will impact your choices of venue.

Make it personal!

Consider ways to make the event reflect the kind of person your loved one was. Allowing time for attendees to share personal anecdotes and stories; play songs; create and show a documentary or slideshow about their life will make the event truly special.

Pick a date.

A Celebration of life isn’t as bound by a specific time-frame after a death, therefore leaving more time to prepare, and allowing for you to select a date that works for the most people. Be careful to check with guests who are invited to travel to the event, to ensure there aren’t any huge conflicts (such as a holiday that might make air travel too expensive for some) and adjust as you are able.

Choose the location.

First, depending on the time of year, an indoor vs. outdoor location for the ceremony will need to be selected. Secondly, if food and beverage will be served, and for how many attendees, will help you determine what general size of venue will be required. If out-of-town guests will be travelling, accommodations for them will also need to be factored in.

Consider Poco Inn & Suites for your Celebration of Life ceremony. Arrange for a tour of our banquet room or to sit down with a hotel event planner. We will take the utmost care and consideration so that you and your guests’ memories of your wedding or celebration will be treasured forever!

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