Planning a Memorial Service

5 Ways to Personalize a Funeral

by Wade Watkins

Funeral services extend far beyond transportation, embalmment, and disposition of the departed. You are likely to call upon a funeral director to organize a dignified funeral service in your moment of loss. To honor your loved one, you can incorporate ideas to tell the stories of the life lived. Here are funeral planning ideas to personalize the service.

1. Be Creative with Photo Displays 

You are likely to look through albums or galleries to find photos of your loved one. Visual elements tell the story of your loved one's life with images. Some photo display ideas include:

  • A tree with photo displays.

  • A memory board or memory wreath.

  • A hand-designed collage.

  • A digital slideshow.

2. Ask Guests to Write Down Memories

You could set aside a notebook and let interested guests share a memory or condolence message. You can also get paper pieces for attendants to write a message as a way to honor your loved one. This way, you will make everyone feel involved in the service. What's more, you and other family members now have long-term tributes to your loved one.

3. Show Off Your Loved One's Life Sector

If your loved one was an associate of a community they loved, show off that sector of their life. Many communities have a color, clothes, or symbol of representation. You could embrace the colors or set the community's symbols as part of the funeral service. In addition, you could suggest that friends and family wear clothes associated with a sports team, hobby, or organization the deceased held dear.

4. Light Up the Environment

Celebratory events usually involve sessions to light up the sky or environment. Funeral services can also incorporate a celebration of a life well-lived. You could gather family and friends at a designated location and give each a lantern to release. The attendees can all release the lanterns at once or do so one by one as they bid goodbye.

5. Sow Seeds of Memory

Many people plant memorial trees to acknowledge that the departed lives on. You could package seeds of a particular plant or flower, which guests can plant at their homes. Alternatively, you could gather the attendees for a planting session in a special place.


Funeral services give you a chance to bid bye to your loved one and gather with your family and friends to grieve. In addition to the traditional way, incorporate personalization in the funeral planning to reflect the life of your loved one. The goal is to honor the departed's life, and you can do so in a unique style.