A big part of Estate Planning includes End of Life planning, and part of that can include making sure your wishes for funeral arrangements, memorials or burials are known. Whether you’re making your own End of Life plan, or you’re planning a celebration of life for a recently passed friend or family member, our list of memorial service ideas could be exactly what you’ve been searching for.
When thinking about what should a memorial service include, there really is no right or wrong answer. They can be grand and over the top, or they can be intimate and touching. Simple memorial service ideas can often be the best, and you really only need to do one thing: think about your loved one. What would he or she have wanted? Were they the life of the party, or did they enjoy the quiet things in life? You won’t go wrong if you let their memorial service reflect who they were and the life they lived.
Deciding who speaks at a memorial service is another way you can really pay tribute to the life you just lost. A sure bet is asking those closest to the decedent to pay tribute with a speech or performance of some kind – a reading, song or poem are all good places to start. The people who knew us best are so often the ones who will know how to conduct a memorial service that really honors a loved one.
Top 6 Memorial Service Ideas for Any Budget
Looking for ideas for a memorial service that will perfectly pay respect to your loved one? We list a few of our top favorites below – from touching memorial service ideas for mom to unique memorial ideas for the friend or loved one who nobody else compares to, you’ll find the perfect way to say goodbye.
Find the perfect quotes
Display memories from time spend in the Armed Forces
Celebrate what they loved or were known for
Use candles to set the tone
Set up a stone station
Create a memory tree
Idea 1 – Find the Perfect Quotes
Find creative ways to display quotes that describe your loved one or symbolize the type of life they lived. You can use decorative chalkboards, hand painted wood signs or any other way to display the memorable quotes around the memorial.
Idea 2 – Display Memories from Time Spent in the Armed Forces
A memory table is a wonderful way to pay tribute by displaying photos, memorabilia, medals and other trinkets from a person’s life and time in the service. Memorial service ideas for dad or someone else who served in the Armed Forces can include tables with framed photos, pictures of them in uniform, medals of honor, their passport or anything else that serves to symbolize their time in the military. Consider setting up several stations, so people can walk around at their leisure and reminisce about a truly honorable life.
Idea 3 – Celebrate What They Loved and were Known for
Was your friend or loved one part of an organization or group that meant a lot to them? Did their ideals from being associated with this group trickle into every aspect of their life? Share that in the celebration. Have everyone wear clothing or colors that represent this important part of their life.
Idea 4 – Use Candles to Set the Ambiance
A touching glow from candlelight can set the mood for an intimate and special celebration. Place candles all around the service, and light them throughout the day. If your loved one was known for a holiday or food, scented candles can be a nice representation of what they were best at. For example – did they love Christmas time? Were their decorations over the top? Did they have the best gingerbread cookies on the block? Candles in scents of pine or gingerbread can conjure special memories for guests, as the warm aromas take them back to all the times they spent with your loved one.
Idea 5 – Set up a Stone Station
Baby memorial service ideas can be the hardest ones to come up with. Losing a young life is one of the most difficult things we can ever go through, and saying goodbye to a life that wasn’t given the chance to flourish is heartbreaking. Set up a station with small stones and permanent markers, and let guests write short sayings and quotes on the stones for the family to keep. They will treasure this special, unique sentiment.
Idea 6 – Create a Memory Tree
Memory books are not the only way to give guests the opportunity to express their sentiments and love for the life you’re celebrating. Use decorative branches as a frame, secure them in a pot or in floral foam with flowers or moss covering the base, and leave out slips of paper with loops attached for sweet notes and messages to be written and hung on branches. Add a nice framed picture to the table to complete the look.
Memorial Service Decoration Ideas
The decor you select for the day of remembrance will set the tone for the memorial service etiquette guests should exhibit. If you’re going for a casual, low key day that will consist of an informal setting, jokes and laughter, the atmosphere should reflect that. If you want a somber, quiet, reflective day, you can have a more elegant look and feel to the decor.
Classic flowers – Flowers are the hallmark of an elegant memorial service. Whites and pinks along with striking dark green leaves and accents can be the perfect, classic way to set the tone for a sophisticated day.
Painting or framed artwork – If you have time, having a painting made of your loved one can be a sweet tribute and add a special touch to the day. It’s also something the family will cherish forever.
DIY centerpieces – Whether you’re on a budget or not, creating centerpieces yourself can not only create a beautiful setting, it can also allow you to bring in pieces that symbolize your loved one’s character and personality. For example, if they were an avid hiker, an outdoors person or a fishing and camping aficionado, use sprigs of pine trees or wildflowers as decor.
Beach setting – Beach memorial service ideas can be both breathtaking and magical. The crashing waves on the sand, candles in glass hurricanes, seashells on the tables, all create a somewhat mystical space fit to say goodbye to a loved one. There’s something about the grand beauty and power of the ocean that makes beach ceremonies unlike any other. Can’t get to a beach? Bring the beach indoors using the same sand, seashell and candle decor on tables.
Saying goodbye is never easy. But there can be something cathartic and peaceful about creating a day that allows you to both grieve, and celebrate, a life well-lived.
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And if you’re ready to ensure your final wishes are documented so your family won’t have to stress over memorial service ideas for you — Check out what Trust & Will has to offer and learn more about how we’ve streamlined the Estate Planning process.