Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life With These Unique Funeral Ideas
The median national funeral cost is $7,640 for a service with a viewing and burial, but the cost can vary significantly depending on how you celebrate your loved one’s life. Choosing meaningful celebration ideas ensures your loved one is honored in a special way.
Figuring out how to plan a funeral can be overwhelming. Finding unique funeral ideas that honor the person’s memory and reflect their personality can make the memorial special.
Many unique memorial service, funeral, and celebration of life ideas are a little more casual or modern than traditional services. They’re perfect for someone who was non-traditional, as their memorial service reflects who they were in life.
Keep reading for unique ideas to incorporate when planning a funeral.
If your memorial service plans involve a procession from the memorial service to the cemetery, consider adding some unique vehicles to the lineup. You might put out a call for motorcycles or classic cars if your loved one was a fan. A line of tractors is a fitting way to honor a farmer.
You can also choose an alternative way to transport the casket from the service to the burial location. A horse-drawn carriage is a way to honor someone who loved horses, for example.
Loved One’s Interests
When planning a memorial service, consider how you can incorporate the interests of your loved one. This might include a theme for the service related to the interest or a related memorial service activity.
A fitting idea for someone who was an avid gardener is serving a meal made from home-grown foods. For an activity, you can set up a planting station, where everyone can take a small pot and plant seeds or seedlings. The plant becomes a memento that the guests can keep to remember your loved one.
For a huge sports fan, you might organize a memorial tournament featuring their sport of choice. It’s a more casual way to remember the person while keeping their interests as the focus.
Plan a memorial camping trip for an outdoor enthusiast. You can host the memorial service around the campfire and share special memories of your loved one.
You can also remember your loved one by enjoying some of the other interests the person enjoyed doing. Play their favorite games, screen a movie they loved, set up an art station in honor of an artist, or gather under the stars for stargazing in honor of an outer space enthusiast.
Take a literal walk down memory lane with this unique memorial service idea. Instead of just posting photos on a bulletin board in a funeral home, create memory stations along a walking path or around the property where you’re holding the memorial service. Include a photo and a description of the memory.
When guests arrive, they can walk along the path, stopping at each station to look at the photo and read the description. Guests can walk as quickly or slowly as they want, taking time to reflect on certain memories.
A slight variation of the memory walk is a memorial tour. If your loved one was active in many different spots around the local community, plan a tour of those spots. You can rent a bus to take everyone together or create a map and invite everyone to drive their own vehicles along the route.
Ideas for stops include the places where the deceased lived, worked, volunteered, or spent a lot of time. You can stop at recreational spots they enjoyed. If the group is small, you might plan a stop at the person’s favorite restaurant for a group meal where you can share memories.
If the person was cremated, you might spread ashes during the memorial tour. Check on state and local regulations for spreading ashes before you do so. For example, the EPA has guidelines for burial at sea of cremated remains that require the burial to take place at least 3 nautical miles from land.
Take group photos at each stop to create a keepsake of the day. You can post the pictures on social media with a hashtag so people can follow along with the memorial tour virtually.
Memories From Guests
Let funeral guests process their grief by sharing memories of the person who passed away. Everyone who attends has a unique relationship with the deceased, whether it’s through work, friendship, family, or community groups. You might not know the specific relationships or the special memories those people have with your loved one unless you ask them to share their memories.
One way to do this is to open up the microphone to attendees of the funeral or celebration of life. Have someone record the spoken memories so you can keep them to watch later.
Another option is to create a memory station where guests can write special memories. Stones with markers or decorative cards are examples.
Going virtual helps connect those who can’t be at the service themselves. It’s also a good way to look back at the memories after the service.
Creating a hashtag for the unique memorial service is one way to group together the shared virtual memories. You can also create a Facebook group or similar social media page where everyone can share memories and photos before, during, and after the service.
Traditional funeral attire brings to mind black clothes, suits and ties, and dresses. Not everyone is that traditional, though. An easy way to reflect your loved one’s personality is by asking guests to dress in a certain way.
A simple option is to request everyone wear your loved one’s favorite color. If the person had a favorite sports team, you can ask guests to wear shirts with the team’s logo or colors.
If you want to have more fun with it, pick a dress-up theme related to something your loved one loved. Maybe they were a Star Wars fanatic, so you ask everyone to dress up as Star Wars characters. For a child’s funeral, guests might dress up as super heroes or something else the child loved.
Dressing a particular way makes the service a little more casual. It can add a happy touch to a very sad occasion and honor something the person loved.
Plan Unique Funeral Ideas
Choosing unique funeral ideas helps personalize your loved one’s memorial service. It allows you to honor someone special in a way that’s meaningful and memorable.
If you’re faced with planning a funeral for a loved one, contact us for help in planning a unique memorial service.