When planning a service, it’s helpful to think of the unique qualities of the recently deceased and create a service that honors those traits. A personalized funeral will be memorable for friends and family and provide a feeling of closure knowing that the life of your loved one has been truly celebrated.
When searching for ways to personalize a funeral service, remember the moments you spent with the person and try to highlight the qualities that she or he are remembered for. Consider hobbies, subjects of interest and places where the person spent much of his or her time. It can help to make lists of their passions, achievements and memories you shared together. There are a number of ways that these lists can be incorporated into a service:
Photos and albums – We encourage you to make our home feel like yours, so please feel free to bring framed pictures, photo albums, or loose photos that we can use to make a collage. Photographs can also be used on the prayer cards or keepsake items.
Videos – A video in memory of the deceased is a way to share memories of your loved one featuring photographs and music that will be played during the services with copies for the family to take home.
Clothing worn by the deceased – A simple way to make a service more personal is by dressing the deceased in clothes that were significant to their life. For example, if the deceased was passionate about their work, their work uniform would complement the service. Another example would be if they were passionate about a sport, he or she could be dressed in their own jersey or the jersey of their favorite player.
Music – Live or pre-recorded music enhances a service and provides a moving addition. Some ways to use music in the service include:
- Create a mix of the deceased’s favorite music
- Hire musicians to play live music
- Play music the deceased wrote
- Encourage musical friends and family members to perform
Customized caskets - Casket interiors can be personalized with many options. These include but are not limited to material, color, design, embroidery. Casket corners are also available on a selection of caskets to add a meaningful symbol (ie. cross, angel, musical note, golf bag, rose).
Customized vaults - Vaults can now be personalized with an array of stock photographs as well as a photo of your loved one along with their name.
Memorialization - Many people choose to erect a monument at the grave of their loved one. The stone can be engraved with a personal message, appliqué, or photo.
Display of personal items – A common method for placing focus on the unique qualities of the deceased is to set up a display of their most cherished possessions. Items that were part of a collection, creative expressions or any items that provide some physical reminder of his or her personality are a great way to try to tell their story.
Customized funeral programs – The program handed to friends and family as they enter the service provides an easy opportunity to personalize a service. Use the program to display words of wisdom, photographs and/or memories of the deceased.
Meaningful floral arrangements – Choose the deceased’s favorite flowers or a flower with a specific meaning. For example, the red rose signifies love while the yellow rose signifies friendship. Also there are many florists in our area that can create a meaningful piece that represents your loved one. For example a slot machine for the casino lover or a sports symbol for an avid sports fan.
Distribute keepsakes – Distribute keepsake items to friends and families that honor the deceased in a special way. Possibilities include prayer cards, candles, and ornaments.
Bagpipes – Bagpipe music has roots in traditional Irish and Scottish funerals, but gradually became a tradition for firefighters and police officers. These days, bagpipes are commonly integrated into a service, playing tunes such as “Amazing Grace” and “Danny Boy”. They add a solemn, moving touch that is loved by many.
Readings - Have family or friends read passages from the deceased favorite book or poem. Have family and friends share their memories either by reading them at a service or adding them to a collective book of stories.
Cards that can be planted – The paper of these cards is compostable and embedded with seeds, ready to be planted. Each time you see the flowers in bloom, you’ll be reminded of your loved one.
Plant a tree - Planting a tree in memory of the deceased is a lovely way to symbolize the circle of life.
Release of balloons or butterflies – An enchanting addition to a service is the release of balloons or butterflies. Many companies are available to help provide these services. Balloons can be released with personal information imprinted on them or with something personal attached to them.
Dove release - A dove release is a potent symbol during a funeral service because the doves used in releases are trained to fly away home.
A Personalized funeral service touches friends and families and celebrates a life well-lived. We will help you plan a unique and meaningful celebration of life.