How to Plan a Celebration of Life Ceremony for Your Deceased Loved One

by Carter Toni

When someone you love passes away, one of the most healing ways to approach their funeral is to hold a wake or—if you want a more upbeat event in honor of your loved one—a celebration of life ceremony. This type of event is often held after a loved one has passed away, and it’s a chance for family and friends to come together, share memories, and celebrate the life of the person who has passed away.

Unlike funerals, celebration of life ceremonies are typically less formal and more celebratory. The focus is on celebrating their life, after all, not mourning their death. This can be a healing experience for those who attend, as it allows them to focus on the positive memories they have of their loved one.

If you’re interested in planning a celebration of life ceremony for your deceased loved one, these top tips will help you get the ball rolling.

· Find the Right Location

The location of the celebration of life ceremony is an important consideration. You may want to choose a location that was special to your loved one, such as their favorite park or beach. Alternatively, you may want to choose a location that can accommodate all of your guests, such as an event hall. Event halls for funerals and wakes usually also cater for celebration of life ceremonies, and provide everything you need including seating, cold buffets, and more. You can then go in and decorate if necessary.

· Plan for Food and Drinks

Celebration of life events, like memorials or wakes, typically last for several hours. Providing food and drink will therefore mean your guests will not go hungry and end up leaving early, and can also help put everyone at ease. The meals in question could be as simple as coffee and pastries, or as elaborate as a full meal. Cold buffets are typically the happy medium between the two. When finding catering or bringing food, make sure to take into account any dietary restrictions or preferences when planning the menu.

· Create a Program

A program can help keep the celebration of life ceremony organized and on track. You may want to include music, poetry readings, or other performances as part of the program. You may also want to include a slideshow or video tribute to your loved one. Take advantage of the fact that a celebration of life ceremony can take place days or even months after the funeral to give yourself the time needed to compilethe multimedia elements and test them out before the event.

· Invite the Guests

Once you have a date, time, and location set for the celebration of life ceremony, it’s time to start inviting guests. You can create invitations to send out via email, mail, or social media, or you can simply call or text your loved ones to invite them. Make sure to include any important details, such as the time, date, location, and dress code.

· Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life Together

The most important part of a celebration of life ceremony is coming together with friends and family to honor the memory of your loved one. This type of event is all about celebrating their life and legacy, and sharing memories and stories with one another. Take the time to enjoy each other’s company, and to reflect on the positive impact your loved one had on your lives.

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