Celebration of Life Ideas

Published: April 9, 2022

A celebration of life is a personal and meaningful touch added to a funeral or memorial service in order to pay tribute to a life lived. As you consider the kind of celebration that best fits your loved one—or yourself, if you are planning ahead—remember that you are limited only by your imagination. Whether considering a simple tribute or a more elaborate event, we encourage you to find inspiration in the little things that made you or your loved one special.

Inspiration sparks ideas

A final tribute should be as special as the life it represents. If you are planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one, make it a celebration. How do you do that? Begin by looking for inspiration. How do you tell someone’s story in a single ceremony? Start with what they loved. Write down favorite memories to spark ideas and help bring a special touch to the funeral service.

Write down a few words or phrases to describe that special person. What were the things that made their eyes light up? Think about the activities they enjoyed, the places they visited, the food they loved and the music they listened to.

Whether you choose burial or cremation for yourself or a family member, Boyd Funeral home can help  you provide special touches. Everyone has a passion, a joy or a family tradition. Think about how to highlight that passion in a meaningful way. You can use the list below to spark ideas.

When you're ready, Boyd Funeral Home is here to help plan every detail of a celebration; one that perfectly honors the individual with a fitting tribute for family and friends. From flowers and music to catering and transportation, the professionals at Boyd’s can help carry out your plans just as you envisioned. Some ideas for personal touches at a funeral or memorial service can include:


You can release doves, balloons, lanterns (into the air or on water) or butterflies in a symbolic gesture of remembrance. For balloon or lantern releases, friends and family may also write personal notes of remembrance. 


If music was important, consider a live musical performance in your favorite style. Whether you choose jazz, classical, mariachi or something totally unique, Boyd Funeral Home can assist in creating custom playlists from a personal music collection or help to arrange live musicians to play at a final send-off. Music can become the centerpiece that ties together each piece of a special life celebration.

Funeral flowers

Consider displaying floral arrangements in ways that symbolize the life and passions of yourself or a loved one. A favorite type of flower is often a good way to begin. Or choose flowers in the color of a sports enthusiast’s favorite team. For a personal touch, consider replacing vases with beer pitchers, vintage cans, mason jars or painted wine bottles of your loved one’s favorite varietal.


As you plan the memorial service for yourself or a loved one, keep in mind that even the ride from the service location to the cemetery can be a memorable event. For a motorcycle enthusiast, you might include his or her motorcycle club. Line up their motorcycles and have someone drive your loved one’s bike into the chapel or cemetery. You can even place a loved one's photograph or urn in a sidecar. Did your loved one enjoy the serenity of paddling a kayak on a still lake? Carry a kayak with a photograph or urn to his or her final resting place. For a car enthusiast, let us help arrange a processional with hot rods and classic cars. For the equine or outdoor lover, maybe a horse-drawn carriage provides transportation for the casket.


Food is often central to occasions of remembrance. For a master gardener or farmer, create a menu that features a homegrown harvest. If a certain food was your loved one’s way of showing how much they cared for family and friends, honor that, too. Do you have a secret recipe everyone always asks for? Consider providing it to your funeral arranger during pre-planning so that it can be given as a precious memento or keepsake to friends and family at the service.


Whatever your passion, whatever meant the most, whatever was synonymous with your loved one, the service location can be transformed to reflect that. Boyd Funeral Home has helped families plan décor from muscle cars to train themes. Personal memorabilia or special collections can also be included in a service and can bring a unique and sentimental touch to the event.

Funeral attire

As traditional funeral services evolve into celebrations of life, funeral attire can reflect the uniqueness of your loved one. For example, attendees can be asked to wear a certain color to represent a favorite sports team, or a floral pattern to honor a gardener or patriotic colors to honor a veteran.

Legacy ideas

Honoring your loved one does not have to end after the service. Here are a few ways to keep their memory alive in the hearts and minds of others for years to come:

For animal lovers, consider partnering with a local animal shelter to host an adoption. Make a donation in his or her name or adopt a pet in a loved one's honor.

To pay tribute to an avid reader, donate books to your local library or start a book club with others who knew and loved your book enthusiast. Make the first book you read be your loved one’s favorite book.

For a sports lover, partner with your loved one’s favorite charity and host a memorial sporting event. It could be a basketball tournament, golf outing, softball game or tennis match.

Set up a scholarship in the name of a loved one's alma mater. Have your loved one’s degree, special interest or unique personality play a part in the qualification.

If your loved one appreciated the outdoors, host an annual event with friends and family to participate in something they cherished. Or host an annual picnic at their favorite spot.

Pass out packets of forget-me-not seeds or a favorite flower to remember a family member who loved to garden.

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