The older we get, the more life event ceremonies we attend. School graduations. Baptisms. Bar Mitzvahs. Quinceañeras. Weddings. Even funerals.

How many funerals have you been to? One? None? Several?  Have you ever been to a really memorable funeral? One that even though you may have been dealing with the loss of a family member or friend, it still left you with lasting memories for years because it was a fitting tribute to someone special to you.

No matter if the funeral service is formal or casual, there is one thing common to a good, meaningful service: it reflects the life of the person being remembered.

When planning a service, which we recommend doing in advance, here are some tips to keep in mind to help you create a more memorable tribute:

  • Keep it personal – The funeral is about the life lived. It should reflect the interests, likes, hobbies and all the other things that made him or her who they were. What were their favorite colors? Hobbies? Sports teams? Sayings? Which leads to the next tip…
  • Music – Select music that makes you think of the person and what the person liked. If they are a fan of a particular artist or group, or had their own “theme” song, include it in the ceremony.  The right music can also help turn tears of grief to smiles of happy remembrance.
  • Giveaways – Provide something for attendees to take home in addition to the program or memorial card. A piece of candy that was the favorite of the deceased. A bookmark with a photo. A Christmas ornament. A photo button. A pen with the deceased’s name. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just meaningful.
  • Be lighthearted – Funerals are certainly emotional and people are grieving. But do recall the fun and happy times and lighthearted touches in a funeral. If a memory makes you smile or laugh out loud despite your tears, that’s a beautiful testament to a life well lived.


  • Plan ahead – Ok, so you knew we would say it. But the fact is, it is difficult to put together a meaningful memorial while you are grieving. By doing it ahead of time, you have time to reflect, discuss with your loved ones, and really focus on the person being honored. We can help. Give us a call at 888-204-3131 or visit us at to learn how you can plan ahead.