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15 Event Ideas for a Funeral or Celebration of Life

Historically, most funerals were held at a funeral home or place of worship, but today, many people are branching out in order to host an event that they feel best represents their loved one. While holding a service at one of these traditional spots may still be the best choice for you, here are some other ideas that you may not have considered. (All could be either the main event or a follow up to a traditional service.)

1. Dine at their favorite restaurant

Bring everyone together at one of your loved one’s favorite spots, and swap memories over dishes that remind you of them.

People gathering in the park

2. Gather in a park

If the person you lost loved being outside, consider gathering in a spot where they would have wanted to spend a day.

3. Attend a sports game

Honor the memory of someone by gathering friends and family to watch your loved one’s favorite sports team.

4. Host a potluck

Minimize the number of logistics that you need to manage by hosting a potluck. It will let you connect with friends and family of your loved one without feeling like you need focus on organizing.

5. Convene at their favorite bar

To remember someone who used to love to spend time with friends at the bar, gather there to exchange stories.

People volunteering together

6. Volunteer together

If your loved one was passionate about a specific cause, suggest that everyone volunteer together to honor their memory.

7. Meet for brunch

For something a little more casual, get together with friends and family over a brunch.

8. See a show

If you’ve lost someone who was a lover of the arts, consider attending a favorite performance as a group.

Cooking at a barbeque

9. Host a barbeque

Hosting a barbeque can be a great way to get friends and family together in a casual outdoor environment. You can even choose some special dishes that remind you of your loved one.

10. Hold cocktail hour

If the person you’ve lost loved to get dressed up and mingle, consider hosting a cocktail hour. You can serve a favorite cocktail, beer or wine and any small appetizers that they loved.

11. Spend a day at the beach

To honor someone who loved the ocean, consider a get-together at the beach. If you want to keep things casual, ask everyone to bring a picnic item to share.

12. Host a game night

A game night can be a great way to honor and remember someone who loved games and competition. Set up several games, so people can play and exchange memories in small groups.

13. Take part in their favorite activity

Whether your loved one was a frequent golfer, avid bowler or enthusiastic hiker, get everyone together to enjoy that activity and remember the time they had that person.

People participating in a charity walk

14. Participate in a charity walk

If there’s a meaningful cause you’d like to contribute to, consider getting everyone together to fundraise and walk together. You can help cause positive change while also connecting with one another.

15. Share stories and memories online

If the people who want to honor your loved one are spread out and can’t get together in person, consider creating a memorial website where everyone can connect with each other around their favorite memories. You can create a free memorial website on Ever Loved.

16. Hold a stargazing party

Hosting a stargazing party is a great way to get friends and family together and to remind each other of the vastness of human existence. Looking into the night sky can be a healing experience for those who have just lost someone, especially when they're able to cherish a night with their closest loved ones. If you've named a star after your loved one, this is the perfect opportunity to share their star.

17. Release sky lanterns

Gathers your friends and family and collectively release lanterns into the night sky to memorialize your loss. You can ask those attending to say a few short words before releasing their lantern as well. Releasing items into the sky can cause problems for the environment, so make sure you're releasing lanterns that are biodegradable or eco-friendly.

18. Get tattoos together

While this one is a bit on the extreme end, it doesn't make it any less valid! Many people get tattoos to memorialize a loss. If you have close ones that are wanting to get a tattoo in honor of your loved one, plan a day where you all share your tattoo ideas together. Visit the tattoo shop together and get tattoos as a group.

19. Go on a tour together

Create a short list of your loved one's favorite places and activities and plan a day where you visit each stop on the tour together. Share memories and stories at each of the stops to commemorate the place.

20. Go on vacation together

If there was a place your loved one always wanted to go but never had the opportunity to, plan a trip with your friends and family. While you're there, share your favorite memories and stories about your loved one and do activities on the trip to honor them.

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Last updated March 4, 2021
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