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How to Set Up a Funeral Guest Book

Many people choose to set up a funeral guest book for their memorial services as a way for guests to share memories and stories regarding the person who has passed away. Funeral guest books are a good way to memorialize the funeral service or memorial service, similar to a scrapbook. It also is a great way to collect last words, memories, or messages that guests wish they could’ve said to the person who has passed away.

What is a funeral guest book?

A funeral guest book is a book or website that allows guests to leave a brief message or story about the person who has passed away. Guest books can contain simple messages, stories, photos, and often times include memories that an attending guest would like to share. They’re similar to scrapbooks that many families keep, but are focused around the individual who has passed away. Funeral guest books can oftentimes help families remember the good times they had with a loved one and illustrate the impact that their loved one had on the lives of others. A funeral guest book can also help a family heal while they read through all of the memories, good times, and love that was shared by their loved one and their community.

What is normally included in a funeral guest book?

A funeral guest book normally includes a section for guests to leave their name and a section to leave a brief memory or note to the family. Depending on the size of guest book and the amount of guests attending the funeral, you can leave more or less room for your guests to write in. (If you aren’t sure how many guests are attending the funeral, you can create a memorial website to keep track of RSVPs for free.) Keep in mind that the larger the funeral, the more room you’ll need to leave in a guest book. You might also end up having to purchase multiple books for people to sign in, or kindly request that they keep their notes and stories brief.

How do I set one up?

You can choose to set up an online guestbook, or purchase a physical one to set out at the funeral. Many people also like to do both.

If you have a physical guestbook, it might be a good idea to leave an instruction card for guests. You might want to consider rules such as limiting the amount of time that people should spend writing a note (useful if there are many people who would like to leave a message), limiting the amount of space that one individual can write in, and capping the amount of photos one person can leave. Many people opt for an online guestbook to avoid those kinds of issues, or choose to do both. If you’re looking for an online guestbook for your memorial service, you should consider creating an online memorial where people can leave memories, upload photos, and share stories. Ever Loved memorial websites also include functionality to add important milestones to someone's life timeline, provide information on their favorite things, and includes the option to add a memorial fundraiser, should you be interested in raising funds.

What are funeral guest book alternatives?

If you’d like to afford your guests more freedom, time, space, and ease of use in terms of leaving a thoughtful message, you’ll definitely want to consider an online funeral guestbook as an alternative to a physical one. This is especially important if you expect a large amount of guests at the funeral or if you have many guests attending that primarily use digital photos.

Create an online funeral guestbook

Online funeral guest books are often times preferable to physical guestbooks because they make it easy for guests to include longer messages, easily upload photos and allow guests time to write out a detailed message in privacy. Online guestbooks can often times also be shared which makes it easy to engage with a larger audience than those who might be attending the funeral. In addition, online funeral guest books cut down on waste and stay up indefinitely.

An online memorial website is a great alternative to a physical funeral guest book because it makes it easy for people to stay connected and involved in the memorial process, even if they can't attend the funeral or any physical functions. Due to COVID-19, many funeral homes have restricted viewings & wakes to less than 9 members. These functions that used to be attended by the family and community of the deceased have been restricted to very small gatherings, if any exists at all. Online connection and virtual guestbooks are more important than ever in keeping people involved and connected through difficult times.

Create an online funeral guestbook

If you’re considering using an online funeral guest book or are looking for funeral guest book alternatives, it’s important to consider your audience and how easy it would be for them to leave a message in an online guestbook. Try posting a test photo or memory to get an idea for how simple it would be for a guest to leave a message in your online funeral guest book.

We have focused on making it as easy as possible for people to leave memories, photos, and comments on memorial websites here at Ever Loved. Many people have found that creating an online memorial website has allowed them to include family that would otherwise be unable to attend the funeral in remembering a loved one who has passed away. Additionally, many families have reconnected with distant relatives and members of their community after losing a loved one. Seeing the amount of lives that your loved one touched can be incredibly healing and consoling, especially during a time of grief. If you end up seeing someone who you'd like to reconnect with post a memory on Ever Loved, you can easily contact them by clicking on their name and sending them a private message.

Our memorial websites are free, always accessible, and easy to use. We don’t run any ads on our website which lets people share memories and photos without being hassled or distracted. Feel free to browse our memorials to get an idea of what to expect, or create your own memorial page at no cost.

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Last updated February 4, 2021
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