20 Celebration of Life Ideas (2021 Edition)

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even in its end.” – Joann Harris

A meaningful way to honor the lives of our loved ones is by celebrating who they were as individuals, and what made them special. Whether it’s been days, weeks, months or years since the passing of your loved one, a one-of-a-kind celebration of their life can be a beautiful way to honor their memory.

Celebration of Life Ideas

While there are many ways to celebrate the life of someone you loved, you may find some of the ideas below to be a good fit for you, or that inspire another idea of your own.

1. Lift Off an Eco-friendly Sky Lantern

Bring family and friends together to release an eco-friendly sky lantern. This is a beautiful way to commemorate a loved one while lighting up the night sky. Celebrants can write personalized messages or wishes for their loved one on the lantern before releasing it.

2. Create a Quote Board

Ask family and friends to share a quote that represents your loved one. The quote can be from their favorite book or poem. It could also be a phrase that they used frequently or a quote that reminds you of them. Tag a whiteboard, chalkboard, fabric or wood board with the quote. You can even create a memorial wall for the quotes in the basement or other areas of your house by using chalkboard paint.

3. Put Their Name Amongst the Stars

Buy a star in your loved one’s name. Choose the constellation, receive a sky chart and certificate, and view the star online through the Worldwide Telescope with family and friends.

4. Decorate a Memorial Tree

Choose your loved one’s favorite tree in the backyard to memorialize. Decorate it with mason jars that are filled halfway with water and float flowers or candles in them. Attach wire to the top of the mason jars to make a handle and hang from the tree. Add a memorial plaque at the base of the tree.

5. Start a Book Club

Start a book club with family and friends in your loved one’s honor. Read their favorite genres, authors, or inspirational books.

Suggested Read: 6 Books That Offer Perspective When You Are Grieving

6. Binge-Watch Their Favorite Netflix Series

Invite people over to binge on your loved one’s favorite movies or Netflix series.

More like This: 5 Best Family-Friendly Movies About Death

7. Participate in Their Favorite Charity

Sign up for a walk or run in the name of your loved one’s favorite charity.

8. Host a Gift-Wrapping Party

Buy and donate gifts in your loved one’s name on his or her birthday or during the holidays. These special days can be especially difficult; however, when we do charitable works in communion with others, it can make our grief easier to bear.

9. Commission a Naming of a Rose

Commission the naming of a rose after your loved one. Bring together friends and family to view the roses available for naming. Once you vote on a winner and purchase the name, the rose is registered with the International Cultivar Registration Authority. Friends and family can also purchase cuttings to plant.

10. Host a Tattoo Party

These days, tattoos are a popular way to memorialize a loved one. For those who are interested, have a tattoo party where each participant designs a tattoo that reminds them of their loved one. Then, visit the tattoo parlor together.

11. Throw a Pot-Luck Celebration of Life

Ask friends and family to choose recipes that their loved one enjoyed to make and share. As a token of appreciation, present friends and family with a book of recipes that includes photos of the deceased from gatherings with friends and family over the years.

Suggested Read: Family Recipes – Continuing A Legacy

12. Take a Painting or Pottery Class

Dedicate the painting to your loved one, or plant their favorite flower in the piece of pottery with a group of friends and family.

Suggested Read: After Loss, Turning To Poetry For Grief And Healing

13. Create a Video Tribute

Ask friends and family to share their favorite stories and memories of the deceased. A company called SpeechBooth will provide you with a video-recording kit and professionally edit the footage.

14. Plan a Holiday Party

Make ornaments decorated with your loved one’s name or photograph. Next, ask your guests to write their favorite memories in a card and place them in your loved one’s stocking. Open the cards on Christmas day, and share the memories with your guests.

Suggested Read: How to Survive The Holidays After Losing A Loved One

15. Plan a Destination Celebration of Life Party

Travel to a place that was on your loved one’s bucket list. If you can, scatter some ashes or create a small memorial at a beautiful spot.

More like This: What Are Destination Funerals And Why Are They Becoming Popular?

16. Play Their Favorite Sport

Organize a baseball game, golf outing, bowling party, or soccer game in honor of your loved one’s favorite sport.

17. Turn Their Ashes Into Fireworks

Turn your loved one’s ashes into fireworks, and set them off on his or her birthday.

More like This: Cremation Ashes: 11 Of The Best Ideas To Memorialize Your Loved One

18. Release Boats Into a River

Kids can create and decorate boats in honor of the deceased. Before releasing the boats into a river, family and friends can share stories about their loved one or say a prayer.

19. Create Kites

Children can write messages on ribbon, paper, or fabric and attach them to the tail of a kite. Plan a memorial picnic with friends and family at the deceased’s favorite park and enjoy watching the children fly the kite.

20. Revisit Their Favorite Places

Invite friends and family on a road trip. Visit places that were significant to your loved one. Take new pictures in the same spots where your loved one was previously photographed.

Planning a Celebration of Life

If you’d like to plan an event or service to celebrate the memory of your loved one, you can start the planning process by creating a guest list, setting a budget and choosing a location and date.

Next, decide which parts of the celebration to personalize in order to highlight the deceased.


Include your loved one’s favorite songs.

Explore a list of traditional funeral songs that can help you celebrate your loved ones who have passed.

Readings and Speeches

Read your loved one’s favorite poem or excerpt from a treasured book. Choose friends and family members to tell heartwarming, funny, or interesting stories about your loved one.

Food and Drinks

Serve your loved one’s favorite beverage as the signature drink. Include their go-to appetizer or preferred dish in the meal.

Dig into a list of popular funeral dishes served from common regional and ethnic groups across the country.

Personalized Decorations and Videos

  • Think about decorating in your loved one’s top color combination.
  • Give participants favors that commemorate the deceased. For example, seeds or bulbs if they were a gardener.
  • Create a video with pictures and music to incorporate into the ceremony.
  • Determine if you would like to include a group activity, such as planting a tree or a memorial garden.

Suggested Read: How To Honor Your Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away and Memorial Ideas For Springtime

What Kind of Celebration Do You Want One Day?

Choosing your own funeral celebration long before it happens saves your loved ones from a future of having to guess what you would’ve wanted – and hoping they got it right. Buying your funeral now, long before it’s ever needed, helps make sure your family will have what they need to say goodbye with peace, comfort and support. It’s an act of love, and the one purchase you’ll make that you’ll never see – it’s the most selfless gift you can leave behind for family and friends.

Suggested Read: Buying Your Funeral Is a Gift for Your Family: 5 Reasons Why

With Everdays, you can buy your funeral and take care of your family with this great act of love – all in a matter of minutes, all on Everdays.com.

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Hi, since you’re here you might really benefit from our free Planning App

Making a plan saves your family from tons of future stress & uncertainty – and we make it easier than you think.

More To Explore