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Five Unique and Affordable Ideas For Planning a Funeral, Memorial Services Or Celebration of Life
I’m often asked for unique ideas for personalizing funerals and memorial services without spending a lot of money. I will share with you five ideas that will help you as you create the ultimate tribute to your loved one.
The first idea is name plates. You may not have seen name tags used at funerals or memorial services in the past. When people stayed in the same community all their lives, name tags were probably not as necessary because most people knew each other. Today, children often move from their childhood communities, and parents often move to retirement communities. When people gather for a service, it is very likely that they will see some new faces. Even if faces are familiar to us, as we age we tend to forget names and where we know someone from. This can make social situations like funerals awkward. I recommend a name tag with an area where people write “How I Met Pam Smith”.
Now the participants not only have the person’s name, but also the relationship. Conversation like, “Oh, you were in Pam’s painting group, do you paint landscapes like Pam?” Avery labels, which you can buy at any office supply store, work great for name labels. You can visit the Avery website to download the Avery Template 5164. You can personalize the name tag with clippings, your favorite color, a saying, or if the service has a theme like flowers or butterflies, you can incorporate that theme into the name tag. Maybe you should set up a table at the service entrance where people can fill out their tag. Suggest that they write their name clearly and in capital letters.
Another idea is to have a memory table. This table can be placed opposite the name tag table or perhaps both tables can be placed along the entrance path in sequence. You will want to place items on the table that were important to the person you lost. If they’ve been knitting, you might want to include a lovely scarf or sweater, and photos are also great to include here. If they were collectors, you may want to include some of their prized items from their collection. Tickets for favorite sporting events or concerts would also be appropriate to place on the table. The idea is to capture the essence of the person on the table so that everyone can see what that person has been up to. Golf cards if they were a golfer or if they were gardeners maybe a clipping from their garden. If they had a favorite food or candy, you could have a bowl for guests to help themselves to.
The third idea is a memorial or funeral memento or guest book. I prefer guest books that contain photos of the shrinks and space to write a little about the life they led. Instead of just having a book to write down the names of people who attended, how about encouraging a person to write down how they knew the deceased. A book full of names of people many of whom you don’t know becomes a pretty meaningless book. Some books even have a slot for memory cards. You will read about them in the next idea.
The fourth idea is memory cards. The cards are designed for family and friends to write at the service. For this purpose, you can use any 3×5 cards, either white or colored cards. In the service, I recommend that you take a break between the hymns, and the person leading the service may suggest that people write their memories on cards. Several relatives or friends can share the cards or they can be placed on benches or chairs. It is best to fit them into the service; otherwise people will put them in their pockets and forget to send them to you. You really only get one chance to capture these memories.
You can share these cards on holidays, birthdays of the deceased or whenever you want to remember a special and unique person you loved and lost. These cards can then be handed down to generations to come. Provide extra pens in case people don’t have a pen with them.
The fifth idea is motherboards. These cards are made of special handmade paper with seeds embedded in it. When you plant greeting cards, wildflower or forget-me-not seeds will grow in memory of your loved one. You can place them in your garden, at the grave site or perhaps even where the cremated remains were scattered. Cards can be personalized with a gift for your loved one at no extra cost.
I hope these ideas have been helpful and help you add a personal touch to the life you celebrate.
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