How to Plan a Themed Funeral
The differences between wedding planning and funeral planning are not so large as the two separate industries would like consumers to believe. Both are major life events that bring together a large and disparate group of friends and family members. Both require quite a bit of planning and foresight. Both tend to be formal occasions and celebrations of life. And it is possible to have an overarching theme to help you plan an outstanding ceremony that will touch the hearts of everyone present.
A funeral theme is like a wedding theme in that it provides a primary direction for your plans to take. Because there are so many decisions to make regarding burial in such a short period of time, keeping everything under one specific theme can make it easier for the entire family to come to an agreement.
Although you don’t want to take things too far by pushing a carnival-themed memorial service or making things over-the-top, there is no reason why you cannot have a little fun with funeral plans. This is especially true if you are pre-planning your own funeral or making advance arrangements, and are therefore in a better frame of mind to focus on the positive.
- Pick a Time Period: Was the deceased born in the Roaring Twenties? Did he or she get married in the Sixties? Did the family simply have a love of Medieval times? Time period themes tend to do well for funerals. You can select photographs of the family from that time and pick music from that era.
- Religious Ceremony: Although most funerals already incorporate a religious tone, you can take things further by involving your church and choosing funeral flowers that carry specific meaning. Create funeral pamphlets that emphasize the deceased’s spiritual journey. You can even hold the after party at your church’s community center for an additional touch.
- Bon Voyage Party: If you are able to face death with a sense of humor, consider throwing a going away or bon voyage party. Focusing on the positive—that the deceased is simply moving on to the next adventure—can be a great way to enjoy the rare opportunities we have to gather with loved ones for a shared cause.
- Favorite Hobbies: Novelty caskets and headstones are making it easier for sports enthusiasts and other hobbyists to add a unique touch to their funerals. Motorcycle lovers can be buried in a Harley Davidson casket and taken to the graveyard with a motorcycle procession. A sports fan can have a funeral the same day as an important game and have the family gather to watch after the burial takes place.
Of course, you could also pick a simple motif and stick to that. Choose a favorite color or style of decoration. Throw a barbeque and include the deceased’s favorite foods. Make it a musical event and ask guests to sing or play a favorite song.
Funeral planning with a theme doesn’t have to be an elaborate or ornate affair. By simply moving your memorial service plans in one common direction, you can ease the burden of decision-making and focus on what’s really important—saying goodbye.
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By Amy Johnson