How to Decorate for a Funeral Reception
The last thing anyone wants to do when planning a funeral is head to the party store to pick up decorating supplies. Even if the deceased requested a party and the death was expected, it is difficult to bounce from grieving to celebrating and back again in such a short span of time—especially if you are considering traditional party decorations like streamers and balloons.
However, one of the best ways to create a memorable funeral, memorial service, or funeral reception is to take into consideration things like setting and decoration. If you plan to spruce up a banquet hall to reflect the life of the deceased, or want to create a more funereal setting at home, there are ways to decorate without taking things too far.
- Plant Life and Funeral Flowers: Nothing signals reverence and grief quite as well as funeral flowers. Although more costly than many other types of decoration, large sprays of funeral flowers, vases of fresh-cut blooms, and other floral displays set a beautiful and understated tone for bereavement. For lower-cost alternatives, consider sprigs of evergreen or flowers from the deceased’s own garden.
- Photos and Collages: Add a personal touch by including photos of the deceased and his or her family. Print oversized versions of family favorites and have everyone sign it. Place favorite candid shots in different areas to encourage mingling and spark conversations.
- Handmade Art by the Deceased: Was the deceased a photographer, a painter, or a craftsman? Did he or she knit or do needlework? Display handicrafts made by the deceased for a more personalized touch.
- Memorabilia: If the deceased was a sports fan, consider putting out decorations for his or her favorite team. Was he or she into kitschy fifties décor? Carry that theme over to the funeral. Was there a particular color or season that made him or her happy? Add flourishes in that theme wherever you can. Themes can go all out or be composed of tiny touches in the background.
- De-Cluttered Simplicity: When you hold a funeral reception in a private home, try to remove as much clutter and personal effects as possible. While a homelike setting will bring comfort to many people, too much going on can be overwhelming.
- Simple Elegance: If the funeral reception is in a banquet hall or church/rec center, aim for understated elegance. Go for white or black linen tablecloths. Purchase vases of flowers or bring potted plants from home. Make simple centerpieces out of fishbowls with floating tealights inside. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to set the right tone.
Funeral decorations have the added advantage of becoming mementos as you move forward with your grief. Signed photographs and collages can be hung at home or placed in a treasured location. Funeral flowers can be dried and turned into sachets. With the right care and planning, you can decorate a funeral reception for low costs and with the perfect touch of elegance.