Celebration of Life Ideas for The Living

Even though most people would prefer to plan for their funeral, later on, it is never too early to start making these arrangements when you have the necessary resources. This will greatly help in easing that burden off your family and allow them to celebrate your life without extra stress. However, this planning can be daunting. Therefore, this is a primer on everything you need to know about a celebration of life plan.

Arrange What You Would Like Done With Your Body

Your family needs to know how you wish to have your body handled after your passing on. You could either tell them in person, or you could put that wish in your will. The critical thing is to ensure that someone knows what you want so that they do not have to make that difficult decision themselves. Also, if you are not too concerned about what happens to your body, let them know too.

If you decide that you want to be buried, you’ll need to buy a burial plot or a spot at the cemetery. If you want your body to be cremated, you can decide what your family will do with your ashes, i.e. bury, scatter, or store them.

If you want to do donate your body to science, here’s a detailed guide on how to go about that.

Find Guidance

Enlist the services of your preferred funeral director (FD) from your preferred parlor so they can help you work out the details regarding your memorial service as well as burning or cremation. The FD will also assist you in purchasing any products that you might need for your burial, cremation or commemorative service purposes.

The FD is, therefore, a valuable asset in your plans as they know everything about what you need to ensure your celebration of life goes smoothly. Moreover, you will typically have to work with the FD if you want your body to go through cremation. They can either connect you with a crematory or arrange for the cremation.

However, if you desire a direct cremation followed by an ash scattering and memorial service, you can work with a crematory directly, without the need of an FD.


Part of your pre-arrangement might involve pre-paying for some or all of the services and products that will be needed. There are different prepayment plans, and they include:

Guaranteed Plans

Here the prices are locked in. Thus, after purchasing the plan, all the products that you requested will be made available by the home regardless of whether their prices have risen over the years. However, these fluctuations in costs are anticipated and calculated into premium rates accordingly.

Non-Guaranteed Plans

Here, the prices are not locked, but the money that you set for this purpose grows over time through interest, so there is enough to cover your expenses when you pass on. Read more about this plan here.

In both guaranteed and non-guaranteed plans, the money is usually held by a third-party company such as a life insurance policy or trust.

Cemetery Arrangements

You can work this out with the FD or directly approach a cemetery and then have the FD coordinate those arrangements. Nevertheless, here are some important things to consider during that endeavor:

Finding a cemetery

Here, you need to consider things such as environment, location, and religion. Moreover, ask about the possibility of getting a vacant spot in the future.

Multiple Plots

If you are considering making plans for other family members as well, ask whether you can get multiple mausoleum spaces that are next to each other.

Visit the Cemetery

This allows you to know whether the area is well taken care of. If you are buying a plot, ensure that it is what you had in mind. You do not have to settle for the first plot you get. If you cannot visit the plot, have someone else go there on your behalf.

Products You Need to Consider


These come in various styles and accompanying prices. As such, the choice of casket is usually a matter of personal preference. You can buy a casket from either a home or a retailer.

Grave Liner/Burial Vault

Cemeteries usually need burial vaults or grave liners. However, most homes have a limited selection of liners and vaults, which implies that you might have to shop around before you get the one that appeals to you the most.


Urns also come in a wide array of styles and prices. Your choice of urn also boils down to a matter of personal preference.

Cremation Casket

When choosing a cremation casket, your FD or retailer will tell you that you cannot purchase one that is metal based as metal is not used in cremation. You can either buy one or rent one from the home to be used for the service before your body gets cremated.

Types of Services

Even though memorial and graveside services are the most common types of services, there are also other types of events that you might consider such as wakes, visitations, and viewings. These are typically held before the memorial service while gatherings and receptions are typically held after the service. Here, you can:

– Choose a location for where the service will be held.

– Decide who you want as your pallbearers.

– Choose the songs and readings you would like performed at your service.

Personalizing Your Memorial Service

Apart from stating your list of desired participants, decorations, and readings, other things you might want to consider include:

– Choosing the Location: Your memorial service can either be held at a home, chapel or at the gravesite.

– Choosing the Officiant: You can get to decide who you want to officiate your service.

– The list of guests: You can write down the names and contact information of your desired list of participants in your service.

– Other elements: There might be some things that you would like to be at your service. Ask to have these incorporated.

Planning your celebration of life while alive is something that more and more people are doing. Making your own arrangements removes that stress from your family during those trying times. Besides, you get to choose how you want to exit the world, which is something that everyone deserves.