10 Ways to Create a Personalized Funeral Service

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Planning Resources, Funeral Advice, Memorialization | July 22, 2021
By finding unique ways to create a personalized funeral service, you can honor your loved one’s life and what made them special. From the funeral theme and memorial displays to the service readings and food afterward, there are many ways to customize the funeral elements to your loved one.

Check out these 10 ways to create a personalized funeral service.

1. Choose a Unique Funeral Theme to Create a Personalized Funeral Service 

First off, decide if you want all your loved one’s funeral service elements to match a specific theme. If so, you’ll want to select this before going forward with choosing the other funeral elements to ensure that they all go together. For example, these are a few funeral themes that you may want to consider: 

  • Pick something simple, such as including your loved one’s favorite color throughout the funeral service details. 
  • Honor your loved one’s dedication to their career path of choice by making that the funeral theme. 
  • Show your loved one’s passion for a certain hobby by including it throughout the service. 

2. Pick a Location That Was Special to Your Loved One 

Next, you’ll want to choose your location. The location that you pick may impact what other funeral elements you select, so you want to pick your location first. For example, you could pick somewhere that matches the funeral theme or was special to your loved one. A few ideas are to:  

  • Host the funeral at a loved one’s home or backyard. 
  • Have the funeral outside, such as at a park or beach. 
  • Hold the service at your loved one’s church. 

3. Create Memorial Displays That Showcase Who Your Loved One Was 

Once you have your theme and location, it’s time to create the memorial displays. These can be anything from physical objects to virtual tributes to a loved one. Below are a few ideas: 

  • Display your loved one’s possessions on a table, such as items that relate to their hobbies. 
  • Place photo albums and scrapbooks on a table for funeral guests to page through. 
  • Collect photos for a tribute video. 
Many funeral homes have tools for creating personalized memorial products like tribute videos, so reach out to your local funeral home to learn more about your options. 


4. Select Funeral Flowers That Match the Theme or Your Loved One’s Preferences 

Don’t forget about the funeral flowers. Since there are so many floral arrangements to choose from, deciding which ones to pick can be overwhelming. To make the decision a little easier, you could:  

  • Choose your loved one’s favorite flowers. 
  • Pick flowers that match your loved one’s favorite color. 
  • Select flowers that fit the funeral theme you chose. 

5. Play Music That Matched Your Loved One’s Music Taste 

Music plays an important role in setting the mood for the funeral service. To personalize the music selection to your loved one, you could:  

  • Play songs from your loved one’s favorite genre. 
  • Choose songs from their favorite artists. 
  • Invite a local band to play at the service if your loved one enjoyed going to concerts. 

6. Ask Everyone to Wear a Certain Color or Clothing Item to the Service 

When attending a funeral, you typically wear black clothing unless told otherwise. To make the service even more personalized to your loved one, you could change up the dress code, such as by having everyone: 

  • Choose clothing to wear that’s your loved one’s favorite color. 
  • Wear an item of clothing that your loved one was known for wearing, such as patterned socks or funky hats. 
  • Put on something that your loved one made if they enjoyed a hobby like crocheting or knitting. 

7. Draft Speeches and Select Readings That Reflect Your Loved One’s Personality 

Another way to personalize the service to your loved one is to choose readings that reflect how your loved one lived their life. For example, you could:  

  • Write your speech so it includes your loved one’s personality. You could share stories about them, what they were like, what you admired about them, and anything else you wish to share. 
  • Select poems, quotes, and other readings that remind you of your loved one. 
  • Choose readings that match the funeral theme, such as your loved one’s hobby or profession. 

8. Serve Your Loved One’s Favorite Food 

If you’re serving food after the service, there are many ways to customize it to your loved one’s taste. A few ideas are to:  

  • Serve your loved one’s favorite foods. 
  • Make their go-to recipes if they enjoyed cooking. 
  • Cater food from their favorite restaurant in town. 
A lot of funeral homes partner with catering companies, so check with your chosen funeral home to see if they partner with any local restaurants. 


9. Give Your Funeral Guests Special Funeral Gifts to Remember Your Loved One By 

Funeral gifts that reflect your loved one’s personality let funeral guests honor and remember them long after the service is over. It doesn’t have to be something large and expensive; a small, personalized gift is just as, if not even more, meaningful. A few funeral gift ideas are to:  

  • Give everyone a blank journal for sharing memories, thoughts, and more. 
  • Provide everyone with bookmarks to keep the memory of a loved one close by. 
  • Engrave pens with your loved one’s name, which would pair nicely with a journal. 
Check out this blog post for more funeral gift ideas. 


10. Encourage Everyone to Share Memories on Their Loved One’s Memorial Page 

Lastly, you don’t have to limit conversations to one day at the funeral; you can let everyone continue to reach out and connect through their loved one’s online memorial page. Many funeral homes have websites with this feature, so your family can have a virtual tribute to your loved one that lasts forever. On your loved one’s online memorial page, family and friends could: 

  • Share their favorite memory of their loved one. 
  • Tell a story about their loved one that others might enjoy. 
  • Post photos and videos of your loved one. 
To learn more about the benefits of online memorial pages, click here
What other ways can you create a personalized funeral service? Share them in the comments.

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