Celebration of Life Events!
Providing an alternative to the traditional funeral service.
From the Baby Boomer generation to the present, more and more people are doing it their own way.
We attribute the growing demand for Celebration of Life events to the Baby Boomer generation’s tendency to reinvent traditions. It’s no longer about just writing an obituary and holding a memorial service or funeral. Faced with aging parents and their own mortality, it’s something more and more Baby Boomers are doing; taking life – and death – into their own hands and planning their own celebration. Boomers find it therapeutic to build the “story of their own lives” and pre-select the venue, dress code, music, food, décor, and guest list before they pass away.
We spend so much time, effort and energy planning Weddings, Birthdays, Graduations, and Anniversary Events that very few of us think about planning the biggest event of our lives; our departure. A Celebration of Life ceremony celebrates the life of the dearly departed. Unlike funerals, the focus of the ceremony is on the life that was lived and not the mourning of one’s death.
Whether you are a loved one of the deceased or planning your very own Celebration of Life, you can make this non-traditional event whatever you like. Call it a Memorial, a Celebration of Life, or a Fabulous Farewell, these events are typically held apart from a funeral or religious ceremony. They can involve dozens or even hundreds of guests, and can be held weeks or months after the loved one has passed. The logistics are similar to those of a wedding or corporate event and can require careful planning.
Emotions can run high during the planning stage, as well as on the actual day of the Celebration of Life, with both tears and laughter flowing freely. It sometimes helps to have a neutral party running the event while guests are dealing with their loss.
We were fortunate last week to have produced a very special Celebration of Life for the husband of one of our clients. We learned about the deceased and customized this celebration to reflect all of the things that he loved. We designed the event to reflect attributes of his life and the things he treasured.
He was a huge motorcycle fan and loved Harley Davidson motorcycles. So we decided to use this passion as our inspiration and designed the entire event in orange and black colours with lots of motorcycle accents. The centrepiece of the event was indeed his Harley Davidson motorcycle sitting proudly in the centre of the room. When guests got the cue, people raised their glass for a toast. A sign in the corner read “No Tear Zone”. With a fully stocked open bar, catered food, and even favours, it was a fabulous gathering!
Why hold a Celebration of Life?
Life Celebrations are really about taking the time to express and share love and life. They allow you to completely personalize the event to reflect the life of the deceased. They allow you to say good-bye, encourage everyone to share memories with others, and provide a social support system for family and friends. Instead of focusing on death, it offers hope for the living and a reflection of the meaning of life.
When can the Celebration be held?
A Celebration of Life can occur before or after one’s death, although they tend to be held after the person has died. Ceremonies can also take place on the anniversary of one’s death or birthday. A surprise Happy Birthday party for the deceased is a common theme. Funerals usually take place within a few days of a death, whereas a Celebration of Life can occur at anytime providing lots of time for thoughtful planning.
Where can the Celebration be held?
The beauty of having a Celebration of Life is that it can take place wherever you desire: the beach if the deceased loved the ocean; the Country Club where he/she was a member; someone’s home; church, baseball park; or hockey rink. The options are endless!
Who can I get to lead the service?
Anybody can be chosen to lead or speak at the Celebration. If families have a relationship with a church or temple, the spiritual leader can assist in the structure of the event. Certified celebrants are an alternative for a non-religious and very personalized leader. You can also choose a family member or friend.
Some of the service options we offer include the following:
• Venue Selection
• Personalized Theme
• Save The Date Notices & Invitations
• Video Presentation
• Décor & Floral Design
• Menu Design
• Program Development / Speakers
Whether you need an intimate, quiet service, a big, lively celebration, or an informal group gathering, we can assist you. We can help you choose a suitable location, plan the food and décor elements, and work with you to create and include memorable details. We provide as little or as much support as you need, handling all the details at a time when basic functioning is a challenge.
Let Bright Ideas Events guide you through this journey. This type of event is very dear to our hearts and we deeply believe in celebrating life and honouring lives lived. Celebrations of Life are the perfect opportunity today to shed light and love on a difficult time and make memories to last a lifetime.
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