By Shari Zatman | EVENT PRODUCER, EVENT DESIGNER, INDUSTRY EDUCATOR
It’s common that life events are happy moments—but sometimes a lifecycle event involves a death.
There are alternatives to holding a funeral for a departed loved one. A celebration of life is an event centered around remembering and honoring the life of a family member or friend.
Here are important things to consider when planning a celebration of life event:
Make it meaningful: Gather all of the people who would want to remember the departed in a location that has special significance. For example, if your loved one was passionate about gardening, consider holding it at a botanical garden or even a beautiful backyard property. Or if they loved baseball, perhaps gather at your local ballpark.
Personalize it: It’s important to include special touches that are relevant to the individual. That can include anything from serving some of your loved one’s favorite food or drinks and playing their favorite music to having all of your guests create a special item in memoriam. For example, you may want to toast the departed with a favorite beverage. If the person appreciated art, you could set up a canvas with some paints and have everyone add a stroke to create a piece of art in commemoration.
Share memories: Invite guests to make speeches. If some people aren’t comfortable talking to a crowd, offer an alternative option to them. For example, you could ask guests to write down a fond memory or something else they would like to share. Written messages collected in advance of the event can be put on display along with photos, videos, and other memorabilia items.
At Perfectly Planned by Shari, we feel that all lifecycle events—including a celebration of life—deserve proper planning and attention to detail. Contact us on our website to learn how we can help you create a memorable event for your departed loved one.
Shari Zatman is an event producer with more than two decades of experience. She owns two companies: Perfectly Planned by Shari, which focuses on luxury events (like weddings and mitzvahs), and Eventful Event Producers, which focuses on corporate and non-profit events. Her latest venture is event training, coaching, and consulting for event and hospitality professionals. She created a handbook and seminars to work with them to identify problem areas, create solutions and share best practices.