8 MORE Wedding Personalization Ideas Funeral Pros Should Steal

For some people, the summer months mean beach vacations, family barbecues or nights spent beside the bonfire. But for those of us in the event planning world, the summer season only means one thing — weddings.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “I’m in the funeral profession. Why would I care that it’s wedding season?”

Well, for starters, funerals and weddings have a lot more in common than you might think. Not only are they both amazing opportunities for life celebration, but they are a great place to show off the uniqueness of a person’s life story for all of their friends and families to see.

So if you didn’t get enough funeral personalization from our blog post last wedding season (check it out → 11 Wedding Personalization Ideas To Steal For Funerals), we’re back with 8 MORE wedding personalization ideas that funeral professionals should steal for their funeral services. Enjoy!

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1. Turn Memorabilia Into A Message of Comfort

One of the biggest questions that families often have when sorting through their loved ones memories and keepsakes is what exactly they can do to preserve and get the most out of these treasured pieces of memorabilia.

Many couples have found very unique ways to not only bring some personalization into their wedding reception with their own keepsakes, but they have also discovered ways to get their friends and family involved in these memories. For example, having people write messages of wisdom or support on a piece of memorabilia, like a favorite guitar or a sports jersey.

Put your spin on it: Rather than tuck a loved one’s memorabilia into box or on a shelf, only to be seen once in awhile, invite your families to display them at the funeral service. They can even take it one step further by turning a keepsake into an interactive message of comfort that family and friends can sign with their favorite memories of the loved one who is being celebrated.

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2. Embrace Social Media

One of the hottest wedding trends of the last year has been taking the ceremony and reception social by embracing things like wedding hashtags, selfie stations, custom Snapchat filters and photobooths. This way, couples don’t have to wait until they get their wedding photo album back from their photographers to relive all of the happy moments from their wedding day. They can simply look up their friends’ and families’ photos by looking at their personal hashtag. (#SmithWedding2017)

Put your spin on it: No, your families don’t have to have a selfie-booth at a funeral service in order to embrace the trend of celebrating on social media. This chance to memorialize and share moments can happen before, during and after attending a funeral service. Encourage families to create their own memorial hashtag (#RememberGmaSmith) where people can share their favorite memories, photos and videos so they are all easy to find on social media.

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3. Honor Those Who Have Already Passed

A life celebration is a full circle event. It is a chance to remember those who have departed, those who are still here, and those who have come and gone before us. So it only makes sense to include loved ones who have already passed in the celebration of events, as well.

Many brides and grooms are choosing to honor their loved ones who have passed by making them a part of their ceremony… even if they can’t be there in person. They are doing so by reserving seats for them at the ceremony, or lighting a candle in their honor.

Put your spin on it: Was your families’ loved one preceded in death by a friend or family member that was particularly close to them? Perhaps a parent, a sibling or a spouse? Pay special reflection to this relationship at their funeral service by leaving an empty seat in their honor.

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4. Encourage An “Unplugged” Service

Cell phones have taken over just about every aspect of our lives. And while sometimes these high-tech devices are a saving grace for the families that we serve (after all, families are constantly on the go in the days leading up to a funeral), they can also be distracting when it comes time to enjoy the moment.

In an effort to help both hosts and guests live in the moment and focus on the celebration at hand, many brides and grooms are now embracing “unplugged” ceremonies for their wedding. No cameras, no cell phones, no Snapchats… they are asking their guests to simply put down their tech devices and soak up the beautiful service that they have planned.

Put your spin on it: If your families really want their friends and relatives to live in the moment of their loved one’s funeral service, invite them to embrace this “unplugged” service concept. Instead of being distracted on their phones, they can tune in, share stories and inherit new memories.

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5. Host Icebreaker Games

Any event where you are forced to mingle and make small talk with unfamiliar relatives or family friends can be a little uncomfortable… even if you are together celebrating the same event. To help break the ice and make conversation flow a little more smoothly, many couples are including fun games and conversation starters at tables throughout their wedding receptions. Family and friends can simply pick a card, and they instantly have a topic to discuss with anyone nearby.

Put your spin on it: Icebreaker questions are a simple, yet impactful way to kick of memory sharing and storytelling at any funeral-related event. Simply pose questions on different slips for paper, such as “what song reminds you of grandma?” or “what’s your favorite holiday memory with grandma?” People can swap stories and share new memories that will lead to laughs, love and healing.

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6. Rethink The Traditional Guest Book

Guest books are a great way to record all of the people who were in attendance at an event, but how many people actually look back on their guest book fondly and read it over and over again? Many couples have begun to recognize this and are now taking steps at their wedding to upgrade the traditional wedding guest book into a personalized work of art that they can hang in their home.

The options are truly endless as to what you can have your friends and family sign in order to record their attendance at an event. Some of our favorite examples we have seen include custom wood-framed photos, canvas photo prints, and even giant letters of the couple’s last name with personalized messages written across them.

Put your spin on it: Instead of having your families stick to a traditional guest book, invite them to have their guests write a personal note or memory on a piece of art. Not only is this a way to personalize this typically boring funeral element, but it also is a one-of-a-kind, comforting piece of art that your family can display for years to come.

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7. Create “Fun Fact” Cards

A funeral service is a one in a lifetime chance to celebrate a loved one’s life, tell their story and share all of the unique details that made them who they were. But sometimes this is hard to do in just an hour long funeral service.

Many wedding couples have found that one of the best ways to share their personal stories for all of their guests who may not know the details of how they met or fell in love is to create “cheat sheet” information cards. These fun fact sheets are a great storytelling-prompt, and an easy way to share a unique memory or anecdote that has never been shared before.

Put your spin on it: Whether you are looking for an interesting way to spice up your funeral programs, or just want to offer families a unique way to share their loved one’s story, “fun fact” cards are a great (and simple) print-out that you can easily incorporate into your funeral services.

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8. Create An Online Celebration Center

There are a lot of details that go into getting married… there’s the story of how the couple met, the engagement, the wedding registry information, the ceremony and reception details, the hotel accommodations. The list goes on and on. So in an ever-advancing digital world, it only makes sense that many couples are now creating wedding websites to serve as a portal for any and all information that their guests could ever want to know about their upcoming nuptials.

Put your spin on it: If you think that there are a lot of details that add up to a wedding day, just think about all of the stories, memories, photos and videos that make a person life. For families who are looking for one central place to share funeral service information, collect memories and stories from friends and family, and even have one digital place to collect a lifetime of videos and memories, a online memorial page is a no-brainer.

With f1Connect’s social memorial pages, you can do all of the above and more. Families can not only share their loved one’s service details, but they can exchange stories and and get support from their network of friends and family. Plus, this invaluable resource lives forever on your funeral home’s website, so you can support your families in the months and years following a funeral service.

To find out how you can get social memorial pages on your website, click here to talk to one of our website success specialists.

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