Suggested Decorations For A Celebration Of Life

Celebrations of life are truly beautiful ways to pay tribute to a loved one who has recently passed away. It can be a catalyst for healing and acceptance among close friends and family and is a touching way to celebrate a life well-lived.

Due to numerous suggestions from friends and family as well as the ongoing emotional upheaval, decorating these events can be quite confusing.

Don’t fret. We’re here to help you decorate celebration of life events with design tips and ideas. Here are 7 essential decorations for a meaningful and aesthetically beautiful celebration of life!

Keep Your Dearly Departed In Mind

Before selecting decorations online or in stores, it’s important to keep the deceased in mind while planning your event. If there is a will that describes the deceased’s wishes for their celebration of life, it’s best to respect those wishes.

If there isn’t one, sit down and talk with family and close friends on how to decorate the venue. You can base decorating ideas on interests, hobbies, the deceased’s personality, and values. These elements can help you decide on the overall theme and motif.

Thinking about how your loved one would like to be sent off is certainly a remarkable way of commemorating them!

Decorations for Specific Venues

Your decoration will largely depend on the venue and theme. For example, if the venue is on a beach, it would be unorthodox to select sports memorabilia as the motif for the event. In selecting decorations, think about where to hold the celebration so that the decorations can suit the venue.

Picture Frames and Photograph Sizes

Celebrations of life often take place after a funeral which means that the deceased has already been laid to rest. Understandably, an integral part of celebrations of life are portraits of your dearly departed. You’ll want to hang images of the deceased around the venue.

What are the best types of pictures to include? Traditionally, you’ll want to include pictures that capture the deceased in different settings. They may be professional photos taken while your loved one was at work, casual photos with friends and family, or formal portraits from photography studios. As long as the photo shows your loved one prominently and in a flattering light, it should be all right to display it in your venue.

What are the best picture frame and photograph sizes? Most celebrations of life will usually have one large photo display placed on a stand. Standard portraits like these are usually 26 x 36 inches in length. You can also add a tribute banner which typically measures around 3 x 6 feet.

If you’re so inclined, you can have mini photo books as giveaways. These can be accompanied by colorful keepsake eggs, globes, and even hearts made from colorful glass!

Beautified Urns: Colorful Cremation Glass Art Urns

While there is typically no viewing of the body at these celebrations, it isn’t uncommon to display the urn containing the human ashes of the deceased. Traditional urns are safe options for the usual celebrations of life. However, modern celebrations of life make use of colorful urns made from glass art to memorialize the person.

Handblown glass urns for cremation ashes are made by artisans from Reminiss Memorials. These pieces of cremation glass art have a variety of colors that families can choose from to make their loved one’s final resting place beautiful and cherished keepsakes.

Candles and Votives

The lighting of candles is a common scene in celebrations of life regardless of religious beliefs. They are often lighted to symbolically guide the soul into the next chapter. Families can choose from colored candles — often in the favorite color of the deceased — for the lighting ceremony.

Scented candles are a luxurious and fragrant way to liven up the mood of the celebration as well. The aroma can give a multi-sensory dimension to the event.

Pillar candles can be displayed on tables or as a centerpiece. If you’re hosting a dinner party, you can mount long dinner candles atop a candelabra, opt for tea candles if you prefer minimalism, or go for votive candles which are often used as prayer candles.

Creative and beautiful handblown cremation glass votive candle holders can also be made as keepsakes for those left behind. These votive candle holders are made by artisans who use cremation ashes to make the glasses glow when a candle is lit. In a celebration of life, the atmosphere such votive holders help create can take your event to a new level.

Fresh Flowers and Decorative Vases

Regardless of the venue, flowers are mainstays in celebration of life events. Beautiful, fragrant, and symbolic, flowers are powerful decorative pieces that have a lot of symbolic meaning to the family and the deceased. Flowers may be used to line an altar, or be used as a table centerpiece for more formal occasions.

Infuse your celebration with even more color by placing flowers in cremation vases of different hues. Handblown vases can be left at the center of the event with the urn so visitors can put flowers or notes in them to commemorate a loved one.

Sky Lanterns

Often seen in Chinese culture, the Kǒngmíng lantern marks various festivities. In celebrations of life, they transform into commemorative lanterns that are symbolically released to the heavens.

These lanterns are often lit in advance to illuminate the venue in memory of the deceased. After the celebration has ended, the group often says a final farewell to their departed loved one and collectively releases the lanterns to the sky. It is one of the most heartfelt and beautiful ways to decorate a venue and remember a person.

Backdrops and Garlands

To spruce up a celebration of life, backdrops and themed garlands may be used. Colored backdrops are often great choices for livening up a celebration, especially alongisde the urn.

If you have garlands with balloons, you can have the name of the deceased printed on them. Another options is to have their favorite hobbies and interests imprinted on the balloons. Just remember that these backdrops and garlands should be in line with your event theme so they don’t look out of place.

Keepsakes for Immediate Family

Mementos have always been a heartfelt way to remember a loved one whether living or gone. These mementos can range from picture books, keychains, and even jewelry that can help ease the grief of those left behind.

Some options are touchstones and keepsake urns that can be displayed in a venue. These pieces are more than decoration. Companies like Reminiss Memorials can infuse them with the cremated remains of your loved one through glass art so they shouldn’t be distributed to random visitors.

It’s best to allow the family to select a small group to give these artisan keepsakes to so that they can be assured that they will be cherished and kept safe.


Celebrations of life are joyous occasions of commemoration. Tributes to special lives are supposed to be creative and innovative which is why decorating the venue is important. From the simple to the elaborate, adding a few embellishments to the venue will surely be appreciated by your departed loved one and those closest to them.