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Inspiration for Summer Celebration of Life Memorial Services


Losing someone you love is hard, no matter what time of year it is. Along with dealing with the grief that comes from your Loved One dying, there is the added responsibility of planning a funeral or celebration of life service for extended family and friends to say their goodbyes.


To help ease this pressure and assist you in your healing journey, we’ve put together a collection of inspiration to help you plan your Loved One’s memorial service this summer.


What Makes a Summer Memorial Service Special

A summer memorial service is different from any other time of the year because the nicer weather allows for a wider range of outdoor events to take place. Instead of being limited to a rental hall or church, summer gives you the opportunity to make your Loved One’s celebration of life service more unique by hosting it in your backyard, a favorite park, or any other outdoor venue.


Most people also have more flexibility and the ability to take time off from work or school during the summer, which gives a greater number of extended relatives and friends the chance to attend your mutual Loved One’s services. People are able to travel in from out of town and spend more than one day together remembering and celebrating the person that they loved.


Ideas for a Summer-Themed Celebration of Life Memorial Service

From using summery flowers to decorate the church to taking the entire family to the lake for a day, there are a number of ways to make your Loved One’s summer celebration of life memorial service special.


Decorate with Seasonal Flowers

Even if you don’t choose to hold your Loved One’s memorial service outdoors, you can still bring elements of summer inside to whatever church, hall, or event space you’re using. For example, you can decorate with seasonal flowers that help brighten up the space and bring an element of joy to an otherwise tearful day. Daisies and sunflowers are perfect for this, or you can use any type of flower your late Loved One enjoyed.


Organize an Outdoor Bonfire

Summers are synonymous with bonfires, so if your Loved One would have enjoyed a more casual celebration of life, consider getting your family and friends together for a night of sharing s’mores and stories. As the evening begins, you can take a few moments of silence to remember your Loved One, then as the fire glows into the night, everyone will be reminded of the light your Loved One continues to give.


Spend a Day at the Lake

If your family grew up going to the lake together, holding your Loved One’s celebration of life memorial there would be a wonderful way to honor their memory. Reminisce on the summers you used to spend on the dock and introduce new generations to your favorite traditions. This way, your Loved One will continue to live on even now that they’re gone.


Plant a Memorial Garden

Hosting an activity for your friends and family in place of a traditional funeral service is another great way to make a Loved One’s celebration of life feel personal and unique. One way to do this is by working together to plant a memorial garden full of your Loved One’s favorite things. Choose from perennial flowers that you’ll be able to watch bloom every year to cherry tomatoes that your Loved One always loved picking fresh from their own garden.


Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Some of a family’s best memories together come from sitting down and having a movie night. Honor that by holding an outdoor movie night at your house with your closest family and friends. After the church and graveside services are complete, set up a projector and one of your Loved One’s favorite films in the backyard. Not only will the movie serve as a nice reminder of your Loved One, but it will also provide a short distraction from grief for those who need it.  


How to Plan a Summer Celebration of Life Event

Planning a summer celebration of life service for your late Loved One takes a little time and dedication, but with the help of family and friends, can lead to a beautiful day of honoring the person you miss. Not sure where to begin? Get started with our tips:


  • Coordinate with Family: Traditionally, a memorial service happens in the days and weeks following your Loved One’s death, but it doesn’t have to. Talk with your family and close friends who hope to be a part of the services to find a date, time, and location that works for the majority of the group. Ask for their input, and be open to their ideas for how to make the celebration special. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the weather if you’re planning an outdoor memorial service and have a plan in place in case it gets too hot or a thunderstorm pops into the forecast.
  • Choose the Style of Service:Work together with your family to decide on what type of memorial service your Loved One would have liked. Many people express their wishes before they pass, so do your best to honor them in your planning. If no wishes were given, think about what your Loved One enjoyed while they were with you and plan a personalized service from that. If they loved nature, consider hosting a celebration in their favorite park. If they were a big fan of baseball, take a group of people to a game in their memory. The options are limitless.
  • Divide Up the Tasks: Once you’ve settled on the big picture of what the remembrance service will look like, work with your family to divide up the tasks. Have someone book the venue while someone else orders catering. Assign one person to coordinating flowers while another relays invitations to people you would like to attend. By splitting up the logistical tasks, no one person will become overwhelmed by the entire event.
  • Decide What You’d Like to Include in the Memorial:From bible verses to poetry to songs from a favorite rock band, there are many elements people like to include in celebration of life services to make them unique and reflective of their Loved One. Decide on a few special things to include yourself, and that will make the day memorable. You may also want to consider giving out funeral favors to your closest relatives and friends so that they can bring a small token of your Loved One’s legacy home with them to cherish for years to come.
  • Remember to Stay Present:Planning a celebration of life for someone you loved is no simple feat, especially as you’re facing the early days of your grief. During this time, remind yourself to stay present and take care of yourself. Listen to your emotions and give yourself the time, space, and grace to feel them. It’s not always easy, but remember to focus on the happy memories your Loved One gave you and use this time as a way to truly celebrate all of the good in their life.