I recently had a call from a lady who asked if I could put together a Celebration of Life for her when she's passed. She talked about the kind of send off she wanted and mentioned that she wasn't interested in having a traditional sombre and sad funeral. She wanted her friends and family to have the chance to say goodbye and celebrate her life with some fun, games and most of all plenty of drinks! In the past, funerals were the only way to serve this kind of purpose and they have tended to be a more somber, dark, religious event, where games, dancing and bright colours were not accepted as a way to celebrate a persons life.
So, what is a Celebration of Life?
It can be anything YOU want! I don't believe there has to be rules applied to your celebration, whether you are living or not. Some people will want a service of some kind, whether in a church or elsewhere, religious or not and possibly a reception afterwards and others will want just a celebration or reception alone.
The most obvious difference between a traditional Wake and a Celebration of life is that it is more personalized, the tone is more uplifting and it tends to be more celebratory. Guests can celebrate the joy that the person has brought to others and reflect on their life lived. Whether the person being remembered or friends and family have chosen the celebration, it can be completely tailored to their wishes making it personalised and memorable by incorporating the persons loves, interests, hobbies, and favorite things.
Celebrations can be hosted anywhere including private residences, reception halls, event spaces and public places ( approvals & permits may be required).
What kind of things could you do for a Celebration of Life memorial ?
Just like a regular party, most people want their guests to be happy and have a fun celebration just as if they were there. That could include running a slideshow of images and videos of them, having a DJ or live music and dancing, asking friends to tell the funniest stories or most special memories, playing party games and even playing a voice message especially recorded for the occasion. It could be more formal and include a sit down or cocktail style party with dinner and speeches or a backyard bbq with open bar.
If your dearly departed loved a round of golf, then hosting the celebration at the local golf club might be a fitting tribute or if they were footy mad, maybe a special celebration at a sportsground or club would be fun. There really are no limits!
Why hire a professional planner to organise your Celebration of Life?
Planning and co-ordinating a party can be overwhelming at the best of times so when you're dealing with grief after the loss of a loved one it can be all too much. There's the well meaning friends and family offering suggestions, the uncertainty of how to go about deciding and sourcing what you need, then having to think of a million different things that need to get done can put you under alot of unneccesary pressure. You'll also need to get to the venue early to set everything up, you have to deal with vendors and stay once its over to pack and clean up! How can you truly be present to honour your loved one and still enjoy the day with your friends and family? And of course if you're planning you're own celebration its important that you have peace of mind knowing that everything will be taken care of just as you wanted and your family and friends get to enjoy the Celebration too.
Just Beautiful Events can help take away that stress and uncertainty to provide a beautiful Celebration of Life memorial for you or your loved one. We are caring and open to speak with you about your needs and can help you with ideas if you are stuck. We will tailor your Celebration to YOU so it is memorable for your guests and provides you with peace of mind.
We can help with everything from venue selection, AV hire and slideshow production, catering and drinks, decor and furniture selection, stationary, floral selections, dealing with vendors, creating a run sheet with timings for speakers, onsite coordination, set up and pack down. As a professional Event planning business we operate under a Covidsafe Event Checklist for events listed under current Qld Health directives
If you'd like to talk about holding a Celebration of Life for your self or someone else please get in contact with us today.