Losing a loved one is always one of life’s saddest and most traumatic events. While grief and mourning are normal and natural, honoring their memory with a celebration of life is a lovely way to remember the good times, the fun and sometimes even the irreverent about your loved one, also. 

What is a Celebration of Life?

A celebration of life honors the deceased with love, joy and laughter. Typically, it is a more casual gathering of friends and loved ones of the deceased with the purpose of sharing memories, telling stories and finding comfort in the unique personality of the deceased. 

What is the Difference Between a Celebration of Life and a Funeral?

A funeral is a far more somber and formal affair, typically held in a church or other religious facility. It follows a prescribed sequence of events from visitation to funeral service and then to the burial. The point of the funeral ritual is to support and comfort the family and friends as they bid Godspeed to their loved one. 

A celebration of life is a fairly recent phenomenon. It bears similarities to the traditional funeral, but also some marked differences. .While the funeral is a serious and thoughtful event, a celebration of life is more light-hearted. It exists to honor that which made the deceased unique and is sometimes held in a favorite bar, restaurant or other public facility. Its point is to honor the deceased with love, joy and the sharing of memories. 

Why Choose the ACU Hotel & Conference Center for Your Celebration of Life?

When you’re going through a loss of this magnitude, the last thing you should have to worry about is planning an event. Let our staff of professionals work out all the details so you can simply focus on honoring your loved one. With our professional event planners, catering department, banquet staff and on-site hotel, we can take care of: 

Choosing the right venue

  • Setting up the venue to your specifications
  • Decorating the space
  • Providing electronic or audio/visual equipment
  • Choosing a menu
  • Serving and cleaning up
  • Reserving a block of rooms out-of-area friends and family at our on-site hotel

Ideas for a Celebration of Life

It can be a difficult balance to simultaneously support the grieving process of the family and friends while offering amusing or uplifting anecdotes from the deceased’s life and adventures. Here are a few ideas to assist in striking that delicate balance. 

  • A playlist of the deceased favorite music
  • Ask each attendee to share a story about the deceased
  • Create a memory book and ask each attendee to contribute a photo or other memory
  • Create a video or slide show of the deceased at parties or other gatherings, having fun and laughing
  • Have a food and/or beverage bar of the deceased favorites foods and drinks

Common Questions About a Celebration of Life

Is there a dress code for a Celebration of Life?

Typically, celebrations of life are less formal than funerals, but this is an individual choice. You should go with whatever makes you most comfortable. 

Is it appropriate to bring flowers to a Celebration of Life?

With this type of celebration, it is best to send flowers to the home of the deceased, rather than send or bring them to the Celebration of Life venue. 

Who should officiate the event?

Some families choose to have a minister or priest officiate at a Celebration of Life. However, since this is typically a more secular event, many families choose to engage the services of a Celebrant to oversee the event. 

Is it appropriate to have group activities at a Celebration of Life?

Absolutely! Please refer to our suggestions above to craft the perfect celebration of your loved one’s life.