Browse Through the Options Below for the Perfect Celebration!

Creating a Personalized Remembrance Service

A funeral or memorial service is so much more than a way to say goodbye; it's an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.

Family and friends getting together to honor a loved one’s life is one of the most important steps in the grieving and healing process. You may opt to have a traditional religious or military service, or as more and more people are doing, you can choose to have a non-traditional "life celebration."

Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favorite pastime or hobby, funerals can reflect any aspect of a person's life and personality.

Once you've decided on whether your loved one will be buried or cremated, it's time to create a memorial service that brings together family and friends to celebrate the unique life of this individual.

There will be some differences in the ceremony based on whether you have chosen burial or cremation. Typically a funeral is with the casket or urn present, and a memorial service is without a casket or urn present, allowing disposition to take place either before or after the service.

We'll help you decide if you want to hold a memorial service instead of a funeral, or in addition to it. For instance, you might have a funeral in the town where the deceased lived and died and a memorial service later in the town where he or she grew up.

How to Personalize the Service

What's important is that the service you create is personalized to the individual to truly create a uniquely memorable and enriching occasion.

Here are some things to consider to help you personalize the service:

  • What did the person like to do?
  • What was the person like as an individual?
  • What was the person like as a professional?
  • Was the person spiritual?
  • Was the person proud of his or her heritage?
  • What did the person like to do?

Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not share that important part of their life during the funeral?

Customizing Your Memorial or Funeral Service

Hobby Tribute

Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:

  • Displaying items used for their hobby; e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools, or collections.
  • Personalizing the casket or urn with a symbol of their hobby.
  • Displaying trophies or awards they won.
  • Creating a picture board or presentation featuring pictures of them engaged in their hobby.
  • Having someone speak about the person's passion for the hobby.

By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person's life and personality.

Passion Tribute

One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person's personality to life. Consider what made that person special, and what made them who they were. Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service.

As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride off into the sunset one last time. Tasteful ways to honor their wish might include:

  • Using a covered wagon rather than a hearse
  • Having their saddle and riding equipment displayed
  • Playing western music
  • Having their horse walk in the procession
  • Having a barbecue after the service
Harley Tribute

As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride off into the sunset one last time. Tasteful ways to honor their wish might include:

  • Having a procession of motorcycles to the cemetery
  • Using our Harley Hearse as part of the procession
  • Displaying motorcycle gear during the services
Military Tribute
  • Flag presentation, graveside ceremony, playing taps, 21 gun salute, or other military tribute for a member of the armed forces 
  • Have the Patriot Guard Riders escort your veteran throughout the ceremony

The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% Volunteer organization that ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans. The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse group of motorcycle riders and others from across the nation who have an unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security.

The main mission of the Patriot Guard is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family, and includes the following objectives:

  1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters through strictly legal and non-violent means.

Potluck or Barbecue Tribute

Food can play a big part in a person’s life. Serve a favorite food or create a potluck that everyone will enjoy

Sporting Tribute

Have guests wear favored team T-shirts, team colors
Create a tailgate party that will make the day truly memorable

Musical Tribute
  • Create a personalized musical playlist that can be played during the ceremony that is exactly the type of music he or she had loved
Favorite Location Tribute
  • Spreading of the Ashes – Create a special ceremonial “spreading of the ashes” in a location of your choosing (where permitted by law)
  • One of our team of certified celebrants can officiate the service for you and make it a truly special tribute
Profession Theme

Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that transformed into more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service. The following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:


  • Have the choir or band from the school perform during the visitation or service.
  • Encourage students to write essays about the person, which could be displayed.
  • Invite a past student to speak at the service.

Firefighter or Police Officer

  • Incorporate any honors or traditions that their department has established.
  • Use fire trucks or police vehicles in the procession.
  • Have bagpipers play at the visitation or service.
  • Display their uniform and equipment.
Religious or Spiritual Theme

Through organized religion or personal beliefs, most people have some sense of spirituality in their life. Often those values form the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual's sense of spirituality into their funeral service.

Following are ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:

  • Hold the service at the person's parish or religious facility.
  • Have someone read excerpts from a key religious publication (i.e. Bible, Koran, etc.).
  • Decorate the funeral home with symbols of the person's faith.
  • Have the person's cremated remains scattered at a place of spiritual significance to them.
  • Read a prayer that touches on their key beliefs.
  • Include sacred music from the religion in the service.

Click here to find out other ways we go above and beyond to make your loved one's celebration day truly special.