19 Sep Creative Ways to Celebrate Life

When loved ones pass, there is no right or wrong way to celebrate their life. From holding a memorial service to throwing a party, there are many traditional and nontraditional options.

A good starting point: Consider what was meaningful to your loved one, including favorite foods, hobbies, places and songs. You can incorporate these into whatever type of event you decide is best. Here are some things to consider.


Certainly, somewhere like a home or church will hold meaning, but other options could include a favorite park, a beach, a restaurant, a theater or any other venue that held significance. If the spot isn’t a traditional public venue, reach out to someone in charge and explain the situation. The venue might accommodate your request.


Was there a dish your loved one always brought to every potluck or a special meal that you always made? Make sure that it’s on the menu. A taco bar, for example, would be a playful but fitting homage to a fan. The same thing goes for drinks. Consider serving a signature beverage named for the loved one. While it may seem trivial, food is one of the things that always brings people together and many memories are made over meals.


Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs to serve as background music. There are more positive and beautiful ways than you might imagine to engage your guests in memorial activities. You can ask guests to bring a photo or other item that reminds them of the deceased and place them in a chest or decorative box to look back at later. Another idea is to put out river rocks and permanent markers and ask guests to write down their favorite memories. You can then place them in a decorative vase or in a garden. Don’t forget the kids: A coloring station is an ideal way for them to draw their favorite memories, which you can then place in an album.

A celebration of life event is meant to be joyful and is an opportunity to share with others what this special person meant to you and perhaps learn what he or she meant to others. However you choose to celebrate, from a picnic to a formal dinner, it’s a great way to reflect upon someone important to you.

Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venuesSubscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Kim MacKinnon

Photos, top to bottom: Juliana Laury Photography; Savannah Smith Photography; Matthew Szoke Photography

From inception to execution, Robert Ryan Catering & Design works with you to realize your vision for your event, and translate it into a successful affair.