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Creative Ideas For Celebrating A Wonderful Life

A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye.

It’s also the last opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special to you.

If a loved one has died and you’re planning a funeral, don’t be limited by tradition – history needn’t dictate the Venue or Ceremony style.

Funerals are changing to reflect your increasing desire for more celebratory Services. Crane Funerals offer a range of beautiful Funeral Venues across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

There are many ways to honour your loved one with reverence and dignity. Let us support you in planning a respectful, loving yet special celebration of life funeral.

When planning with your family, here are some thoughts to consider regarding a funeral Celebration.


Choose A Fitting Ceremony / Celebration Venue

Select a venue that is comfortable, warm, and inviting. Remember the venue is just as much about the living as the deceased. A Venue that pays homage to the deceased’s interests, but also meets the comfort criteria, is perfect.

In a Celebration Of Life, you may consider venues often used for weddings as opposed to funerals. They are generally bright and more cheerful than a traditional funeral chapel. These Venues can be perfect for this type of service.

Perhaps your loved one was involved in a Club of some type. The Club House may be a perfect location for the service. Crane Funerals have held Services at Yacht Clubs, Wineries, Fishing Clubs, Wedding Chapels and Parks / Gardens.

Recently we held the very first funeral service at the Brighton Golf Club. The members who attended thought it was a great idea.

The possibilities of venue are many and varied. And it’s important to have the family discuss options before a decision is made. Maybe a particular colour was important to your loved one. Maybe a colour scheme at the venue could help add another nice touch.


Day / Time Of Service & Number Of Mourners

Postponing the service an extra day or two where possible ensures all details are attended to with a loving touch instead of a rushed hand. Allow time for the preparation of Tribute DVD’s, music, service booklets, eulogies etc. The time of day also may help determine refreshment / wake options after the funeral. A weekend Celebration may give more people a chance to come to the ceremony. 

Consider how many people you might expect to come to the Service. Sometimes it can be difficult, but it is important to estimate a figure. Then you can more accurately determine the size of the venue that you require, as well as other things.


Funeral Notice / Family Tributes – Online And Newspaper

Arrange to let people know the date, time, and venue of the service. Notices in the newspaper or online are a good way for people to find out. Or you might consider calling a group of 10 – 15 people from your loved one’s life (relatives, colleagues, neighbours), and in turn ask them to call people they believe might like to attend the service. Social media can be an effective way of letting people know these days as well.


Seed Packets

Another option is for Crane Funerals to organise seed packs. Our printing team can produce packs with your loved one’s photo and planting instructions on the package. This is a special way to spread the memory of a loved one who enjoyed flowers, gardening, and the great outdoors.



Sometimes an after-service function is to be held in the family home. Here something more laid back can be a good alternative. Maybe a barbecue? Or ask guests to “bring a plate” which is a good old Aussie tradition.

Using an experienced caterer can ensure a variety of options to satisfy the fussiest palate. Everything can be taken care of to allow you more time to spend with your guests. Cooking – from hors d’ouvre to a full meal. Perhaps different colour linen and style of cutlery depending on your needs. And of course the inevitable cleaning up – having a caterer take care of that can make it more of a celebration as opposed to a chore after guests leave.


Order Of Service Booklet

If you plan on offering a service program to attendees then you will want to consider decorations or a “theme”. Of course, it’s a good idea to enter the names of the people who will be speaking during the service. You may like to include a favourite poem or saying of your loved one. Maybe a verse from the Bible, or a meaningful photograph or prayer. These booklets can become quite elaborate but often a heartfelt, simple yet stylish option fits the bill well.


Celebrating Lives With Favourite Symbols

We recommend you consider symbols of a loved one’s life as part of their Life Celebration. 

A favourite book, hat, or object can evoke clear memories of the deceased, as they are firm reminders of who that person was and what they enjoyed. 

Maybe a recipe book or recipe card, a cherished scarf or bookmark, or that doily that Grandma always put under the teapot that made everybody smile! 

Alternatively, a bible opened at a favourite passage, or a bottle of Port if your Dad enjoyed a “little nip” to ward of the winter chills! We would be happy to have a “nip” ourselves too of course, if offered!


Bubbles / Ribbon Dancers

Balloons have been shown to harm the environment when released, so we don’t recommend that practice.

Bubbles can be just as beautiful to watch float away in the wind. It also gets any kids involved in the service a little more. The bubbles can form an expression of reaching out and up to your loved one as a final farewell.

Ribbons can be an even more engaging alternative. Ribbon “dancers” are beautiful and require people to move around and have fun! A group of people spinning and twirling a colourful long ribbon following is a sight to see. Kids may enjoy this also. And it can make for a nice “guard of honour” for the hearse to drive away through.


Butterfly & Dove Releases

White doves are seen as a powerful witness of your loved one’s passage to heaven and might be a nice idea for the celebration of a life.


Roles For Family Members / Friends

Delegate roles to trusted family members and friends.

You might like to have greeters at the door in addition to Crane Funeral’s staff. This can offer a little bit more of a personal touch. The Celebrant or Minister of course is an important consideration as they will be person seen the most on the day of the celebration.

Pallbearers are important when the family choose to move the coffin either in or out of the venue. A clean-up crew might be necessary especially if you have a function at home. Spreading the responsibilities will make the day run more smoothly.


For The Bookworms

Maybe your loved one liked reading and had a large library of books you don’t need now? Then possibly mourners could be offered the chance to take one to keep and read? A bookmark with your loved one’s photo or favourite poem printed on it might also be a nice touch here also.


Remember A Hobby

Your loved one may have had a beloved hobby or passionate interest.

A reminder of this given out to mourners can be a nice remembrance. If the deceased loved chocolate, then maybe you could put a bowl of favourite chocolates on the greeting table along with the funeral sign in book so that those with a sweet tooth could enjoy.There are many thoughtful ways to personalise a Service – Crane Funerals would be happy to help you create the celebration you have in mind. 

The possibilities are limitless when it comes to arranging a Celebration Of Life Funeral.


We believe families who personalise their loved one’s funeral can better work through the grieving process. We will always strive to make this special day come together as perfectly as possible and go off without a hitch. Funerals can be as much of a sad experience – or an uplifting, joyful celebration – as you and your family desire.