Themed parties are common. People plan fun themed birthday parties and baby showers every day. However, themed funerals and burial services are quite rare. Having a themed burial service can allow you to say good-bye to your loved one while celebrating something that was very important to the person. If you decide that a themed funeral is the right way to say good-bye, here are some do's and don'ts to ensure that the memorial service goes as smoothly as possible.
Do Let Guests Know About the Theme Ahead of Time
Be sure to notify people who plan to attend funeral of its theme. Whenever someone calls to let loved ones know about the details of the funeral, they should also discuss the theme. If you are requesting that guests do something special like wear the deceased person's favorite color, make sure that they are notified at that time as well. When possible, people should be given at least a couple of days to plan for special requests.
Don't Allow the Funeral to Be Consumed by a Theme
Sometimes a funeral's theme can be so distracting and overwhelming to attendees that they lose sight of the fact that they are at a memorial service. You don't want people to start feeling like they are at a casual party, although a bit of brevity will likely be welcome. Design the theme to complement the focus of the funeral, which should be celebrating the life of the deceased person and honoring their memory.
Do Mention the Theme in the Funeral Program
Make sure that you have a written record of the theme in the funeral program. That can help avoid some confusion if some people arrive late and miss the formal announcements of the theme. The funeral program can include a couple of pages that explains the connection that the deceased person had to the chosen theme and why it was chosen. It may also mention suggestions for how people can honor the loved one's memory with the theme in their everyday lives, too.
Don't Apologize for the Theme to Attendees
Sometimes people can get insecure about having chosen a theme for a funeral, and they may get apologetic as they second-guess themselves. However, your attendees are likely to only become concerned if you seem worried and upset. If you have chosen a theme, go with it and present an air of confidence even if you doubt your choices. Trust yourself to make the right decisions about the funeral, then embrace them so that it's easier for others to do so.
Finally, keep in mind that a themed burial service really isn't all that different from a regular one. Observe all the traditions of a funeral while honoring your loved one's passions with the chosen theme. When you focus on the good memories that you have of the deceased person and how to best incorporate the theme into the funeral, you can help set the tone for a loving service.