Funerals are becoming more personalized than ever. Many people are opting out of a traditional funeral service for something that better represents their life.
For example, instead of wearing black, some people will request before their death that funeral attendees wear a bright color to celebrate their life. At some funerals, families will skip “Amazing Grace” and play the favorite song of the deceased instead.
To get a better idea of all the personalization options for funerals, we’re sharing some examples of real-life funerals with a personalized touch!
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A Celebration of Life
When comedian Elva Ruddock died, her funeral was a perfect representation of her personality — full of celebration and laughter. Fellow comedians had the attendees laughing, and people paid tribute in songs and speeches. Attendees, dressed in colorful outfits, were greeted by life-size cutouts of Elva and watched a video presentation featuring humorous highlights of her life.
When Rich Toner’s wife Kathleen passed away, he knew he needed to honor her in a special way. Kathleen had always been a vibrant woman and a fan of mummers. During her funeral, the Fralinger String Band played her favorite song, “What a Little Moonlight Will Do.” Rich did the Mummers’ strut as the hearse carried her body. He knew his wife would’ve wanted him to dance with her as he always did when she was alive.
Golden Gate Funeral Home featured on TLC’s Best Funeral Ever, goes the extra mile to personalize funerals upon request. On this episode, they were planning the funeral for a man who especially loved Christmas. The funeral featured choreographed dancing, a gingerbread man, reindeer, snow, and a casket on a sleigh.
Kyle Tevlin was tired of attending “ho-hum” funerals, so she decided to take funeral planning into her own hands. She started her company I Want a Fun Funeral as a service for those who, as the name says, want a fun funeral.
One funeral Kyle planned was for a cat lover. When she passes, she wants her friends to spend the day playing with cats at the animal shelter and potentially adopt one in her memory. Another client wants his ashes spread at 18 holes of his favorite golf course.
Tevlin herself plans to donate her body to science once she dies. She wants her family to decorate a mini coffin in her honor and to toss notes and memories into it. She is already curating a playlist she wants to be playing in the background.
Has your funeral home ever planned a uniquely personalized funeral service? Share your stories in the comments below!