As its name suggests, a celebration of life invites those close to a lost loved one to enjoy a memorial focused on the positive memories associated with them. Although you might be grieving, it is important to honor and treasure the time shared with the special person that has passed. Whether it’s been days, weeks, or months since their passing, this kind of thoughtful event is the perfect way to commemorate your loved one’s time on earth. And we’ve got 55 celebration of life invitation ideas to help get you started.
When planning a non-traditional funeral substitution like this, it’s important to think about what your loved one would want. Did they enjoy a good dance party, a walk in the park, or a day filled with food and drinks? Incorporating their favorite things into the event will help those attending feel close to their cherished spirit and help their legacy live on.
Unlike a funeral, it is common to send invitations to your loved one’s celebration of life. These can be creative and can even pertain to the personality and preferences of your person. Be sure to include information such as the date and time, location, any activities that will take place, as well as any items that should be brought to the event. Additionally, there are many ways to showcase originality with your invites—bringing an element of your loved one’s unique character to them. We’ve crafted a list of 55 celebration of life invitation ideas for a personalized memorial to help you plan the commemoration of your precious loved one.
55 Celebration of Life Invitation Ideas
1. Mail a mini liquor bottle
Many families have a long tradition of taking a shot for those they’ve lost. Sending a small bottle of your loved one’s favorite alcohol along with an invitation gives guests a chance to raise a toast even before the celebration of life begins.
2. Customize a fortune cookie
If your loved one was a fan of fortune, using a fortune cookie as an invitation is a quirky and personal way to invite guests to the event.
3. A print of their favorite artwork
Include a print of your loved one’s favorite piece of art in the invitation. Those who knew them will now be able to keep this special memory in their homes.
4. A mini photo book
With the invitation to the celebration of life on the first page, create a small memory book filled with photos of your person with their family and friends.
5. A fill-in-the-blank card to return at the celebration
This is a great way to collect favorite memories, quotes, and other memorable stories to share at the memorial.
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6. A 3D invitation
Get creative and artistic with your invitations by crafting a 3D pop-up invite. Those invited are then able to display the memory of their loved one.
7. A CD with their favorite songs
If your lost one was a lover of music, send a CD filled with their favorite songs to those invited to the celebration of life. You can even include the event information on the front of the CD.
8. A custom cookie
For a unique invitation idea, include a custom cookie of your loved one’s name, face, favorite animal, or anything that reminds you of them.
9. A postcard
If your loved one had a favorite place to visit, include your celebration of life information on a postcard from that place.
10. A hand-drawn picture of the person
Have a local artist hand draw a portrait of your loved one to take the invitation to a more personal, artistic level.
11. A favorite color-themed invitation
Did your person have a favorite color? If so, craft invitations to include their go-to, and have everyone attend the celebration of life wearing it.
12. A “favorites” themed invitation
This unique idea revolves around your loved one’s favorites. Include a list of items that pertain to them and have each attendee bring one item.
13. Flower petals to scatter
In the celebration of life invitation, include dried petals of their favorite flower to be scattered by attendees in a location of meaning to them.
14. A personalized magnet
Not only will a personalized magnet on the fridge help attendees remember the details of the event, but they’re able to hold on to a special memory of their loved one that they can see every day.
15. Favorite book
Include a copy of your lost one’s favorite book along with the invitation. Ask that attendees read the book and come prepared to discuss at the celebration of life, book club style.
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16. A packet of flower seeds
Mailing a packet of flower seeds along with the invitation gives invitees a chance to spread them in a place that is unique to them and their loved one.
17. A URL to submit pictures/memories
Including a URL on your invitation is a wonderful way for everyone to participate in the collection of memories. Make the website public so that those who cannot attend the celebration of life are still able to enjoy photos and stories of their loved one.
18. A prompt for an open mic
If your loved one was a fan of songwriting or poetry, include a prompt on the invitation and ask guests to share during the celebration.
19. A potluck invitation
Was your special person a foodie? If so, include a list of their favorite food items and have each attendee choose one to bring to the event.
20. A DIY origami invitation
If the unique art of paper folding was special to your person, get creative and include instructions on how to turn the invitation into origami to keep as a memory.
21. A QR code for a memorial fundraiser
If you need to gather funds for your event, include a QR code so that people can easily scan it and donate to the celebration.
22. A map of a memorial trail run
Looking to commemorate your loved one with an outdoor activity? Attach a map to the invitation and have attendees come prepared for a hike in their honor.
23. Tickets to a memorial show
If your loved one was involved in community theater, send your invitations in the form of a ticket.
24. A “pay it forward” invitation
In your celebration of life invitation, include a request for the attendee to do something kind in honor of your loved one. Then at the event, have everyone share their stories of paying it forward.
25. A personalized pen
With your event invitation, attach a personalized pen with your loved one’s initials on it. That way, friends and family can remember them every time they jot down a note.
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26. A personalized sticker
Send along a sticker in your loved one’s honor for family and friends to place on their laptop or keep around their home.
27. A miniature bottle of their go-to fragrance
Send along a small vial of your loved one’s favorite perfume or cologne for family and friends to remember the scent of their person.
28. Personalized t-shirts to wear to the celebration
Include a photo of your loved one’s face on the tees and be sure to have everyone pose for a picture in their shirts at the celebration of life.
29. Lyrics to a song that will be sung at the celebration
If there is a song that is unique to your loved one, attach the lyrics to the invitation and have attendees come prepared to sing the song together at the celebration.
30. A disposable camera to capture memories at the celebration
Send your invites with a disposable camera for a unique and personal way for everyone to remember the celebration of life.
31. An RSVP karaoke song
If your special one was a fan of karaoke, have your guests RSVP with a karaoke song to sing at the celebration. Extra points if the song is special to your loved one lost.
32. A constellation map with a star in their honor
Commemorate your loved one with a star named after them. Include a map with your invitation so that those close to the lost person can see the special star in the night sky.
33. A poem about your loved one
They’d be sure to find this celebration of life invite touching and meaningful.
34. A request for toy donations
If the person you lost was young (or young at heart), organize a toy drive and have attendees bring items to donate in their honor.
35. A song request for a dance party celebration
Whether it’s a silent disco or an all-out rave, a great way to remember your loved one is by throwing a dance party. Have attendees RSVP by sending in a song request for the party.
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36. Feature fancy lettering
If your loved one enjoyed the finer things in life, send out a fancy red carpet-themed invitation, complete with large cursive font and sparkles. Have your guests attend in their best black-tie attire to honor their classy family member or friend.
37. Send ashes to be released all over the world.
This idea should be considered if you’re only inviting a select few to the celebration of life. Gift them with a small vial of your loved one’s ashes so that their memory can be spread in beautiful locations all over the map.
38.Include a piece of fabric
Along with the invitation, mail a piece of fabric or paper to the attendee. Then, have them write down their favorite memory of your loved one, bring it to the celebration, and attach it to the tail of a kite to be flown in their honor.
39. Mail a wooden ornament to decorate
If you’re planning the celebration of life around the holiday season, send wooden ornaments (glass might break in transit) for attendees to decorate. Have them bring the ornament to hang on a memorial tree at the event.
40. Send a personalized coaster
Coasters are lightweight and travel easily in the mail. Personalize the coasters with a quote or photo of your loved one to include alongside the invitation.
41.Include scavenger hunt instructions
Was your loved one a fan of adventure? Create a scavenger hunt incorporating all of their favorite places: book stores, coffee shops, you name it! Include the instructions in the celebration of life invitation to get attendees excited for the memorial scavenger hunt.
42. Feature a quote from your loved one
Add a special quote from your lost friend or family member in the invitation for a more personalized touch.
43. Gift a candle
If your loved one enjoyed the smell of the ocean or the mountainous pine trees, mail a small candle of their favorite scent along with the invite for attendees to remember them every time they light it.
44.Include pieces of chalk
Have attendees memorialize your special person by using chalk to create artistic tributes all over their city.
45. Send a personalized flag
Flags are a great way to remember a loved one, and would be a meaningful addition to your invitation.
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46. Mail a Flat Stanley-version of your loved one
Do you know the story of Flat Stanley? If so, create a version of your loved one to be sent with the event invitations. Have invitees take pictures with the Flat Stanley in different locations in honor of the person lost.
47. A request for a drawing of your loved one
Ask those invited to draw a picture of your loved one to share at the celebration. The results are sure to be funny and lighthearted, as not everyone is an artist.
48. Request items for a time capsule
Focus your celebration of life around a time capsule, and have attendees bring an item to place into the capsule in honor of the person.
49. Send a “meme-orial”
If your loved one had a sense of humor, craft your invitation around a meme in their honor.
50. Gift a mini bag of their favorite coffee
If you’re planning a long day of celebrating, provide your invitees with your loved one’s favorite coffee to start the day in remembrance.
51. Include a place card with your loved one’s name
Create a place card with your loved one’s name and include it with the event invitation. That way, they can save a place at their dinner table, or at special family events, in remembrance.
52. Incorporate their favorite movie
Tape the back of the invitations onto copies of their favorite movie so that invitees can watch the flick whenever they’d like.
53. Feature their handwriting
Scan some of their own handwriting onto the invitation to make it extra-special.
Put together all of the invitation information onto a laminated bookmark, which makes for a lovely keepsake.
55. A custom bracelet
Include one of those stretchy bracelets you can buy in bulk and personalize with your loved one’s name, favorite Bible verse, or signature saying. Have everyone wear these to the celebration!
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