4 Completely Amazing Funeral Personalization Ideas To Embrace In 2017

December 7, 2016
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Originally Published on the funeralOne Blog

When the topic of personalization first hit the funeral profession over a decade ago, it was a completely revolutionary idea…

How great would it be if you could build and create a funeral service that was entirely unique and custom to a loved one’s life?

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When families entered a funeral home, they were no longer met with the same familiar elements that they had come to expect from their grandparents funeral — blank beige walls, somber funeral hymns, poster boards filled with faded, time-stained photos. Instead, they walked in to find an environment that would completely change with every single service performed. Funeral homes began playing custom music during visitations, and filling the photo frames on the walls with pictures of the loved one they were memorializing. It was truly the birth of a new way of honoring and celebrating life.

But now that personalized funerals have been around for a while, the basic methods of how to customize these services are no longer as unique or exciting as they once were… In fact, families now expect to have things like personalized music or memorial videos in their funeral service.

So what’s this mean for funeral professionals? Embracing basic funeral personalization options is no longer enough to set you apart from your competitors… it’s now the status quo. If you want to keep ahead of the curve and give your families personalization options that will both wow them and bring new levels of value and celebration to their loved one’s funeral, you need to start embracing new methods of funeral personalization that the masses have never seen before.

To help get you started, here are four completely new and amazing funeral personalization ideas to bring into 2017… enjoy!

1. Embrace The Communities They Belong To

There’s a popular quote that says, “you are the company you keep.” And for many people in the world, that quote is a badge of honor. Whether it’s a club, an organization or even a friend group, these communities are often an invaluable treasure in a person’s life. They’re the people that support them when times get rough or help them rise in their triumphs – so it only makes sense to represent these communities when sharing the most important elements of a person’s life.

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One great way to represent communities in your funeral personalization is to incorporate their colors, emblems or logo into the service decor. For example, if they were in a fraternity or sorority, you could hang up their chapter’s flag inside of the casket. You could also request that family and friends send flowers in the colors that are representative of the greek organization their loved one belonged to.

2. Show Off Their True Colors

People who belong to official organizations are not the only ones who consider themselves a part of an important community. Sports fans and hunting enthusiasts are two other groups who have their own unique ways of showing off pride for their community… namely in the colors of clothing that they wear.

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A great way to embrace these colors (or in the case of hunters, camouflage) is to make the colors a part of the funeral service. Hang up signs and decorations that embrace the spirit of the sport, bring in themed flowers, or even suggest friends and family to attend the service wearing the colors of the hobby or sport that their loved one held dear. This will help make sure that your entire funeral home is blanketed in the colors that were so important and so representative of the person you are celebrating.

3. Give Everyone A Chance To Tell Their Story

One of the most valuable moments of a funeral service is when friends and family members get up to recount their favorite stories or memories of their loved one. It truly gives you an inside look into who they were and all of the people they managed to touch throughout their life. But unfortunately, there’s not always enough time to let everyone tell a unique story or memory during the funeral service. That’s why when we heard about the idea of “sent-a-mint” cards during one of the NFDA educational sessions last month, we immediately jotted it down as a brilliant personalization idea.

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All you need to execute this idea are some blank cards, some pens and some delicious peppermints. Next time you host a funeral service where people want to give their remarks, but there simply isn’t enough time for everyone, hand out cards with peppermints attached. Encourage people to write down their favorite story or memory that they shared with their loved one, and collect the cards as people begin to exit your funeral home. (They can keep the mint!) This makes an amazing gift to give the immediate family after the service has ended, as they now have their own collection of all the ways in which their loved one made a difference in the lives around them.

4. Create Themed Highlight Reels Of A Person’s Life

We’ve talked a lot about why funeral professionals can’t afford to ignore video when it comes to funeral personalization. (In fact, we would go as far as to say that it’s one of the most important, valuable and meaningful aspects of a modern funeral service.) Why is this? In short, because videos bring you back to the stories and moments that matter most in life, and they help unite your families around one simple thing – healing.

But not enough funeral homes are getting creative with their memorial videos and offering their families video options that actually move people. For example, instead of creating one long memorial video filled with a endless loop of photos, create several short videos that follow different themes. For example, an upbeat, fun video filled with balloons and confetti that takes a look back on a lifetime of birthdays, or a powerful, cinematic reflection back on a career in the military. You could show each of these videos at different stations throughout the funeral visitation, or even create a short highlight reel of the biggest moments of a loved one’s life to play during the service itself.

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