Five Ideas to Personalize a Funeral Ceremony or Memorial

Uploaded by smebner on 27.04.2010

Hi, I'm Mary Hickey, with Next Gen Memorials. People often ask me,
"What are some unique and affordable ways that I can personalize a life celebration
or memorial service, that doesn't cost a lot of money but adds
a real special touch to it?"
So today I'm going to share five ideas with you.
The first one are name tags. Now you can by these - this is just an Avery
template. You can buy this at any Staples or Office
Max store. You can buy a whole set of them for about
10 dollars. And you can download the template on the internet.
This one happens to be template 5164. And you can add some clip art.
What I like about name tags, though, is many people that
will be attending this memorial service are probably a little bit elderly.
And even at my age, I seem to forget a few things, especially names.
So it's really kind of convenient if someone can just look and see the name
and not be embarrassed if they can't remember the name.
I also recommend some pretty bold type so people can see it from a distance.
And the other thing is also, not only are our minds going of course,
our vision tends to be going a little too, that's why I recommend
bold type. And the other thing about these name tags
is, you can put on it, "How I knew Joyce".
So now it becomes personal, and you also have a way now to engage in the conversation,
the reason to start a conversation with someone that you might
see or meet at the service. This one says "How I knew Joyce: Gardening
Club." You could put, sister or brother, best friend,
a lot of different things obviously could be put in
here. This one's obviously for a woman. You could
also make them more masculine: maybe do something with darker
colors. If the man had a hobby of some sort, you might
want to put something like that to make it more personal.
I'd recommend having these at the front when people walk in
with some pens. We just happened to use a regular calligraphy-type
marker that you can buy at any store, and they
can fill these in themselves. If you have a couple different copies, you
could have them spread out so people don't have to wait to
write them out. You also might want to assign somebody to
the task of helping people fill these out.
The second thing is a memory table that you can do.
A memory table is something that will have personal things
on it. Now if this person had a hobby like knitting, you could
have some of the sweaters that they knit, pictures, all on one
table. So when you walk in to the service, you have
a quick glimpse of who this person was.
If they were an artist, you could have their art.
If they liked photography, if they traveled, maybe even a map
of where they traveled to, if traveling was one of their hobbies.
Obviously photos are usually a big part of memory tables.
But any kind of hobbies that they had. If they were gardeners,
you might want to have some of their clippings from their garden
there. If they were a golfer, maybe even some of
their golf score cards. So anything like that are perfect to put on
a memory table. That can also be opposite from where people
are filling out the cards, filling out the name tags.
So when they are having a moment to either wait or finish the name tag and wait for somebody
else to fill out the name tag, they can go over and glance
at the memory table. The nice thing about the memory table is it
doesn't really cost anything to do.
It just is really kind of gathering things from their home and maybe your home, and finding
the photos, and putting them on the table, and making
it look nice. The third idea is a guest book.
What you want to do is have people come in and sign a guest book.
These you can find at our web site, This is kind of a personal way to go ahead
and handle one of these books. It's not only a register book but it's really
a memory book. It's made to be filled out very quickly.
There's also a full video of this on our website. But it includes photos, see many photos in
here. This is where family and friends will write
their names and their address, use it as a guest book.
And it has a place here for donations, to make notes of who donated what.
And then back here, if people sent flowers you can put the flower
cards that come with the flowers in this little envelope back here.
You can also use the journal, in the very back, there's also an
area just to put your memories back in here. Another thing you can do is memory cards,
we have memory cards that come with this, and when people fill out a
memory card, they can then, and we'll get to that next, they can then
fit in here, the memory cards. So kind of a photo with the memory goes here.
Those are memory books. And what I just mentioned were these memory
cards. These have become very popular.
And how they work is, you hand them out at the service,
and you have people fill out the card. As you can see here, you can write on the
front and on the back their special memory.
The top says "My special memory of you". You can buy a set of these, 50 of these, for
only 29 dollars. They also even include pens, so they come
like this. You can also buy them in sets of a hundred,
depending how many you need, with pens, so people don't have to worry
about not having a pen. And these memory cards can be shared for generations.
We designed these ourselves, it's one of our original products,
and they've become a real hit in the industry. That was the fourth idea.
The fifth idea to help personalize the service are these seed cards.
We have different styles of them. These are wildflower seeds, and when you plant
these cards, wildflowers grow.
They can be customized at no charge, it's all included.
And down here are the planting instructions. You just plant them, put a little bit of soil
on top of them, and wildflowers grow in memory of your loved
one. You could put them in a garden.
You could put them if they are going to be buried, at the grave site.
Wherever you think is appropriate for you. These happen to be forget-me-not seeds, embedded
in these cards. So you take this off, and you plant it, and
the forget-me-not flowers, these really pretty blue flowers, will grow.
This one is personalized, with "Chris Jensen, Who planted the seeds
of faith, hope and love in all of our hearts". On the back are planting instructions.
And this is a butterfly one, same idea, this has forget-me-not
seeds in a butterfly. And you can pick out a poem at
You'll find a bunch of poems that are appropriate for here.
And then you can personalize it over here. "Plant these forget-me-not seeds In loving
memory of Robert Smith, who is gone but always remembered".
On the back are the planting instructions. And these are the wildflower cards.
They also come with envelopes. If you like you can order
envelopes. They're separate but they're nice if you want to mail
them out for thank-you notes. So those are five ideas that I hope will help
you personalize the next memorial service or life celebration
that you might be planning. Thanks a lot.