Celebration of Life Table Centerpieces in Honor of a Loved One

When you lose a loved one it’s time to grieve, at the same time, no time is more perfect to commemorate a life well-lived. When a loved one passes,  celebrating their life well lived lightens the mood and turns it to something positive..

Instead of the traditional funeral, a celebration of life makes it a lighter moment as everyone reminisces of the happy times and anecdotes of the dearly departed. It also is a moment of gratitude by honoring them.

So if you plan to organize a celebration of life event, here are some table centerpieces you can do as a DIYer. If you’re a crafter with a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, you can do so much more crafts and customization of the centerpieces.

celebration of life centerpieces

What is a Celebration of Life?

A celebration of life is a type of gathering of family of loved ones to honor and reminisce that favorite memories of the dearly departed. A celebration of life gathering is different from the traditional funeral service.

While a funeral or memorial service has specific traditional programs, have a formal ceremony, and a timeline that should be followed. On the contrary, a celebration life is a simple gathering like a lunch or dinner to honor your deceased loved one.

A celebration of life shares common goals for the gathering: to grieve together and come together to reminisce their memories with the loved one. A celebration of life may include dining together and having a story-telling session.

What to Prepare for a Celebration of Life Gathering

If you’re planning to organize a celebration of life gathering, there are some things you need to prepare. Here are some things you need to prepare for a celebration of life gathering:

Select a Location

Pick a location to fit all your guests, fit your budget, and fit the theme (if you have one). You can also pick a special place that is memorable to your deceased loved one (favorite restaurant, garden, or park).

Write Down the Guest List

Who will you invite? List down the friends, family members, business partners, the community, or neighbors who want to attend. You can send an email, e-invitation, or call up the guests who you think you would love to come.

Prepare What You Need for the Event

Prepare decorations for the remembrance table, collect things that bring special memories like pictures, favorite books (if your loved one is an avid reader), music collections, or anything meaningful for the event.

Plan Out the Flow of the Event

A celebration of life gatherings doesn’t need to be a formal event, but planning the flow of the event will be more organized. For example, first, you can welcome the guests, next is dinner, then a slideshow of more pictures of the loved one, and then sharing of stories.

As soon as you have all these details covered, it’s time to prepare the celebration of life decorations. As you plan out the decorations or centerpiece ideas, consider personalizing the table centerpieces for a more extra special touch.

Celebration of Life Table Centerpieces Ideas

A center table, where everybody sits, shares a meal and cherishes memories is the focal point for a celebration of life gathering. That’s why you have to put in extra effort to decorate the table. Here are some table centerpiece ideas you can place on the table:

Flowers and Vases

celebration of life centerpieces
Personalized flower vase using TeckWrap Craft textured metallic vinyl
Image from TeckWrap Craft Facebook Page


Fresh flowers are a must for every gathering whether it be a wedding or funeral. Flowers are a reminder of the circle of life — it withers. It’s an appropriate decoration for the occasion and also adds brightness to a rather difficult moment. Plus the scent of fresh flowers helps with the calmness and completes the relaxing vibe.

Of course, with fresh flowers, you’d need a flower vase. If you’re on a budget you can use mason jars instead of a flower vase. This is a table decoration you can personalize using adhesive vinyl decals.

You can place inspirational quotes about grieving on the vase like “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day…unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed, and very dear.”

Other Alternatives to Flowers

If you’re not into flowers and you want a more affordable option, you can use succulents instead. Using succulents gives a modern take to decorating the center table. Additionally, you can use these succulents as a house display after the event.

Other alternatives to fresh flowers are paper flowers, dried flowers, or plastic flowers. Since a celebration of life gathering is a one-time event, spending too much money on flowers would seem to be impractical.

Guest Book + Memory Table Card

Of course you would want a guest book for every gathering especially a celebration of life event. A guest book would be more appropriate to place on the welcome sign or the entrance of the event. Or you can make a remembrance table at the entrance of the gathering. Along with a guest book, you can also place memory table cards.

For the guest book, you can buy a plain notebook, decorate and personalize it using adhesive vinyl. For instance, you’re having a celebration of life gathering of your father-in-law, on the cover of the guestbook, you can print texts like “In Loving Memory of (your loved one's name).

For the memory table card or a remembrance table card, you can buy ready-made cards at a dollar store or make one of your own. Using thick special paper or cardboard, print vinyl decals on it that say “Share your special memories here”.

Drinks and Glasses

celebration of life centerpieces
TeckWrap Craft holographic vinyl on a wine glass
Image from TeckWrap Craft Facebook Page


As a celebration of life, would drinks be appropriate? It depends, but usually yes. There’s no wrong or right way to grieve. Having wine or champagne during a celebration of life gathering reminds us that life is worth celebrating.

For instance, if your mother-in-law is the one who passed away and she loves having drinks, wouldn’t you think that having drinks would make her happy during her celebration of life gathering? It would make her smile.

So how can you make these memorial table centerpieces look extra special? By personalizing the wine or champagne glasses. Aside from using it as table decors, you can use these vinyl printed glasses as giveaways as well.

Photo or Painting

celebration of life centerpieces

Photos speaks a thousand words, and a collage of photos will speak a thousand more. One of the celebrations of life ideas you shouldn’t miss out on are photos of your departed loved one. What you’ll need is a collection of photos and picture frames when you display them and add a heartfelt quote..

Can you place it as a centerpiece? A couple of picture frames will do but don’t overdo it. You can also use several of the photos displayed during the memorial service (if there are any).

Other than a standing picture frame, you can opt for a hanging picture frame. Both types of picture frames you can personalize with vinyl decals. You can use removable adhesive vinyl if you think you need to use the picture frame in the future.


celebration of life centerpieces


For centuries and in many cultures, lighting a candle for your dearly departed is a necessity. They say lighting a candle is necessary when a loved one passes as they can follow the light going to heaven. Plus lighting candles is an excellent decoration idea for the table centerpieces.


Lastly, you can place balloons as a centerpiece, entrance, or randomly placed decoration on the location or even if there are plans to release balloons later in the ceremonial celebration as a way of feeling a celebration of life.

Also, you can place personalized printing on balloons like the photo you see below. After that, you can use these balloons to free it up in the air. Releasing balloons up in the air is a funeral tradition, why not do it in celebration of life gathering?

Honor Someone’s Life with DIY Celebration of Life Decorations

Taking the time in hosting a celebration of life for your loved one will surely make them smile in heaven. If you are looking to present someone with a heartfelt sympathies, a token honoring ones’s loved one can help lighten the moment somehow. A personal touch on the table centerpieces and decorations will make the event extra special.

Also, aside from using the crafts above as centerpieces, you can also use them as gift ideas to the guests who came to the event. The celebration of life is a final chance for friends and family members to say their last goodbyes.

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