Simple Funeral Decorations to Make It Memorable

Published September 18, 2020
Flower arrangement at funeral

Putting out funeral decorations means creating a beautiful tribute to your deceased loved one. Look for classy ideas that celebrate his or her personality while remaining elegant for the solemn occasion.

Funeral Decorations for the Service

The location where you host the service usually has some standard decor they put out for funerals. This may include table cloths, candelabras, and faux flower arrangements. However, you may wish to add a few more things to honor your deceased loved one.

Simple Entrance Decorations

Hang a floral or green wreath at the door. A plaque with a photo on an easel can be put just inside or outside the service. Include a small table for mourners to sign the guest book. All of these decorations can be moved to the funeral reception site as well.

simple entrance decoration

Funeral Flower Decorations for Altars

The altar area is where the service will take place; or, if you're not in a religious building, the front of the location. Here is where you want to focus most of your efforts. Flowers and candles are the traditional decorations. Utilize flowers that represent death if you are unsure of which ones to choose. Include:

  • Flower arrangements for tables and columns
  • Large casket spray
  • Arrangements for placing on the steps and aisle
  • Wreaths on easels

If there are no tables at the front of service location, you can bring in tables and then cover them with a white tablecloth. Then arrange flowers behind the casket on the table to create a beautiful display.

funeral flower decoration for altars

Additional Service Decorations

You may need to do more than add some floral arrangements at the service. Some areas that may need sprucing up include:

  • Aisle - Consider purchasing an aisle runner if the flooring is not up to par; wide aisles can accommodate flowers.
  • Chairs - If the service location has chairs rather than pews, you may want to rent chair covers.
  • Windows and pews - Clip candles to pews and place them in windows.
  • Wall banners - Religious institutions and secular locations may have banners with appropriate sayings and Bible verses for hanging on walls during the service.
  • Candle display - Candles and incense can be put on display for visitors to light or pray over as they arrive. Tea light or votive candle sizes are best. Make sure you purchase enough vases and cover the table where they will be displayed.
  • Religious figurines and cultural icons - Depending on the various religious and cultural beliefs of the deceased, you may want to incorporate crosses, saints, or other religious or cultural icons into the decorations.
Japanese funeral ceremony

How to Decorate for a Funeral Reception

Again, the location of the funeral reception will help determine how much decorating and what decorating you need to do.

Personalized Memorial Display

Putting together a funeral picture display is the perfect way to personalize the reception. Even if you had one at the visitation, you can still have the same or similar one at the reception. This allows people who didn't attend both to see it and a chance to reminisce about the memories displayed. Include not only photographs, but also awards, plaques, special knick-knacks, and items related to his or her hobby.

Memorial service for Capitola Dickerson

Funeral Decorations for Tables

Tables should have cloths on them; usually these are white, although you can opt for muted colorful options to match the flowers or the deceased loved one's favorite color. Additionally, you'll want to have:

  • Cloth chair covers for folding chairs or mismatched chairs
  • Table runners for rectangular tables
  • Doilies for round tables
  • Centerpieces, often featuring flowers, candles, and/or photographs of the deceased
Bouquet of white flowers

Additional Decoration Ideas

In addition to setting up a personalized memorial display and decorating the table, you may find a few other areas need attention. Decorate these areas as needed:

  • Entrance - Move the wreath from the service to the reception; a floral swag over doorways is also appropriate.
  • Walls - If the walls have inappropriate paintings or photographs, ask if you can remove them. Garish wallpaper or paint patterns can be covered with solid opaque fabrics and a single layer of tulle.
  • Curtains and windows - Have curtains pulled and tied back. If windows have a ledge, you can add a candle to them.
  • Memorial areas - When you set up a memorial area, like a memory tree craft, be sure to have the table covered, appropriate lighting with candles, and information on how to create the memorial displayed neatly in frames.
  • Stairs - If the reception location has stairs, add greenery or vines to the railing.

Decorations to Use With Caution

Funeral reception decorations do not have to be as formal or solemn as those at the service, but you should still lean towards more classic decor appropriate for a funeral reception and not a celebration of life. Skip any sort of confetti or streamers. Balloons in black, white, or other color might be appropriate if you are attaching memory cards or have another reception activity idea to do with them; keep them in that location rather than spreading them around the room.

Decor for the Funeral Service and Reception

Planning a stress-free funeral reception and service means you should be prepared. Visit both the service and reception location so you can see what is needed to dress up the space in honor of your loved one, and you will be prepared on the day of the event.

Simple Funeral Decorations to Make It Memorable