How to Make a Reception More Meaningful

At Cypress Lawn, our experienced staff members help families throughout the Bay Area plan funeral services for their loved ones. We encourage every family to plan a reception for their loved one, as it provides a beautiful opportunity for collective healing. Planning a reception allows you to embrace personalization in how you tell your loved one’s story to others. There are many ways to make a reception more meaningful, and these are some of our favorites.

Choose a theme for the menu.

 Whether you serve appetizers and drinks or a dinner with multiple courses, select a theme for your menu. If your loved one enjoyed baking, perhaps you serve favorite baked goods for a casual daytime gathering. Maybe your loved one was ethnically Chinese, so you and your guests share dim sum. Feature sushi or fried calamari on your menu if your loved one used to fish in their free time. Feel free to get as creative as you like when planning the reception menu.

Hold your reception outdoors.

Plan an unforgettable reception with an outdoor event. A BBQ creates a laidback atmosphere and features food items that are readily available and delicious. If your loved one liked to hike or camp, an outdoor celebration can feel especially authentic. Including a butterfly or dove release as part of the reception is another special way to integrate natural elements into the service.

Set up a memory table.

A memory table is a unique way to commemorate your loved one. Decorate the table with beloved photos of them along with small meaningful objects and mementoes. Place a remembrance book on the table and encourage guests to write down their favorite memories of your loved one. It’s a beautiful way to preserve stories of your loved one in a physical object you can keep with you for years to come.

Incorporate live music into the reception.

The healing properties of music make it a wonderful choice for a funeral reception. Hiring live musicians can create an even more memorable experience. Consider featuring music in a genre that makes you think of your loved one. Whether it’s jazz, country, or soft rock, prepare to feel inspired and reminded of your loved one with each song that’s played.

If you live in San Francisco and would like help planning a funeral or a reception for a loved one, contact our caring staff members.