Make Your Memorial Table Shine With These Tips

A memorial service is an alternative to a traditional funeral as a way of honoring the life of someone who has passed. Often held up to a year after the death, memorial services often aren't as somber as funerals and can be more of a celebration of the person's life. While memorial services can encompass music, video tributes and eulogy-style remarks, a main focal point is the memorial table. The decorations on this table tell the story of the person's life. If you're in charge of decorating the table, think of the objects you can use to paint a vivid picture.


No memorial table is complete without a selection of photos that depict the individual's life. Take some time to gather photos that show the person not only at various ages, but also during important milestones. Photos of the individual with family and friends are also valuable, as are snapshots his or her favorite activities. Although you can mount a number of hard-copy photos to a piece of cardboard and stand it at the rear of the table, an alternative is to create a slideshow with an electronic photo frame.

Important Mementos

Placing cherished mementos--or copies thereof--around the table helps to tell the story of the person's life. Beyond photos, these important items allow guests at the service to learn more about the individual who has passed. If this person was an avid cook, display a well-worn cookbook and a cake plate that many people will recognize; for a writer, gather an old typewriter from the person's collection and display it with any published stories or articles.

Urn, Flowers and Candles

Because memorial services are held well after a person's death, cremation is often chosen over a traditional burial. In this case, you can include an urn with the person's ashes in the center of the memorial table -- ideally next to a photograph that truly captures the individual's essence. Flowers and candles are other important ways to decorate the table, although less can often be more. Place one or two candles on the table and, instead of taking up too much space with bouquet after bouquet, choose one arrangement that embodies the person.

Table Placement

The memorial table is often a popular destination at the service, so it's important to be vigilant about where you place it. Don't set up the table too close to the door, as it will create a traffic jam of people trying to come or go. It's ideal to place the table in a large, open area so that crowds can enjoy it from multiple angles simultaneously.

Contact a funeral home such as Keenan Richard H Funeral Home Inc to see if they have any other available options for creating a unique memorial table.