Funeral Decor: 5 Traditional Ideas, 5 Crazy Ones

As you're planning your loved one's memorial service, the funeral decor is an important aspect.

Funeral decorations are one way to express your love and respect, honor their memory and interests, and create a beautiful environment for attendees to focus on mourning, remembering, honoring, and celebrating your loved one's life and legacy.

But people often have questions, such as:

  • What is the best and most appropriate funeral decor?
  • What are some creative decorations for the funeral?
  • Does the funeral home (or church, or other venue) allow decorations?
  • Can I get all these things done in time for the service?

Today, we're going to provide some inspiration for traditional and unique (aka crazy) funeral decor ideas. Along the way we'll give some guidance that should help you answer each of those questions.

5 Traditional Funeral Decor Ideas

  1. Flowers. Simply put, funeral flowers are the traditional way to decorate for a funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life.
  2. Candles. The mild, dancing light that emanates from lit candles provides a sense of solemnity and serenity.
  3. Photo Portrait. Get a portrait of your loved one printed onto a large canvas, or a large framed print. This is often the central focus point at the front near the coffin or urn, in the entry way near the table, or both. Be sure to move the portrait into the reception area, that way you can save on costs without having to purchase multiple prints.
  4. Memorial Table. This is a table that is typically placed at the front of the service, especially when there is no body present (or the remains are there in a cremation urn). Here are 14 creative reception table ideas.
  5. Reception Table Centerpieces. The centerpieces at the reception are often used as a reflection of the decedent's personality. Check out this Funeral Reception Planning Guide for more inspiration.

Additional decor accents: Flower petals, leafy/foliage accents, tablecloths, ribbons, bows, streamers, lanterns, black bunting.

5 Crazy Unique Funeral Decor Ideas

  1. Collectibles. Was there something unique that the person collected? Crochet puppets, branded coffee cup sleeves, movie and film paraphernalia? Showcase their hobby and decorate for the service at the same time.
  2. Hidden Pictures. Whatever you choose for the decor, hide something that kids and adults can search for around the venue. For instance, mention in the funeral program that there are 20 puppy images hidden throughout the room, and a prize (one for adults, one for kids) goes to the one who finds the most.
  3. Quirky Themes. Maybe they loved donuts, studied black holes, or learned Tolkien's invented Elvish language. Incorporate these themes into your decor.
  4. Funny Photos. Instead of the traditional posed portrait, use a hilarious pose or candid as the main photo. Decorate the walls with funny images of all the crazy stuff they did.
  5. Costume Party. Did this person love Halloween, playacting, theater, and playing dress-up? Invite people to wear crazy costumes to the funeral. It will be a truly unique way to honor a special person's memory, and everyone will get to BE the decor! 

More Ideas

  • Decorate, paint, draw on, or have people sign the casket
  • If they were a sports fan, decorate using their favorite team's colors
  • Memorial treasure hunt: Fill Easter eggs with little memorial notes about the person's life - they loved sushi, once owned a '67 Mustang, worked on an Alaskan oil rig, can be seen in Back to the Future as an extra - along with little treats or coins.
  • Photo mosaic: Gather a hundred or more images of the person, find an online photo mosaic service, upload, and print. People will enjoy looking closely at the montage!
  • Personalize memorial lanterns and fill them with candles (real or LED) 
  • Give out funeral favors

Funeral Decor Tips


You can't plan the funeral all by yourself. There's simply not enough time. You'll need to pass off some ideas to others. Thankfully, most families and groups of friends have diverse skills and interests, so there is often someone who would be thrilled to take on the funeral decorations. Don't be afraid to delegate!


Ask around and you'll be surprised by the random things people have and are willing to lend. Social media is great for this. Figure out what you need, put together a list, and ask if anyone has any of it on hand. Chances are you can get a significant amount of the funeral decor accents you need at zero cost this way.

Ask Your Funeral Director

If there's something you need, or an idea you are considering, ask your funeral director. They are ready to help you - not only is it their job, many funeral directors got into the industry because of a desire to help families through these difficult times. Plus, they've seen it all, and probably already have an answer (and resource) ready for you. 

Shop Online

While the funeral home probably can help with a lot of what you might need, they don't do everything. You'll most likely still need a florist for flowers, a printer for a memorial photo and funeral programs, musicians, a caterer, and so on. Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful place filled with resources galore. Don't be afraid to shop online! You'll often find better prices, too.

For instance, we sell cremation urns online. We have some of the best memorial urns in the world, and we can ship them to your door (or directly to the funeral home), and often at a much lower cost. Here are some of our very favorite urns, and here's our #1 tip to help you save (give or take) about $100 on your funeral costs.