Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why can't memorials be more like weddings?

Vintage keys as remembrance favors (from Bustled Events)

It's my goal to make death pretty again. And I believe memorials deserve to be as beautifully styled as any wedding. Like a wedding, memorials are ceremonies devoted to love. And love, whether it's earthly or eternal, always merits gorgeous and affectionate design.

Vintage card cabinet and photo display from Martha Stewart Weddings

Of course, the primary reason for the lack of style with memorials is the weight of grief. Who wants to think about design at a time when they can hardly function? So it's my hope to create templates of memorial ideas that can be easily recreated. These services will have many DIY components, which I believe not only makes the memorial more personal, it allows family and friends to contribute in a meaningful way.

Right now I'm working on different themes - vintage, rustic, beach, garden, classic, and neo-Victorian. In time I hope to have photo shoots highlighting each theme, but for now I've been collecting ideas on my Pinterest page. I spend a lot of time on DIY wedding blogs like Forget Me Knot Weddings, 100 Layer Cake and Grey Likes Weddings looking for inspiration, and I encourage others who are planning memorials to check out these sites.

Memorials are all about remembrance, so it's nice to bring in vintage items that are also meaningful - from tea tins to doilies, crockery to cookbooks. Here are just a few display ideas incorporating easy-to-do vintage elements from Ruffled, Bustled Events, and Hazlitt Vintage Rentals:

I hope that we can reinvent how we think of memorials, and treat them with the same love and affection that we do with weddings. Why not?


Karina Cifuentes said...

What a brilliant idea. But I imagine it to be difficult when overwrought with grief. But it does make sense to remember someone this way and to put as much thought into it as any special day...because you're remembering a life and what made that person special. Would love to see more ideas...

Sister Shirley said...

I agree Karina, it's so hard to be creative in the midst of loss. Perhaps it's too much to plan a full memorial with all the details. Still, even one aspect like a personalized guestbook or picture display may be enough to make the memorial much more meaningful.

O D Y S S E Y said...

i have to agree with you. yes, it is the weight of grief (and time constraints) preventing mourners from putting more creativity into memorials.
of course, some memorials do end up evolving into a celebration of a one's life.
a picture display is always a nice idea. i love seeing a guestbook at memorials.
you have lovely ideas. :)

Brittany Smith said...

For my Dad's memorial service, my sisters and I spent time coming up with elements we felt captured who he was. I can't tell you how important it was that we did that! The creativity we used was key in helping us get through the day. Thank you for your lovely take on memorial services. I'm so glad I found your blog! xo

Urn Garden said...

You've got a great idea, there is a need for inspiration during this difficult time from both sides, the family and the funeral providers. Keep up the good work, your blog inspires me.

Kelsey said...

Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words of encouragement for my art! You have an incredibly lovely blog.
fondly- Kelsey

Suzette - SevenPonds, Founder said...

This is so right on Shirley. Excellent topic and BTW thanks for the comment on my post. Sadly it was deleted by mistake and I never had the chance to read it ; - (

Sister Shirley said...

Thanks Suzette!

I believe the comment I left was about remembering friends we've lost, and how important it is for me to keep the qualities I admired them alive in me (at least as much as I'm capable of doing.)

And I also wanted to praise your blog and website - the work you are doing is so important and enlightening!

Ansley said...

It's a time issue. My grandmother died Thursday, traveled Friday, burial Saturday, and Memorial Sunday. The most we could do was to bring together and frame old family photos. And eat together as a family at her favorite restaurant. It's a lovely idea if you could plan these things ahead of time, but when you're in the midst, it's very difficult.

Damon Marsh said...

I also believe that memorials should be made lively as well, especially if the person was quite active and spirited. It doesn’t have to be full of grief, since this would be the last time that you’ll be with someone close to you. Thus, it would be great if one can exert effort to make their farewell a remarkable one. Thanks for sharing your ideas, Suzette! All the best!

Damon Marsh @ Inland Memorial