How do you plan a fitting goodbye for the woman who brought you into the world or was a valued part of your life? Planning for your mom or stepmom’s funeral may be extremely difficult. Many people find it hard to make decisions when they are overcome with grief. Even if they want to have a unique service for a special woman, the family may have difficulty coming up with ideas.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Funeral Decoration Ideas for a Mother’s Funeral
- Funeral Program Ideas for a Mother’s Funeral
- Other Ideas for Your Mom’s Funeral
We’ll give you a few funeral ideas for your mother, including how to decorate for the event. We’ll also give you ideas of what to add to the funeral program to honor your mom. Check out our funeral planning checklist to help you make sure you take care of all the necessary tasks.
Funeral Decoration Ideas for a Mother’s Funeral
Before you panic because you think you need to add another item to your to-do list, know that most people do not decorate for funerals. Some people use flowers, plants, and memorabilia to soften the austere appearance of the funeral home. However, some may spend some time decorating the space for the reception or luncheon after the funeral. Here are some decor ideas.
1. Decorate with your mom’s favorite flower or plant
While it is common to have a casket spray or a standing floral display at a funeral, some people leave the choice of the flowers with the florist. Instead, think about what flowers brought your mom the greatest joy. Make sure those types of blooms are utilized in every display.
Are those specific flowers not in season? Use silk flowers instead.
Use flowers from your mom’s garden (or other gardens in the family) to make the bouquets even more meaningful. Learn how to create your own inexpensive displays to save money on the decor.
2. Use ribbon on the memorial table
Place ribbon in a variety of widths and patterns on the tablecloth-covered memorial table. This is a simple and cost-effective way to draw attention to the display. Use colors that were meaningful to your mother.
3. Create a photo centerpiece at each table at the reception
If you plan to have a reception or meal after the services for your mom, consider decorating each table with photo centerpieces. Use your favorite pictures of your mom throughout the decades.
4. Ask the kids in the family to create signs
This may be the first time children in the family have experienced grief. Sometimes people become so overwhelmed with their own feelings that they forget to help the kids sort through all their complicated emotions.
Gather a bunch of art supplies and invite the kids in the family to create cards and posters for your loved one. Ask them to draw pictures of happy memories or write a poem about how much Grandma/Mee-Maw/Grammy will be missed.
5. Use your mom’s artwork
Was your mom a talented artist? Did she sew quilts or create pottery? Perhaps she was gifted at needlepoint or crochet. Regardless of the medium, consider using some of her artwork to decorate for her funeral.
Funeral Program Ideas for a Mother’s Funeral
A funeral program typically gives the order of service. It may also include the obituary and directions on how to get to the cemetery. This document can be used for other purposes as well. Here are some things to add to your mother’s funeral program to make the event more meaningful.
6. Include a poem
Many people add a poem to their loved one’s funeral program. Choose from poems about a mother’s death. If you can’t find one that speaks to you, consider writing your own simple verse. Poems don’t have to rhyme or have a specific rhythm; simply write from the heart.
If your mom was a poet, you might want to include some of her own work in the program.
7. Give instructions on memorial ideas
Most of the time, requests for donations to specific memorials are made in the obituary of the deceased. You may consider repeating this request in the funeral program. You can give more information about the charity or instructions on how the donation can be made.
8. Include your mom’s favorite quotes or verses
Some people display favorite quotes by famous people or Bible verses in their homes. What sayings were important to your mom? Consider sprinkling the funeral program with those quotes.
9. Why not include quotes by your mom?
Was your mom known for her witty sayings? If your mom was the queen of one-liners or was quick to offer quotable advice, consider including some of these quotes in her funeral program.
While it is common for families to include obituaries in funeral programs, you don’t often see remembrances in them.
Consider writing your mom’s life story to be included in her funeral program. Add details such as her favorite subject in high school or where she met your father. Write about what made your mom special.
Other Ideas for Your Mom’s Funeral
Are you looking for other ways to make your mom’s services stand out from the rest? Create a fitting tribute by making the funeral as personalized as possible. Here are some ideas.
11. Give a memento to the attendees
It has become more common in recent years to give a memento to funeral attendees. One common and inexpensive “gift” is a package of flower seeds called “forget-me-nots.” You can buy personalized seed packets with your mom’s name or photo on them.
Depending on where you live, you may also consider buying tree saplings. Your mom will be remembered for years as the funeral attendees watch their trees grow.
You could also give funeral attendees a “cause bracelet” to show awareness for the disease that took your mom’s life. Sometimes families give out tokens or charms that act as a reminder.
Get creative with the gift. Was your mom an avid reader? Give attendees a bookmark with your mom’s name and photo on it.
12. Ask the family to participate in the funeral
Some people find it too emotionally difficult to speak at a loved one’s funeral, but there is strength in numbers. Ask the children in the family to sing grandma’s favorite hymn or play the instrumental processional.
Have the grandchildren each read a stanza of a favorite poem. Do a tag-team eulogy, where all of your siblings have a chance to share something special about your mom.
13. Add a poignant ceremony to the order of service
Even if your family members aren’t able or willing to speak or perform in front of others, they may be likely to participate in a beautiful ceremony to honor the life of your mom.
Assign a particular flower color to each generation and have the great-grandchildren, grandchildren, and children place a single stem on the casket. You could also create a somber candle-lighting ceremony and have the extended family members participate in it.
14. Do a butterfly release
Butterfly releases have become popular in some areas. Ensure the release can be done without harming the native butterfly population and complete this beautiful ceremony in memory of your mom.
15. Serve your mom’s favorite foods at the reception
Most of the time, funeral reception menus are chosen based on convenience, other times, the menu has special meaning. You may want to use some of your mom’s signature recipes at her funeral luncheon.
16. Ask for funeral attendees to share memories of your mom
Have note cards available for people to write down unforgettable memories of your mom. Provide a tack board or display board with crisscrossed ribbons so that other attendees can read the memories.
17. Choose meaningful songs
Did your mom have a favorite hymn? Consider having that sung at the service, regardless if it is a “popular funeral hymn.”
Choose the music that accompanies the photo slideshow with care. What songs were the soundtrack to your mom’s life? Use those songs instead of music associated with death.
18. Ask attendees to dress in a certain style or color
More people are placing specific instructions for funeral attendees in obituaries. If your mom preferred casual dress, ask those attending the event to wear jeans. If your mom’s favorite color was pink, ask people to wear the shade at the event.
19. Choose a customized casket or urn
If you have enough time before your event, you may want to purchase a personalized casket or urn. Caskets and urns can be made in any color or style.
20. Create a scholarship fund for your mom
Was education important to your mom? Let her legacy live on by creating a scholarship fund in her name. Ask funeral attendees to donate to the fund instead of purchasing flowers.
It’s Hard to Say Goodbye
We know how hard it is to say goodbye to a loved one. The next year may be challenging as you face the holidays and the death anniversary of your loved one.
Grief experts advise people to make plans for these significant dates. Gather with others to share memories on your mom’s birthday and make plans with your dad on their wedding anniversary.
If you're looking for more ways to personalize your mother's funeral service, read our guides on how to design a custom urn and how to write a eulogy for mom.