Celebration Of Life Services - Crane Funerals

life celebration services melbourne
The beautiful Morningstar Estate, Mount Martha

A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye – it’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special to you. If a loved one has died and you're planning a funeral, history doesn't have to dictate the venue or ceremony style. Perhaps your loved one never belonged to a church, or you'd like to have a Celebration Of Life as opposed to a funeral in a 'traditional' chapel.

Funerals are changing to reflect this increasing desire for more celebratory Services. We offer a range of beautiful Life Celebration service venues across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. We can also arrange traditional / classic funeral services in a church or chapel, or any of the cemeteries in Melbourne or Regional Victoria.


There are many ways to honour the life of your loved one with reverence and dignity.
Crane Funerals can assist you in thoroughly planning – in a respectful and loving way – a special Celebration Of Life event. You can reach us via our contact form, or by calling (03) 5977 7198 or 04477CRANE.

When you are together with your family – and our staff – here is a list of 15 tips for arranging a personalised funeral / Celebration of Life:


Fitting Ceremony / Celebration Venue

Select a venue that is comfortable, warm, and inviting. In a Celebration Of Life you may consider venues that are often used for weddings as opposed to funerals. Generally bright and more cheerful than a traditional chapel, these venues can be perfect for this type of service. If your loved one was involved in a Club of some type, then the Club House may be a perfect location for the service (of course the Club would have to approve this). Outside venues may include a family garden, a park, the beach, a winery, or possibly a State Park. The possibilities are many and varied, so it is important to have the family discuss the venue before a decision is made. Maybe a particular colour was important to your loved one, in which case a colour scheme at the venue could help provide another fitting tribute.

Number of Mourners

Consider how many people you might expect to come to the service. Sometimes it can be difficult, but it is important to estimate a figure so that you are able to more accurately determine the size of the venue that you require.

Day / Time of Service

Just as important as the venue of course is the day and the time of the service. A weekend Celebration may give more people a chance to come to the ceremony. Allow time for the preparation of Tribute DVD’s, music, service booklets, eulogies etc. Postponing the service an extra day or two when possible ensures that all of the details are attending to with a loving touch instead of a rushed hand. The time of day also will vary depending on if you would like to organise refreshments for the guests.

Funeral Notice / Family Tributes – Online and Newspaper

Arrange to let people know the date, time, and venue of the service. Crane Funerals offers an Online Obituary / Funeral Notice which can be a good way for people to find out while waiting for a notice in a newspaper. You might consider calling a group of 10 – 15 people from your loved one’s life (relatives, colleagues, neighbours), and in turn ask them to call people they believe might like to attend the service.

Seed Packets

Another option is for Crane Funerals to organise their printing team to produce seed packs with your loved ones photo and planting instructions on the package. A special way to spread the memory of a loved one who enjoyed flowers, gardening, or ecology.


You will need to consider food if you are planning on a function to follow the ceremony. Crane Funerals have an experienced caterer on hand, and our venues have a variety of options to satisfy the fussiest palate. From hors d’ouvre to a full meal, everything from cooking, to linen and cutlery, to dishes and tables, and of course the inevitable cleaning up, will be taken care of for you to allow you more time to spend with your guests. Sometimes if an after service function is to be held in the family home, something more laid back can be a good alternative – maybe a barbecue, or ask guests to “bring a plate” which is a good old Aussie tradition.

Flowers or Donations?

These days many families ask mourners not to bring flowers, requesting instead that a donation be made to a favourite charity of the deceased. Since a decent bouquet of flowers costs over $50, this can be a much needed revenue raiser for the charity.

Order of Service booklet

If you plan on offering a service program to attendees (Crane Funerals can organise this for you), then you will want to consider decorations or a “theme”. Of course it is a good idea to enter the names of the people who will be speaking during the service. You may like to include a favourite poem or saying of your loved one. Maybe a verse from the Bible, or a meaningful photograph or prayer. This can become quite elaborate but often a heartfelt, simple yet stylish option will fit the bill well.

celebrating the lives of loved ones with memoriabilia. here are some funeral memorabilia ideas

Celebrating Lives with Favourite Symbols

We recommend you consider symbols of a loved one’s life as part of the Celebration. A favourite book, hat, or object can evoke clear memories of the deceased, as they are firm reminders of who that person was and what they enjoyed. Maybe a recipe book or recipe card, a cherished scarf or bookmark, knitting yarn, or that doily that Grandma always put under the teapot that made everybody smile! Alternatively a bible opened at a favourite passage, or a bottle of Port if your Dad enjoyed a “little nip” to ward of the winter chills! Crane Funerals can assist you in printing copies of your Mum or Dad’s favourite recipe (as long as it isn’t a family secret of course!) – maybe Mum’s chocolate cake that could never be beaten, or Dad’s famous homemade tomato sauce. Our staff can then hand these out to mourners at the funeral as a lasting tribute and to thank them for coming. Every time somebody tries to emulate the recipe fond memories of your loved one will come creeping back for them.

dove releases for funeral services in Melbourne

Bubbles / Balloons / Butterflies

May we also suggest bubbles, butterflies, and / or balloons at the conclusion of a Celebration Of Life – especially if children are included in the process. Bubbles and balloons are not only beautiful to watch float away in the wind, but they can form an expression of reaching out and up to your loved ones as a final farewell. If your loved ones had a favourite colour or number then of course we can arrange “23 green balloons” for you to represent that. Further to that is the opportunity for family and friends to write a brief farewell on their balloons before they release them. Butterflies can be a lovely natural alternative to balloons and bubbles.

Dove Release

White Dove Releases. At a Celebration Of Life service, white doves are seen as powerful witnesses of your loved ones passage to heaven. We are pleased to offer this service to client families.

Roles for family members / friends

Delegate roles to trusted family members and friends. You might like to have greeters at the door in addition to Crane Funeral’s staff. This can offer a little bit more of a personal touch. The Celebrant or Minister of course is an important consideration as they will be person seen the most on the day. Pallbearers are important when the family wishes to move the coffin either in or out of the venue (unless funeral staff are requested to take care of this). A clean up crew might be necessary especially if you have had a function at home. Spreading the responsibilities will make the day run more smoothly.

For the bookworms

If your loved one liked reading and had a large library of books that the family doesn’t need, then maybe mourners could be offered the chance to take one to keep and read themselves. A bookmark with your loved ones photo or favourite poem or prayer printed on it might also be a nice touch here.

Remember a hobby

Your loved one may have had a beloved hobby or passionate interest – a reminder of this given out to mourners can be a nice remembrance. If the deceased loved chocolate then maybe you could put a bowl of chocolates on the greeting table along with the funeral sign in book so that those with a sweet tooth could enjoy.

Celebrating lives on that Last Ride Funeral hearse.

Hearse with a difference

Why not consider using our horse-drawn carriage or Harley Davidson motorcycle hearse for your loved one’s final journey if horses or Harley’s were important in their life.
There are many thoughtful ways to personalise a Celebration Of Life service over and above those already listed. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination when it comes to arranging a Celebration Of Life service. We believe that families who personalise their loved one’s funeral can better work through the grieving process. We will always strive to make this special day come together as perfectly as possible and go off without a hitch.

To sum up, funerals can be as much a sad experience – or an uplifting, joyful celebration – as you and your family desire. Use our contact form, or call Crane Funerals at any time on 5977 7198 or 04477CRANE to begin discussions about the options available to you.