What to Serve at a Celebration of Life: A Comprehensive Guide

A celebration of life is a gathering of friends and family to celebrate and remember the life of a loved one who has passed away.

This type of event is often held in lieu of a traditional funeral and is meant to be a more uplifting and positive experience. Food is often a big part of a celebration of life, as it provides comfort and a way for people to connect with each other.

Drink in the glasses
Drink in the glasses

Types of Food to Serve

Lights in the balloons
Lights in the balloons
  1. Light Hors d’oeuvres Light hors d’oeuvres are a great option for a celebration of life, as they are easy to eat and provide a variety of flavors and textures. Some popular options include:
  • Fresh fruit and cheese platters
  • Sliced meats and crackers
  • Veggies and dip
  • Mini quiches or tartlets
  1. Desserts Desserts are a sweet way to celebrate the life of a loved one. Consider serving a variety of treats, such as:
  • Cupcakes or cake
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Fruit tarts
  1. Main Course Dishes Main course dishes are a more substantial option for a celebration of life. Consider serving dishes that are comforting and filling, such as:
  • Casseroles
  • Lasagna
  • Roasted meats
  • Macaroni and cheese

Tips for Planning the Menu

  1. Keep it Simple When planning the menu for a celebration of life, it is best to keep it simple. This allows you to focus on enjoying the time with your guests, rather than being bogged down with cooking and serving a complicated meal.
  2. Ask for Contributions Consider asking guests to bring a dish to share. This not only helps take some of the pressure off of you, but it also allows guests to feel like they are contributing to the celebration in a meaningful way.
  3. Consider Dietary Restrictions When planning the menu, be mindful of any guests with dietary restrictions, such as food allergies or vegetarianism. Try to include a variety of options that will accommodate these restrictions.


A celebration of life is a special and meaningful occasion, and food can play a big role in making the event a success. Whether you choose to serve light hors d’oeuvres, desserts, or a main course dish, be sure to keep it simple, ask for contributions, and consider dietary restrictions. With these tips in mind, you can create a menu that is both delicious and fitting for this special occasion.

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