How to Decide What to Wear to Celebration of Life

Posted on September 5, 2022 by Roslyn Heights Funeral Home under funeral home
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Manhasset, NY, funeral home

People attending traditional funeral service in a Manhasset, NY, funeral home know that formal attire and the color black at the go-to dress code. However, when it comes to a celebration of life, things are a lot less specific because of the informal nature of the event. 

A celebration of life is an upbeat, festive event that focuses more on celebrating the deceased person’s life instead of mourning them. It can happen anywhere and in different forms. 

If you’re attending one, here’s how to determine what to wear. 


Generally, if there’s ever a standard dress code for a celebration of life, it’s smart casual. However, the appropriateness of jeans and a t-shirt or flowy top and skirt largely depends on the event’s location. 

Host families design their celebration of life to reflect their beloved’s passion, beliefs, and hobbies. Hence, informal locations are a common feature of a celebration of life. It can be held in a restaurant, local park, movie theater, on a boat, or at the top of a mountain. 

Each one requires a different attire as guests are expected to dress accordingly. That’s why it’s essential to consider the location when choosing what to wear. 

This also applies to the weather at the venue. An outdoor event in warm weather requires a different outfit from one held during cold weather, even if the location is the same. 

Type of Ceremony 

Another thing to consider is the type of celebration of life. Although many people think of them as parties, not every celebration of life is a party. It can be a formal or athletic event, like dinner and drinks or a mountain hike. 

Knowing the exact type of celebration of life allows you to know which outfit is best suited for the event. Dress shoes and t-shirts may be appropriate for dinner in a classy restaurant, but athleisure wear is better for a hike. 

To dress for the occasion, consult the invitation again for helpful insight on what to wear. You can also ask the hosts for suggestions. 

Manhasset, NY funeral home

Scheduled Activities 

As part of efforts to personalize the service, host families usually incorporate custom activities into their celebration of life. The activities, like the venue and type of ceremony, are typically based on the deceased’s personality and interests. 

Thus, a celebration of life for someone who enjoyed painting may involve sip-and-paint sessions. Dressing up for this may include packing a change of clothes, especially if the main event includes other activities. 

Find out what the hosts have planned and the level of participation expected of guests when deciding what to wear. 

By considering these factors, you will know the appropriate style for the celebration of life. Beyond that, other things to keep in mind include: 

Dress conservatively. While style varies based on the event, respecting the deceased’s memory is still important. 

Avoid dark-colored clothing. Black and its variations symbolize mourning which is more appropriate for a funeral. Wear something with a dash of color that matches the day’s upbeat mood instead. 

Contact us if you’re planning a celebration of life and need help with the dress code and other aspects of the service. Our funeral home in Manhasset, NY, helps families curate services unique to the deceased person’s life. Call us now to get the assistance you need.