What To Wear For A Celebration Of Life?

Written by: Adam Binstock



Time to read 2 min

what to wear at a celebration of life

If you haven't been to a Celebration of Life Ceremony before, you might be confused about what is appropriate to wear? Although these memorials are typically less formal than traditional funerals, there is still some etiquette you need to follow.


In this guide, we'll go through what should and shouldn't wear to a Celebration of Life. We'll also provide some outfit ideas for women, men, and also children.

Celebration of Life Outfits

Celebration of Life Attire

Before deciding on what you're going to wear, there's a few general things you want to keep in mind. First and foremost, pay attention to any dress codes (Whether verbally or maybe in the invitation) from the family or host of the ceremony. Apart from that here are some other things to consider:


Time of day


The time of the ceremony often dictates the dress code. Morning or afternoon events tend to be more casual compared to evening ones, which may call for slightly more formal attire.




Consider the venue when choosing your outfit. If the event is outdoors, for example a forest, you should consider comfortable and warm clothing. While an indoor ceremony at a sophisticated venue might call for more formal attire.


Activities Scheduled


Some Celebrations of Life have activities like a balloon release, tree planting, or even water activities. Dress for what's planned—you may need comfortable shoes or even a change of clothes.

Do You Wear Black To A Celebration Of Life?

traditional funeral attire

This will really depend on the particular ceremony. Wearing is typically associated with a traditional funeral which is more sombre than a celebration of life.


While black remains a safe and respectful choice, many such ceremonies encourage wearing colors that the deceased loved, or even bright colors that signify life and joy.

Celebration of Life Outfit Ideas

As we mentioned before, these ceremonies tend by more casual so the idea is to have the right balance between  respectful and casual. Below you will find some suggestions and examples for both women, men, and children.

What Women Should Wear

  • Clothes with color

  • Casual dress

  • Skirt and blouse

  • Button down top

  • Nice jeans or pants

  • Slacks and nice top

  • Heels, flats, boots, or nice sneakers

green  and  yellow women
Smart casual celebration of life attire

What Men Should Wear

  • Casual button down shirt

  • Polo Shirt

  • Slacks or Chinos

  • Suit

  • Blazer

  • Suit shoes, boots, or nice sneakers

Formal Men

What Children Should Wear?

You probably already know that children usually don't like to wear tight formal clothes. But you'll be happy to know that children have less strict clothing rules.


Just try to make a little bit of effort with some of their best clean clothes that are bright and uplifting. Here are some great examples below:

Baby girl outfit at Celebration of Life
Boy at a celebration of life
Boy in a smart sweater for celebration of life
Girl toddler outfit at celebration of life

What You Shouldn't Wear

  • Overly casual clothes: Wearing overly casual attire may be seen as disrespectful or may look like you are not taking the occasion seriously. Flip flops, baseball caps, casual t-shirts, exercise clothes, and shorts should be avoided.

  • Nothing too distracting: This includes anything that can draw attention away from the ceremony. This includes shirts with large logos and bright colors, or shirts with inappropriate political or humorous messages. Flashy or excessive jewelry along with overly revealing clothing is also not recommended.

  • Disrespectful Symbols or Accessories: Items or symbols that don't recognize the religion or culture of the deceased's family.

Themed Celebration of Life Ceremonies

disney themed funeral
Disney Themed Celebration of Life

There are exceptions to the above rules of what you shouldn't wear. And this is the case when the family has decided to host a themed celebration of life. Theme costumes could include:

  • Sports themed costume

  • Hollywood themed costumes

  • Vintage or decade specific costumes

  • Beach themed attire

  • Nature inspired costumes

  • Music themed clothes