Celebration of Life Guest Books Guide

Written by: Adam Binstock



Time to read 3 min

celebration of life guest book

Funeral guest books are very common at your typical memorial service. So it's no surprise that these guests books are also popular when planning a Celebration of Life Ceremony.

In this guest book guide, we'll discuss everything you need to know about choosing the right memorial book.

Do you have to provide a memorial guest book?

celebration of life guest toast

Like most Celebration of Life Etiquette, there's no set rules for what you have to do. 

Therefore you don't have to have a guest book at your ceremony. However, there are a number of sentimental reasons you may choose to have one:

  • Keepsake for the family: The guest book serves as a cherished keepsake for the family, filled with names and messages from those who attended.

  • Keeps memories alive: Memorial books help preserve beautiful memories and anecdotes about the loved one, that the family might not be aware of.

  • Sympathy Messages: Guests can write personal messages, share memories, or express condolences, providing comfort to the bereaved.

  • Acknowledging Attendance: It allows the family to see who attended the ceremony, which can be especially meaningful if they are unable to speak with every guest.

  • Therapeutic Value: Writing in the guest book can be therapeutic for attendees, giving them a moment to reflect and express their feelings at this difficult time.

How to personalize a Guest Book

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service is usually deeply special and personal. It's all about the small details, including the guest book of your beloved family member.

So here are some unique ways you can personalize a Celebration of Life Guest Book:

  • Custom Cover Design: Choose a cover design that reflects the personality or interests of the deceased, such as a favorite color, landscape, or hobby.

  • Incorporate Photos: Include a photo of the deceased on the cover or throughout the pages of the guest book.

  • Engraved Name and Dates: Have the name of the loved one and significant dates (birth and death dates) engraved or printed on the cover.

  • Personalized Messages or Quotes: Add a favorite quote, poem, or personal message from the deceased or the family on the inside cover or on the opening page.

  • Themed Templates: Select templates that match the theme of the celebration, like nature, music, art, etc.

  • Dedication Page: Have a dedication or foreword written by the family, sharing their thoughts or the purpose of the celebration.

  • Unique Binding and Paper Style: Choose a binding style (like spiral, hardcover) and paper type that adds to the aesthetic and functionality.

  • Online Personalization Tools: Use online tools provided by many companies to customize the layout, fonts, and overall design of the guest book.

Where to buy a Celebration of Life Guest Book?

  • ETSY Marketplace: Probably our favorite place to buy a unique and handmade guest book. Made by independent artists, they offer traditional styles to more personalized designs, reflecting the individual's life and personality.

  • Zazzle: Is another an online marketplace that specializes in customizable products. They have a decent range of funeral guest books, offering options to personalize with a photo, comments, and various designs. 

  • Fig & Laurel: Their range of guest books are likely to be stylish and high quality, with a range of options to suit different tastes and preferences.

  • Amazon: Amazon offers a wide variety of simple and affordable books which are more than suitable.

What sympathy messages should you write?

Not sure what to say at a Celebration of Life? Here are a list of ideas for sympathy messages and comments you can write. 

  • "To the family of James Miller, my deepest sympathies. James was a beacon of kindness in our community, and his warm smile will be greatly missed. May you find comfort in loving memories."

  • "I'll never forget the time Emily and I got lost hiking but ended up having the best adventure of our lives. Her spirit was as wild and free as the wind. She'll forever be in my heart."

  • "In loving memory of Robert Green: 'A life that touches others goes on forever.' Robert's gentle soul and wise words were like poetry to those who knew him. He lives on in our hearts.

  • "Honoring the memory of Linda Thompson. Her strength and courage were an inspiration to all."

  • "To dear old Frank, who never missed a chance to make us laugh. Remember that fishing trip when you 'accidentally' let the boat drift away? You'll be sorely missed but always remembered with a smile."

  • "May God's love surround the family of Susan Clark. Susan was a true example of faith in action, touching lives with her generosity. Her spirit continues in the love she left behind."