Obituary programs are very similar to funeral and memorial programs. They are printed documents that contain information about the deceased and also give details of the funeral or memorial services. Where obituary programs differ is that they tend to be much more decorative. They often contain many pictures of friends and family and have ornate and colorful cover designs. These memorial programs also feature a full and detailed obituary describing the person’s life, which is the focus of the program. This tribute (also called a life sketch) can be very comprehensive and contains many details of the deceased personality, achievements, career and family, and is often read aloud at memorial gatherings.
How to make an obituary programs
- Gather information about the deceased — This is a very important step for planning a robust program. You will need key information such as the full name and nicknames of the deceased, birth date, death date. You will want to find out pertinent personal information such as where they were born and raised, where they spent most of their life, siblings, etc.
- Decide on an obituary program template — To save valuable time, consider using an obituary program template. There are a wide range of templates available online featuring large variety of designs, layouts and many different prices. Information on how to choose an obituary template and select a obituary template design is readily available on this website. Obituary templates can come in many different designs and layouts. Some of the layouts include Bifold, Trifold, Graduated Fold and Large Tabloid Size. These programs often use more elaborate and detailed layouts to showcase design elements.
- Collect photos and images of your loved ones. Pictures always turn a plain booklet into a beautiful treasured memorial keepsakes. Ask friends and family for pictures. You can use your smart phone to take pictures of old framed photos, or have them scanned. Be sure to check social media accounts for photos, too. You can make photo collages to include in your program…your friends and family will treasure these programs. You can also add memorial clipart to your programs to give an added personal touch and uniqueness.
- Spend times writing a robust obituary. Once you have all the vital information, spend time crafting a really good obituary, life tribute or biological sketch. This will probably be the focal point of your printed keepsake. Make sure to include vital information such as where your loved one was born and raised, schools attended, jobs held and affiliations. But also include personal information such as personality traits and endearing characteristics. See our article on how to write a funeral program obituary for more information on crafting the perfect tribute.
- Select a template and create your program. Using a pre-formatted template is the easiest way to create an program. Select a template that uses an easy to use software program such as Microsoft Word, Publisher, or Apple (MAC) Pages. Begin inputting information such as personal information, service details, obituary and other elements.
- Proofread and Print your program. You easily print your programs on your home computer from your completed template or you can copy it to a portable (USB) drive and take it to be printed at a print or copy shop, church or funeral home. You can also email your finished program or save it to the cloud to access it. Ensure you thoroughly review and proofread your program and do a few test prints and folds before you print the entire batch.
In addition to these obituary booklets being given out at funerals and memorials, they are also sometimes sent to family and friends as keepsake memento. Friends and family will save and cherish these programs for years to come. You can also post snippets of your program on social media to honor your loved one.