Planning a funeral can be hard whether it’s for yourself in the future or for someone close to you. There’s a lot to consider and organise.
With so many decisions to make: Where to hold the funeral or memorial service, whether to have a traditional funeral service or a more modern celebration of life, whether to opt for a burial or cremation, which funeral home to choose etc etc, we hope we can help you every step of the way.
Planning a funeral or memorial service
Each family is different, therefore, every funeral will be. If it doesn’t sound right for you, you don’t have to include it.
Funeral director – You don’t need a funeral director to plan a funeral, but a lot of people find them a huge help. We suggest you compare local funeral directors on their reviews, pricing and the services they offer to make sure they fit your needs. Once you’ve chosen your funeral director, they will set up a meeting with you to discuss all the different things to plan for the funeral.
Final wishes – If you’re planning a funeral for a loved one, your decisions will depend greatly on your life experiences, your relationship with the deceased and what they wanted and what they can afford. We suggest taking a look at their will for instructions. If there is no will, ask other family members and friends to see if they had any final funeral wishes.
If you’re planning your own funeral, put your final wishes into a will or have the conversation with your loved ones in advance to ensure everything is how you want it to be when the time comes.
A meaningful service
Over the years funeral services have become personalised, although many people still think of a ‘traditional funeral’ as the norm. A personalised funeral or memorial service will reflect the life and personality of the deceased, regardless of the type of service.
A lot of people prefer to plan a funeral focusing on remembering the deceased as they were in life, therefore, capturing the unique qualities of the person, their religious or spiritual beliefs; as well as providing a memorable and meaningful opportunity for mourners to express their grief.
You should also consider the following when envisioning yours or a loved one’s funeral:
- Who will lead the service
- Readings, such as poems, prayers, religious passages and who will deliver them
- Eulogist, who will deliver a eulogy
- Music, whether it’s contemporary, religious hymns or both
- Food/beverages for the wake
- Pallbearers, if the final disposition involves a graveside service
- Personal touches such as a memory board/personal memorabilia
Cremation or a burial?
Cremations tend to cost less with the overall price being around £1,000 less expensive than a burial. You also have the option of a direct cremation where the body is cremated without a funeral service beforehand. Note that you can make your own arrangements for a celebration of life afterwards.
If you use a funeral director, they will look after these arrangements once you’ve chosen a burial or cremation.
The majority of funerals conclude with a wake once the ceremony has finished. If the deceased is being buried, it may be close family and friends who attend the graveside committal, while others await them at the funeral reception venue.
A celebration of life, a memorial ceremony or following the cremation, the wake will form part of an afternoon or evening dedicated to remembering the person. Your funeral director can help you to organise a venue for this and give you a hand with catering arrangements, so you can focus on other aspects.