Firstly, you will need to appoint a funeral director, who will guide you or your family through the stages of arranging a funeral.
What are my choices?
The most common types of funeral are burials, cremations and direct cremation
Prices can vary greatly between different options. A burial is generally the most expensive send-off, and direct cremation is usually the most affordable.
Your loved one may have asked for a specific type of service in a funeral plan or will. What ever your choice, each funeral should be as unique as your loved one. Do not feel rushed into deciding. Choose a funeral that you feel is most appropriate. Most funeral services are held in chapels, places of worship, homes or local venues like village halls.
Wherever the funeral is held, the service will usually be led by a minister or celebrant. However, a relative or a friend may wish lead it for you.
You may wish to have a traditional church service, followed by a burial or cremation. You may, if you wish to ask your local minister to conduct the service for you.
A celebration of life service, this type of service is becoming more popular with families. The service is normally lead by a celebrant and has a less formal content. It is common for people to wear bright colours at a more modern funeral.
Direct Cremation, is where your loved one has requested that no one attends. However, this does not mean you cannot have a memorial service or celebration of their life at a later date.
Choosing a coffin
There are many of different types of coffins to choose from. Your funeral director can discuss your needs and help guide you.
Coffins are usually made of either solid wood, chipboard, cardboard, willow, wicker or other biodegradable materials. Some burial grounds and crematoriums may have certain restrictions as to what coffin may be used.
These are payments may on your behalf to third parties. These include Crematorium, Church, burial, doctor, minister or Celebrants fees. They are additional to your funeral directors’ fees.
When organising a traditional funeral, the coffin is often taken to the service in a hearse. It’s then followed by friends and family in limousines. If you have a funeral director, they can help you arrange this.
However, you don’t have to book a hearse and limousines just because it’s traditional. You may wish to have family and friends meet directly at the venue.
Lots of people are choosing more personal funeral transport – like tractors, fire engines or horse and carriage.
Music and Memories
Music choice is an important part of the funeral service and you will need to have at least 3 pieces of music. Funeral music and readings are a chance to make the service more personal.
If your loved one was religious, why not choose their favourite hymns and bible passages?
Or if they loved rock or pop music, you can go for something a bit less traditional.
Your minister or celebrant will spend time with you, gathering information about your loved one, they will write a fitting eulogy for the service.
You, a family member or friend may wish to say something during the service or do a reading or read a poem.
If you are having printed order of service, you may wish to include the poem it this too.
Flowers or Donations
Arranging flowers for the service can be a lovely tribute to your loved one.
Their friends and family might also want to send flowers to pay their respects.
However, you may wish to have family flowers only. You can ask people to donate to charity instead of giving flowers. This is quite a common choice when your loved one had a cause that meant a lot to them.
Following the service, you may, wish to take the flowers home, to the wake or donate them to a local nursing home.
Following the service
The reception, which is often called the wake, is an opportunity for friends and family of the person who has passed away to continue sharing fond memories of their loved one, but also to celebrate their life. You can have the wake in all kinds of venues. Some people host it in their own home, some in a village hall, pub, social club or hotel.
Catering is often included in the venue hire. If it’s not, you can hire professional caterers or make the food yourselves, depending on your budget.
Once you have the venue booked, let people know when and where the wake is. You can choose to make it a private party, or leave it open to anyone who’d like to come.
None of us like to think about our own funeral. But the truth is, planning ahead can really ease the burden on your loved ones at a difficult time. Please contact us if you would like further help