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Top 8 Things to Consider When Planning a Funeral

Our suggestions for planning a memorable funeral

Before we continue I must point out that we work with all funeral directors cooperate and independent, we have no axe to grind and the page is not sponsored or endorsed by anyone else.  And whilst the actual funeral is not our focus here at Scattering Ashes we do try our best to help where we can.

1. Type of Funeral Service

The first step is to decide on the type of funeral service that reflects the wishes of the deceased and their family. Options include

Consider whether a religious or secular (non religious) service is preferred and whether there will be any specific cultural or spiritual practices to follow.

2. Budget and Funeral Costs

Funerals can be expensive, so it’s essential to establish a budget early on. Costs to consider include the funeral director’s fees, coffin or casket, venue hire, transportation, flowers, and catering for the wake. Some people might have a prepaid funeral plan or insurance, which can alleviate financial pressure. Always ask for itemised quotes from funeral directors to understand where the money is going. Don’t be upsold, some funeral directors may look to sell you more than you want or can afford. Don’t be ashamed pushing back.

3. Funeral Director

Choosing a reputable funeral director can provide significant support and guidance. Funeral directors handle many logistical aspects, including the care of the deceased, arranging the service, and providing necessary legal documentation. Look for a funeral director who is a member of a recognised professional association, such as the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD),  British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).  Personally I love the work of  the Good Funeral Guide

4. Location and Venue

Decide on the location for the funeral service and the burial or cremation. This could be a church, crematorium, natural burial ground, or another meaningful place (like hotel or village hall). Consider the size of the venue to accommodate the expected number of attendees. Personally, alternative venues can often be more meaningful, cheaper and more flexible.

5. Service Details

Plan the details of the funeral service, including readings, music, and eulogies. Choose meaningful pieces that reflect the life and values of the deceased. Decide who will deliver the eulogy, and consider involving close family and friends in the ceremony. Personal touches, such as displaying photographs or playing favourite songs, can make the service more special and memorable.

6. Legal Requirements and Documentation

Ensure that all legal requirements are met, including registering the death and obtaining a death certificate. If the deceased left a will, follow their wishes regarding their funeral arrangements. The funeral director can help with necessary paperwork and ensure compliance with regulations.

7. Burial or Cremation Arrangements

For a burial, select a burial plot and decide whether it will be in a family grave, a new plot, or a green burial site. For cremations, choose whether the ashes will be kept, scattered, or interred. Discuss these options with family members to reach a consensus that honours the deceased’s wishes and respects family traditions.

8. Wake or Reception

A post-funeral reception or wake provides an opportunity for family and friends to gather, share memories, and support each other. Decide on a suitable venue, which could be a family home, community hall, or pub. Arrange for refreshments and consider any dietary requirements. This gathering can be informal or structured, depending on what feels most appropriate.

Additional Tips

  • Personal Touches: Incorporate elements that reflect the deceased’s personality and interests, such as a display of hobbies, achievements, or favourite flowers.
  • Communication: Keep open lines of communication with family and friends to ensure that everyone’s wishes are considered and respected.
  • Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or professional counsellors during this challenging time.

By considering these key aspects, you can plan a funeral that is respectful, meaningful, and fitting for your loved one. Taking the time to organise each element thoughtfully will help create a memorable and comforting farewell.

Whilst we are on the subject you may find this help

This is pretty generic stuff – I appreciate that but a good starting point.  These are my final thoughts

Don’t get oversold but don’t resent it either – a good funeral is so important and whilst they can seem expensive, they are often incredible value for money when considering the hours spent preparing them.

I like families running things, so if you can do.

If the crematoria is dull and unwelcoming and rush – don’t use it.

If you decide you don’t like the funeral director change them – it is totally allowed.

Personally I like families to pallbear – again this may not be practical.

Anyway, I’ll stop now.





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