How to Plan a Funeral


If you have never made funeral arrangements before, then doing so can seem quite daunting. However, all good funeral directors will be well-versed in helping to guide you through the process and telling you what needs to be done as well as pointing out what optional extras you can include. These days, many people plan their funeral in advance so that their loved ones do not have to make all of the decisions after their death.

For instance, some people opt for funeral insurance which can cover at least a proportion of the costs involved in a modern funeral service. That said, prepaid funeral plans are increasingly popular since these will specify the type of funeral that is wanted and have all of the expenditure needed for one covered. Regardless of these sorts of arrangements, what do you need to know if you are planning a funeral for the first time?

Check On Last Wishes

It is important to know what the deceased would like for their funeral. Sometimes this will be specified in their will or a letter they have left behind. It is also important to look through their paperwork in case there is a document detailing a prepaid funeral plan or insurance cover. This way, you can give them the funeral they wanted while also covering the inevitable expenditure.

Choose the Service Type

In the main, there are two types of funeral in the UK, burials and cremations. Generally speaking, cremations are cheaper but can be just as touching and helpful in the grieving process as more traditional interments. You’ll also need to decide whether you want a secular or religious service. Both are possible at most crematoria in the country.

Select a Coffin and transport 

How the coffin will be handled will be down to you . Some people want a hearse and limousine while others will want a horse-drawn carriage or motorbike, even tractors or vintage hearses . Traditional coffins have a modest look with some fancy handles at most. However, you could go for something much closer to the deceased’s personality type, such as one with their favourite colour or the livery of the team they supported. Cardboard coffins are inexpensive and relatively eco-friendly while bamboo or wicker  coffins are increasingly popular and made from a sustainable material.

Think About the Service

Consider the music, the readings and the eulogy – or funeral speech – you will want at the service itself. You will have to also decide who will do the readings and make the eulogy although the venue itself will often provide a sound system to play the music through. Again, your funeral directors will normally liaise with the venue on your behalf to make these arrangements.

Book a Venue for a Wake

Unless you are able to host a wake in the deceased’s home or your own residence, it may be a good idea to book a local function room for the wake. This will allow all of the funeral’s attendees to gather and to chat informally. You may also want to arrange catering for the wake, especially if people will be travelling a long way to attend.