Having decided whether the funeral is to be a burial or cremation you will need to consider other matters relating to the funeral. Listed below are some of the key decisions to be made and a little guidance on each. Please remember we will discuss these decisions with you and make suggestions where applicable. Please feel free to contact us by telephone or email if you would like further guidance on these or any other matters.
The funeral service
This is the most important decision to be made. The service is what will be remembered in the future, hopefully fondly. You must take time to consider this carefully and discuss the options with other close family - you must not get this one wrong! Is the service to be religious or secular? Do you have a person in mind to lead the service, what we may call a celebrant? (we can recommend suitable people if you do not). Perhaps there is a relative or a friend who would like to speak during the service? Would some favourite music be appropriate?
The reception and refreshments
Increasingly considered to be an important part of the funeral, this is an opportunity to meet old friends and to remember the deceased in a more relaxed atmosphere. You may consider inviting mourners to the family home for refreshments or perhaps a local hotel or cafe would be more convenient. We can recommend locations and arrange catering if this helps.
Are there dates that must be avoided to accommodate the principal mourners? Do you need to allow time for mourners to travel on the day? Does the time of the funeral sit comfortably with your plans for a reception afterwards? Unfortunately, most families ask for a funeral to be between 11.30am and 2.30pm, which can mean waiting an extra day or so to achieve this.
Would it be appropriate for the hearse to travel to the funeral from the family home? Does the family wish to follow the hearse along the way? If so, how many mourners will need transport to be provided for them? Is there a particular route the cortege should follow, perhaps to pass important places or establishments?
Flowers or charitable donations in memoriam
Family and friends will ask you whether they should send floral tributes to the funeral or make a donation to a charity instead. If you prefer donations you will need to decide which charity is most appropriate. While great numbers of floral tributes may at first appear a waste, we feel it is best to offer people the choice. Flowers do lift the atmosphere and can be a focal point after the service. If you suggest people arrange cut flowers in bunches, they can be distributed after the funeral.
Should the deceased be dressed in his/her own clothes? Will you, or anyone else, want to see the deceased in the chapel of rest before the funeral? Is it necessary to place a notice in the local or national newspapers advising friends of the death? Are there family and/or friends who would like to assist with bearing the coffin? Should an order of service be printed? Will you require a list of the mourners at the service?