Personalising a Funeral

This may sound odd but why not make a funeral more personal?  We live interesting and varied lives, each with different hobbies, views, likes and dislikes. So how come when it comes to funerals, the majority of people still fall in line with tradition and have a funeral service that doesn’t bare any resemblance to the life the person lived?

Things are starting to change and it’s about time. There is so much choice out there for funeral music, poems, transport, flowers, even coffins. Just think how poignant the service would be if the music played really meant something. Perhaps a reminder of a fun family holiday or that first dance!  Or having been a lifelong supporter of a local football team, the journey to the funeral service was via their home ground.

Whether it brings a tear to the eye or a smile to the face, its personal and that’s special! 

You will find all you need to know about funeral music and poems, flowers and coffins on the next few pages. For help and ideas on funeral transportation, stationary, the reception or memorials, keep on reading.

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Funeral Transport

Not only is a hearse or funeral car a way of transporting the coffin and family, it can be the first thing people see when attending a funeral, often a very upsetting moment.

So can you imagine how different that experience would be if the Hearse was a motorbike hearse and sidecar, 4x4 or a VW Camper Van? And what if the Camper Van was followed by VW Beetles instead of the usual black limousine?

As with all aspects of arranging a funeral these days, your choice here is varied. Most people still opt for the shiny black hearse with matching limousines but you can use your own transport (if it’s big enough) or opt for something a little different.

If you are looking for funeral transportation ideas, just take a look on the internet. From the traditional horse drawn hearse to a very grand rolls royce hearse, there are some really interesting options available that are guaranteed to make you smile!

If you are thinking about pre-planning your funeral and arranging everything in advance, all prepaid funeral plans come with a hearse and mid range and superior funeral plans also have at least one funeral car or limousine as they are commonly known. For more information on what is included, take a look at our funeral plans section.

Funeral Stationery

For many, the order of service funeral cards and memorial cards are the items of stationary that immediately springs to mind when talking about funerals however the range is much wider:

  • Announcement cards – a way of telling people the news without having to call
  • Order of service – details the funeral service
  • Attendance cards – keeps a record of the people that attended the service in case you want to contact them at a later date to thank them
  • Memorial cards – keepsakes usually sent out after the funeral service
  • Bookmarks – keepsakes usually sent out after the funeral service
  • Acknowledgement cards – to say thank you
  • Book of condolence – for people to add their messages of respect

Funeral stationery can be arranged through your funeral director or you can arrange it yourself online. Many suppliers give you the option to choose from a range of funeral order of service templates including your choice of photograph, personal message, hymn, funeral poem or reading or you can choose to create something completely original.

Funeral Wake & Receptions

Call it a wake, reception or ‘bit of a do’; what happens after the funeral can play an important part for family and friends. 

The opportunity to relive old memories and share stories over a sandwich at the family’s home, a pint down the pub or a buffet at a hotel can be a real tonic after the funeral service.  It can be a true reflection of the person who has died either through the choice of their favourite food, place or even live band, or just a chance for people to be together.

On a practical level the funeral wake or reception is also a good opportunity to give people who have traveled a long way a drink and perhaps something to eat before they leave for home.

In these tough times, the cheapest option maybe to do something at home.  You might even find that friends and family chip in and help out with food and the washing up. Alternatively pubs, hotels, sports or social clubs, community centres and some funeral homes and crematoriums offer facilities or function rooms which may be a more convenient if you don’t want the hassle of preparing food or tidying up afterwards.

Regardless of whether you are planning a funeral reception at home or at a venue, you do need to think about the number of guests and whether it is an open invitation or one to close friends and family.  This can be communicated either prior to the funeral or at the service itself.

There are plenty of options open to you.  Your main considerations are budget and what you really want to happen.

Memorials and Urns

It’s often extremely important for people to have somewhere special they can visit, just to sit and remember the good old days. A bench with a memorial plaque overlooking a beach where the family holidayed year after year, a tree in a favourite park, memorial stones covered in fresh flowers at the local church.

Deciding where you want to be buried or what you want doing with your ashes can be key. You don’t just have to keep them in an urn or scatter them in a field. The options are endless. You can turn them into a crystal bowl, wind chime or a necklace. Scatter them from the skies via a plane, hot air balloon or firework. You can even have an artist turn them into a painting.

And if you are reading this because you are currently thinking about what to do with someone’s ashes, don’t rush. Take time to think about whether you want to keep them, perhaps in an urn or piece of jewellery or whether you would prefer to scatter them somewhere meaningful. A place you can visit from time to time.

Unusual Send Offs

Call it unusual or call it personal, saying goodbye ‘your way’ can make a funeral a little less painful and perhaps even a memorable experience for friends and family. And why not? You would hate the idea of the people you care about being upset so why not make them smile? Why not make them laugh and think only you could come up with an idea like that?

If you love music, why not have your favourite live band playing? If you’re a big kid at heart who loves fireworks, why not end with a big bang?

With a huge range of coffins, funeral flowers, venues, music, funeral poems and transportation, why not make that grand finale the performance of your life?

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