When a loved one dies, it is natural to want to give them the best possible send-off. For many people, this means personalising the funeral service to reflect their life and personality, honouring and celebrating their memory in a way that they’d approve of.
Below, our team share some top tips on how to personalise a funeral service.
Think about the venue
The first step in personalising a funeral is to choose the right venue. If your loved one wasn’t religious, don’t choose a church service and burial. If they were a shy and quiet soul, a small, intimate funeral would be perfect. Why not consider a private home or garden or somewhere else that meant a lot to your loved one? If they were the life and soul of a room, however, you could hold a larger funeral at a public hall or theatre.
Give the funeral a theme
It can be difficult to know how to personalise a funeral service, especially if the person wasn’t particularly religious. A theme can be a useful way to make the service more personal and to ensure that it reflects the life of the person who has passed.
There are many different ways to go about creating a theme. You could choose a particular era or time period they loved or select music, literature or art that they enjoyed. You could also choose a more specific focus, such as the person’s favourite hobby or interest. For example, if their biggest passion in life was rugby, you could ask guests to wear the colours of their favourite team.
Choose the right music
Music can be a powerful way of personalising a funeral. It can help to set the tone of the service and reflect the personality of the person who has died. If they played in a band or orchestra, why not ask the rest of the group to perform at the wake? If they played an instrument – for example, a clarinet – you could organise for a clarinettist to play their favourite songs during the service. Even if you just choose to play songs by their favourite artist, you’re making the funeral very personal to them.
Funerals and wakes are often seen as solemn and sad occasions, but they don’t have to be. They provide an opportunity for friends and family to come together and remember the life of the person who has passed away, sharing fond memories about the individual with each other.
The best way to capture these memories is with a memory jar. Memories can be written down on pieces of paper or people can even print out their favourite pictures and put these in the jar instead. This can be a more enjoyable way of celebrating someone’s memory, remembering their good times rather than focussing on the sad ones. It’s also a great way to learn more about that person and see how much they meant to a variety of different people – from family, friends, colleagues, old university friends, neighbours and more.