We called on the expertise of our funeral arrangers to share these 6 ideas for personalising a funeral.
Some suggestions are part of pre-paid funeral plans, others have featured as part of final farewells that have already taken place.
1. Sow the Seeds of Love
When leaving the funeral service one bereaved family offered mourners the chance to take home a packet of seeds. Daisy seeds were the flowers of choice as that was their Nana’s favourite. She was a keen gardener so it seemed a fitting tribute. Small, individual packets with Nana’s name and a simple message were ordered with a scattering of seeds inside. Daisies were ideal as they can be grown in pots so friends who didn’t have a garden could still enjoy the memorial gift.
2. Page Turner
One gentleman is a bookworm and in his pre-paid funeral plan he instructs that bookmarks are created with his favourite quote for friends and family attending the service. Throughout his life he has collected a large number of books and asks that a ‘big pile’ are taken to his wake. He wants friends and family to take home a book and enjoy reading the spy thrillers, autobiographies and travel books that have given him so much enjoyment over the years.
3. Personalised Coffin
In recent years we’ve found more demand for eco-friendly bamboo caskets and colourful coffins. It’s even possible to personalise a coffin with photographs or designs that reflect a persons passions in life. Stars and boats for a mariner or woodland or scenic views for those that love the great outdoors. Bright yellows, pinks or greens for those who liked to stand out from the crowd. Subtle or bold, the choice is yours.
4. Creative Transport
There are lots of ways beyond the traditional hearse to get from A to B. Fosters have arranged for horse drawn hearses, motorbike escorts, and a Pride themed cavalcade. We’ve even had a brass band playing alongside the hearse as it took its final journey to the crematorium. A thoughtful gesture from friends and students honouring the memory of their beloved music teacher.
5. Slideshow of Images
A popular addition to funeral services is a video slideshow of images to celebrate the life of a loved one. Contributions of old photos from friends and relatives are collated to share memories of happier times. These bring great comfort to those feeling the pain of grief. After the service the video can be uploaded for free to a website such as Vimeo or YouTube. A link can then be shared with those who’d like to watch it again in the months and years ahead.
6. Secret Family Recipe
This one made us smile! One lady has requested in her pre-paid funeral plan that her friends and family are given an envelope with print outs of all her favourite recipes. It has been a joke for many years that she uses old family recipes, handed down through generations. And only on her death bed will she reveal the “secret ingredients” that made her cooking taste so good. She wants people to laugh and think of her every time they make one of her favourite dishes.
For more inspiration read this article about personalising a funeral.
If you’d like to record your final wishes with a professional funeral arranger we’re here to help. Our pre-paid funeral plans can be reviewed online. To request a brochure or to make an appointment please contact us directly. Call 0800 121 8090.
Please note that we now offer a video call service.