10 unique funeral ideas
In the past, funerals have largely been sombre occasions, where grieving loved ones gather to pay their respects for the recently deceased. People usually dress entirely in dark mourning colours, and the ceremonies are quite often religious, with hymns/songs and readings. These things are often considered elements of a traditional funeral. But tradition is not for everyone. Many people are now choosing to bypass things often associated with a traditional funeral, in favour of organising a more personalised, unique funeral in a loved one’s honour.
There are lots of ways to add personal touches to a funeral whilst maintaining a respectful atmosphere. Unique, personal touches can help to create a fitting goodbye to someone special.
Here are 10 unique funeral ideas that may inspire you, for your loved one’s funeral or if you are planning ahead for your own funeral in the future:
1. Pick a theme
Picking a theme for the funeral can help the mourners feel close to the departed by celebrating something that they were passionate about, a special achievement or even a much-loved place. We’ve even heard of superhero or Halloween-themed funerals.
Avid sports fans will always be remembered for their passion and dedication to their favourite team. A themed football funeral could be a nice way to honour their passion, with guests dressing in team colours. You could even coordinate the funeral flowers with the theme.
2. Organise a firework display
If you want the funeral to be a celebration of their life, a memorable fireworks display can be a great way to honour and remember a loved one. If you do choose a fireworks display, you should organise it through a qualified display team or follow all safety advice for lighting your own fireworks.
Specialist companies can even embed fireworks with your loved one’s cremation ashes, so you can scatter them in a unique and unforgettable fashion at a later date after the funeral.
3. Choose a unique flower arrangement
There are lots of ways to show personality with funeral flowers. Different florists will be able to advise of their standard designs and advise if they are able to do unique arrangements on request. Some ideas of unique funeral flower arrangements include:
o A football for a football fan (or a rugby ball for a rugby fan)
o An anchor for someone who worked at sea
o A fish for someone who loved fishing
o A motorcycle for a keen motorcyclist
o A train for a trainspotter
o Religious or spiritual symbols
4. Be colourful
Many people are opting to bypass the tradition of mourners wearing black to a funeral and asking those attending to wear bright and colourful clothes instead. If your loved one had a favourite colour, you could even ask guests to dress in that colour. Alternatively, you could request mourners wear ‘anything but black’.
If you are going to ask mourners to dress different to the norm for funerals, you should give them as much notice as possible.
Traditionally, funeral flowers and floral tributes are usually white and simple, but you could also opt for brighter flowers to celebrate the life of a loved one in a unique way.
5. Hand out seeds
If you are planning to give your guests a small gift in remembrance of a loved one, then seeds are a unique idea.
You could hand on packets of seeds for mourners to take home and plant in their garden, accompanied by a personalised card. Planting seeds and watching a living thing grow in memory of a loved one is a special way to keep memories alive. There are companies online who make personalised seed cards for different occasions.
Forget-me-nots may be a nice choice; a small blue flower that are easy to grow and maintain and are a famous symbol of remembrance.
6. Plant a memorial tree
A tree is a living memorial to someone special, that will continue to grow year after year. A memorial tree gives family and friends a place to visit and feel close to the person who has passed away. It is also an environmentally-friendly way of keeping the memory of the deceased alive.
If you did not want to plant the tree on the day of the funeral, you could hold a small memorial ceremony at a separate date, perhaps in a location the deceased loved. You can also plant a tree from ashes, creating a living memorial which incorporates your loved one’s remains in the growing process.
7. Release balloons
Releasing balloons at a graveside or outside a crematorium is a personal way to conclude a funeral service.
Mourners can write a message to the deceased or write a happy memory and insert into the balloons before they are inflated and released together, as a heartfelt and colourful way to say goodbye to a loved one.
8. Ask guests to share a memory
There are lots of unique ways you can ask attendees to share their memories with your loved one.
You could start a memorial book and ask guests to write messages, share stories they experienced with the deceased or bring photos showing your loved one during different periods of their life. Similarly, you could create a memory tree and leave blank cards where people can leave thoughts and memories on and hang on the tree.
To highlight the achievements in someone’s life, you could display a memory table during the service or wake. This could include pictures, trophies, favourite items of clothing, a favourite mug or anything that people will fondly associate with the deceased.
9. Live stream the funeral for absent friends and family
There has been a rise in demand for live streaming at funeral services in recent years. Live streaming a funeral allows friends and family that are unable to attend watch the service live on the internet and still pay their respects.
Many crematoria now have video streaming facilities.
10. Giveaway your loved one’s books
If your loved one was a keen reader, they may have left behind an extensive library of books. You could share their loved of books by handing out their collection at the funeral, giving mourners an appropriate memento to enjoy in their memory.
Arranging a unique funeral with Simplicity
With a Simplicity Cremation, there's no need to follow tradition.
Our Attended Funeral encourages you to organise a personalised ceremony that is befitting of your loved one's life and character. There is no procession, hearse, limousines or what we would describe as a pre-ceremony, as the focus on the funeral is the service arranged by you and your family.
An Attended Funeral is organised over the phone by our funeral arrangers who will be on hand to help you make all of the necessary arrangements, from the music you'd like to suggesting a local minister or officiant. This offers you the freedom to plan a ceremony in the crematorium chapel as you wish. With the ceremony organised carefully by you, we'll focus on the practical elements of the cremation including the collection and care of your loved one and the transportation to the crematorium on the day of the funeral.
The Attended Funeral costs from £1,895 and is available throughout the whole of mainland Great Britain.
Learn more about arranging an Attended Funeral.
Looking to plan ahead for your own unique funeral in the future?
The Orchid Plan offers everything you will need for a simple funeral with a service organised by your family, anytime in the future.
This simple funeral plan covers the costs of all the practical and essential elements of a cremation, without the need to pay for traditional ceremonial aspects you might not want. It enables your family to organise a personalised funeral service in the crematorium chapel, with help from our professional experts over the phone. Your family can choose the ceremonial format, music, visual tributes and selection of a minister or celebrant.
Planning your funeral in advance not only helps ensure your wishes are honoured when the time comes, but also relieves your loved ones from any stress or uncertainty over what your funeral wishes would have been.
The Orchid Plan is available from just £2,295 or as little as £25.35 per month.
We hope you’ve found these unique funeral ideas helpful. For help arranging a funeral for a loved one or planning ahead for your own funeral, contact us today. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or for more funeral planning advice, see our guidance and advice hub.