How to personalise a funeral
Funerals in the UK are changing. Families are now choosing to plan funerals that reflect the life, hobbies and interests of their loved one. Fewer people are opting for tradition, with colourful, unique funerals becoming increasingly commonplace.
Personalising a funeral can help create a meaningful and lasting tribute for those who are saying goodbye to someone close.
Whatever type of funeral you are arranging, here are a few ways you can add personal touches whilst maintaining a respectful atmosphere.
Ask guests not to wear black
Although formal black attire is the norm for funerals, it certainly isn’t mandatory. If you want to arrange a personal funeral, you could ask guests to avoid traditional mourning colours.
When arranging a funeral, you could ask guests to:
- Wear an item that reminds them of your loved one
- Wear bright colours or your loved ones favourite colour
- Wear the shirt of your loved ones favourite sports team
- Wear an accessory you associate with your loved one, such as jazzy ties, big hats or colourful jewellery.
It may worth telling attendees that wearing colour is optional as some older mourners may feel more comfortable dressed in traditional funeral colours.
A eulogy is the name given to a speech at a funeral that pays tribute to the person who has passed away. A good eulogy is heartfelt, honest and most importantly, personal.
The eulogy is a chance to share personal words about your loved one and parts of their life so it’s best to ask someone who was very important and close to the person who has died, such as a spouse, a child or a close friend to prepare and deliver it.
The key thing with writing a eulogy is creating a farewell that both commemorates and praises the best things in the person’s life, giving everyone who is listening a moment to both remember and cherish. If the deceased was known for their bubbly personality, perhaps light humour and fondness can be used in the eulogy as a tribute.
If you’ve not wrote a eulogy before, you may find our how to write a eulogy guide helpful.
Funeral music doesn’t have to be sad or sombre. Music is a personal thing and can evoke powerful memories and emotions. Choosing the right music for your loved one’s funeral will personalise the service and truly pay tribute to their life in a lasting way.
You could play your loved one’s favourite song, artist or band during the service, or a song that reminds you of their personality if they didn’t have a particular favourite. If you’re unsure what to choose, try looking through their music collection if they have one. You could end up getting some inspiration from something in their collection, or find that record or CD that looks particularly well-played.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, you may find our guide to popular funeral songs and other funeral music ideas helpful.
Create a memorial slideslow
You could create a slide show of photos and videos of your loved one. This could be done as a montage with music during the service, or played on a loop in the background during the wake or memorial service.
Photos from early childhood up until present day can make an amazing portrayal of someone’s life and allows us to reflect on the best memories instead of our immediate sadness.
You could even upload the slideshow to a file sharing site so that friends and family can download a copy.
Alternatively, you could display a memory table during the service or wake to highlight the achievements in someone’s life. This could include pictures, trophies, favourite items of clothing, a favourite mug or anything that people will fondly associate with the deceased.
Choose an unusual funeral flower arrangement
Flowers are a popular part of many funerals. Traditionally, funeral flowers are often white, and in the style of a wreath or spray.
However, there are lots of ways to show personality with funeral flowers, including styles, colours and designs. Different florists will offer different options and may even be able to do unique arrangements upon request.
Popular arrangements include:
- Sports shirt and logo
- Religious symbols
- Letters to spell out your loved one’s nickname or a phrase they often used
Arranging a personalised 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.