A major trend that has continued to develop over the past few decades is the desire for funerals to be personalised to the individual and be more of a celebration of life for your loved one, rather than a solemn affair that doesn’t represent who they were when they were alive. If you are organising a funeral for a loved one, or planning for your own funeral, it can be overwhelming and daunting to think of ideas for how to create a funeral that is unique to the individual. Here we discuss some of the ways you can make a funeral personal to them and to celebrate who they were. Having a unique and personal funeral can create a meaningful lasting tribute to those who are saying goodbye.
#1: Choose alternative transport
Although the traditional hearse is still extremely popular, they are no longer the only option people have. Fire engines, Land Rovers, motorbike hearses and horse drawn hearses have all been used instead of the traditional option, to represent a bit more of the person’s character.
#2: Personalise the coffin
Some companies now provide the option to personalise the casket. This can involve a blank canvas which allows mourners to write special messages, or it can involve a photograph or pattern which represents the person. If your loved one cared strongly about the environment, then eco-friendly options are available to reflect this such as wicker caskets.
#3: Release balloons
It is becoming more popular now to involve balloons during the celebration of life. The bright colours add an element of joy and hope to what otherwise can be a very sombre tone. You could tie messages to the end of the balloons or place them in the balloons themselves before they are inflated and let them go, which is a heartfelt way of saying your final goodbye.
#4: Give mourners seeds
One way to create a unique funeral is to hand out seeds to all the mourners. These flower seed packets could have a special message or quote on them and will contain seeds for them to plant in their gardens, creating a new form of life which can act as a reminder of the person they lost. A common option is forget-me-nots because of what they represent.
#5: Hand out books
If your loved one was an avid reader, then handing out some of their old books to close friends and family can be a nice tribute. You can include a special message in the front page and it means they have something that your loved one cared about to treasure.
#6: Use technology
Funerals can now be completely different due to advances in technology. If you have family members far away or who cannot make the funeral, then you could live stream it to allow those who cannot be there the opportunity to share the experience and say goodbye. You can also use social media to create a memorial hashtag. This means people can tag their photos that they have with the loved one with the hashtag and create an album of photos for people to treasure.
#7: Have a firework display
Similar to the balloons, another colourful way to say goodbye is by having a firework display to honour your loved one. Some people are now filling fireworks with the cremation ashes as a way of scattering them in a spectacular and unforgettable way.
#8: Reuse funeral flowers
Although many people are now opting for donations for a designated charity rather than lots of funeral flowers, each funeral still tends to have a significant number of flowers during the service. Rather than taking the flowers home to wilt, you could dry and press them which can be used in a memory book, or even used in jewellery as a keepsake. Alternatively, you could split the flowers up into small bunches and hand them to guests on the way out as a thank you for coming.
#9: Create a memory board or table
At the wake, having an area dedicated to your loved one can be a great way to show their personality and what they were like when they were alive. It also gives mourners a place to go and reflect after the funeral. You could also leave note cards for mourners to add their own message and pin it to the board. This is a great way to share memories of your loved one and also an outlet for their grief.
#10: Personalise the order of service
A lot of orders of service will include a single photo of your loved one. However, the rest of it is relatively plain. Ask if you can have a collage with several photos included, rather than only one. It creates a more colourful and vibrant order of service that is a great keepsake for those who attended as they may not have photos of the deceased themselves.
#11: Colourful clothes
Although black will perhaps always be associated with grief, it does not have to be the dominant colour at a funeral. Reflect your loved one’s personality by having vibrant flowers and ask guests to wear bright colours or a piece of clothing in your loved one’s favourite colour.
These are just some ways in which you can create a funeral which is unique to that individual. We hope these ideas have given you a bit of inspiration. If you – or someone you know – has recently lost someone close and you have concerns about aspects of planning a funeral, please contact Cravens Funerals.
Our compassionate and professional team have years of experience creating funerals that are completely unique to the individual and respectful of the circumstances involved. For help and advice, please contact us on 0151 228 3900 or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here.