Funeral Planning 101
By Nicole Pang
It is never an easy task to plan a funeral, especially
for someone you love. You are probably overwhelmed with
emotion, still in the early stages of grieving and the
last thing you want to think about is planning the
funeral. Traditionally, it is the immediate family who
are assigned this task, and if this is you, you may be
feeling overwhelmed. Luckily, you are not alone, there
are plenty of resources at your fingertips to help yo
through this difficult time. Just to give you an idea of
where to start, we have compiled a list of the first
steps in planning a funeral.
The First Steps in Planning a Funeral
1. Choose a funeral home or mortuary. The mortuary will
set you up with a funeral directory who will help you
through the planning process.
2. Check the will. Did your loved one specify anything
about their funeral? If so, you may want to consider how
to best execute their wishes.
3. Decide what to do with the body. Where will the body
stay until the funeral service is held? Will the
deceased be buried or cremated? If decide on a burial,
you will also need to choose a casket. For a cremation,
will it be at sea or will you need an urn?
4. Where do you want to hold the funeral? What kind of
service will it be? You will have to decide on the
location of the funeral service. Your funeral director
can give you helpful tips on the best places in your
5. Where will the burial be? Will it be right after the
service or on a later date?
6. Who will lead the service. Do you belong to a church
or religious group that has someone such as a pastor
that can lead the memorial?
7. Decide how the service will proceed. What music,
scriptures, poetry, verses, stories will be included?
Creating a program will help you to organize this part.
Often times priests or pastors will help you create a
program or if you want something more personalized there
are funeral designers who will take care of all your
funeral graphic needs.
8. Create a memorial poster. Gather photos and documents
that bring back fond memories of your loved one and put
them together in a collage to show family and friends at
the service. Funeral design specialists can also help
9. What will your loved one wear? If it is an open
coffin, you may consider picking out an outfit and
getting it dry-cleaned.
10. Funeral transportation - how will the deceased
arrive? Your funeral director will help you arrange
11. Who will read the eulogy? Will there be several
people? Be sure to include their name(s) in the program.
12. Submit an obituary to your local newspaper. Who will
write it? Do you have a photo you can send as well?
13. Organize a luncheon for after the service. It is a
common practice for the family to get together for lunch
after the funeral service. Figure out where it will be
and include directions in the program. This will help
aid with confusion later. Additionally, you can show a
slide show at the luncheon. Your funeral designer can
help with that as well. Or perhaps someone in the family
is good with computers and can help you put it together
14. Email and call your loved ones friends & family.
Make sure they know when the service is, and how to get
there. Consider ordering personalized prayer cards with
your loved ones photo and a special prayer or poem to
give to guests when they arrive. Often times this little
gesture can be very special.
15. Don't forget to bring a card box and to have a guest
book. Personalized guest books can be ordered online or
often times you can buy one from your funeral home.
Unfortunately, more often than not, most of these
details are not even thought about until after the death
occurs. This leaves the family feeling overwhelmed and
unprepared in dealing sorting through all of the
technicalities. Hopefully this list helped you to feel a
little more knowledgeable about where to start with the
Family members should work together to make sure each
part of the service is taken care of. Delegating during
this time is essential as it is extremely difficult for
one person to take on all of the details by themselves.
Planning a funeral is rarely a happy event, but with
some cooperation, help and practical advice, you can
create a lasting and memorable final goodbye.
Last Impression Memorial Design is your funeral graphic
design studio. We specialize in funeral programs,
posters, prayer cards, memorial books and custom
memorial thank you cards. We strive to make the grieving
process as simple and easy as possible and hope to help
you during this time by taking some of the burden off of
you by creating beautiful one of a kind pieces for your
Last Impression Memorial Design "Helping Families Honor