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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 area.

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 with this.

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 this.

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 at home.

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 planning process.

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 loved one.

Last Impression Memorial Design "Helping Families Honor Love Lost"



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