This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


What to consider when planning a funeral

Posted by Tracey Gelder on
What to consider when planning a funeral

There’s so little time between losing someone special and having to start getting the funeral organised that it can all be very overwhelming. There’s so much to think about and, even if you’ve done it before, it’s not easy to remember everything that needs to be done.

Although many of us are getting better at talking with friends and family about what we’d like for our own funerals – or even making and paying for all the arrangements ourselves – there are still many people having to start from scratch when organising a funeral. And even if we have expressed a preference while still around, we may not have covered everything. 

This month, we’re presenting our guide on what to consider when planning a funeral, from the type of funeral and the costs involved to what will happen during the service or memorial event. 


What type of funeral service is appropriate?

 There are so many funeral options available these days, so if you have no direct instructions or preferences to refer to, you’ll need to think about the personality and beliefs of the person who has died.

It’s also worth getting the thoughts of other friends and family who are likely to have viewpoints on what might be appropriate.

These are some of the more common options you might like to consider:

Traditional religious service

We may be a less religious society than we used to be, but tradition still plays a big part in big life moments such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.

Many who profess to be non-religious still have a strong sense of tradition, or perhaps you need to take into account older members of the family who are likely to have strong views. 

Memorial service

This will have many of the same elements as a traditional funeral but without the religious angle. It may also take place as a separate event from the cremation, perhaps even at a later date, especially if there has been a direct cremation.  

Celebration of life

This is more of a celebration of a life lived than the mourning of a life lost. It can still contain music, readings and remembrances, but is likely to be a far more uplifting event than a traditional funeral, and tailored far more to the individual personality of the person being remembered.


Funeral budget and financial considerations

It may sound obvious, but the more elaborate the funeral is, the more it’s going to cost. Traditional funerals with all the usual elements can quickly add up to a sizable expense, so make sure you think carefully about what you want to include and what you can afford. 

These are just some of the traditional funeral costs you may need to think about:

  • Church and officiant
  • Burial or cremation
  • Funeral directors’ fees
  • Hearses and limousines
  • Coffin
  • Flowers
  • Venue for post-funeral wake or gathering
  • Catering

If that all looks a bit much, there are more affordable options available these days, including direct cremations and natural burials.

By eliminating the need for many of the elements of a traditional funeral, you may be able to save quite a bit of money – a serious consideration in difficult times.

On the other hand, you could use what you might otherwise have spent to enjoy a better memorial event or even make a donation to a charity close to the heart of the person who has died. 


Burial or cremation options

 As well as deciding on the type of funeral, you also need to decide on what’s going to happen to the body. There are a few good options here, but remember that there are laws around what you can and cannot do. 

Traditional burial 

This is becoming less common these days, partly because of the lack of space for new plots, but also because it’s likely to prove the most expensive option. Some people prefer it because those left behind have somewhere physical to visit.

Natural burial 

For those with a commitment to protecting the environment, there’s no better choice than a natural burial, as it has minimal impact but brings lots of positive results. Our woodland and wildflower sites are beautiful, wildlife-rich locations, and they make for a far nicer place to visit than the average graveyard. 


By far the most common choice, now accounting for close to 80% of funerals happening in the UK. In recent years, direct cremations have become an increasingly popular option, offering a more affordable solution for those on a tighter budget.


Funeral service details

Whatever type of funeral you choose, you’re still going to have to decide what the service or memorial will consist of, otherwise everyone will just be standing around looking sad! These are the usual elements that make up most funerals or memorials:  


Whether it’s a favourite hymn, such as ‘Abide With Me’ or ‘Jerusalem’, a popular tune with appropriate sentiments, such as Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’ or Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’, or just that person’s favourite song, music remains a popular and common element in any funeral.   


Traditional services tend to involve readings from the bible, but favourite poems are also common, as discussed in this previous blog


Whether it’s just one person who was particularly close or allowing all attendees the opportunity, sharing memories and stories of the dead person’s life is always a popular thing to do.

Not only does it give the chance to tell amusing anecdotes, but many people are also likely to discover new and surprising things about their friend or family member.


If you want to have photos of the person whose life is being celebrated in the church or at the wake, you need to be very careful about which you pick. If you know that they had a particular favourite, that’s a great start, but do ask around, because you’ll find others have or remember ones that will also work well.


    Emotional needs of others 

    Remember that it’s not just you or the immediate family that will be suffering and that some people, whether because of infirmity, distance or work, may not be able to attend. Think about what you can do to help them participate or feel part of the event, whether it’s taking the time to read personal messages or provide a live video stream.

    Tithe Green Natural Burial offers you the chance to enjoy a funeral with a difference, one that:

    • has a positive impact on the environment
    • allows you to create a personal service and event that best reflects the personality of the person whose life is being celebrated
    • provides somewhere special for you to visit and remember for years to come
    • is much more affordable than many traditional alternatives

    Get in touch with us now to find out more.

    ← Older Post Newer Post →


    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published