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Looking for a funeral venue? If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve explained your options, as well as giving you some ideas for traditional and alternative venues.

How many funeral venues do you want?

There are two main types of venue to consider when you’re planning a funeral:

  • A venue for the funeral service
  • A venue for the wake or funeral reception

You can choose to have a funeral service or a wake, or to have both. This means you may need to look for 2 or 3 venues depending on your plans. If, for example, you’re organising a funeral service at a place of worship, followed by a cremation and then a wake you’ll need to book a combination of funeral venues. On the other hand, if the person who died didn’t want a service then you might only want to organise a small, informal get-together to remember them.

Different types of funeral venue

Here are some ideas for different types of funeral venue you could choose.

Burial site

If the person who died is going to be buried you can choose to have the funeral at the place where the burial will take place. This could be a place of worship or a non-religious funeral venue. Or you could decide to have a short graveside ceremony instead.


Many crematoriums have chapels and non-religious service rooms on site where the funeral can take place. This may make planning simpler. But it’s also possible to have the service at another venue (for example, your local church) before going to the crematorium. Keep in mind that hiring transport to take guests from the funeral venue to the crematorium will increase the cost.

Place of Worship

Did the person who died attend a local place of worship? In that case, you may already have a relationship with the venue for the funeral as well as the service leader and the local community. This could also make transport for guests easier, especially if they’re already familiar with the venue.

Non-religious funeral venues

Looking for non-religious funeral venues? You could get in touch with:

  • Your local pub
  • Registry office
  • Hotel
  • Village hall
  • Social club
  • Community centre


If you’re hiring out a non-traditional funeral venue such as a function room in a hotel or pub, check that the owner or manager is happy for the funeral service to take place before booking. This is because not all venues are comfortable with hosting a funeral.

Remember you may want to book an officiant for the service or organise for a family member or friend to lead the service if that’s what you’d prefer.

Alternative funeral venues

There are no limits when choosing a funeral venue. An alternative funeral venue that reflects the beliefs or personality of the person who died could be a fitting tribute to them. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you want to celebrate their life a little differently, you could book a more unusual venue. Here are a few ideas:

  • Were they a sports fan? Their local team’s playing grounds might be just the place to remember them.
  • Do you have lots of photos and videos to share? Perhaps a photo montage at their local cinema would be more fitting?
  • Do you want a small, intimate service? Having the service in a family garden is personal and can also help you to save on costs too.


What about funeral wake venues?

The wake venue could be at a catered venue or a function room where you can bring along some food you’ve made yourself, depending on your budget. Keep in mind that you don’t have to provide food – you could simply invite guests to a café or into your home after the service for a cup of tea and a chat if you’d like. You don’t have to hold a wake. But if you decide to you can keep things flexible so that family and friends can pay their respects in a way that feels most appropriate.

Do you have to book a funeral venue?

If the person who died didn’t want a fuss, or if you’re working with a small budget, you could choose an unattended funeral (also known as a direct cremation or direct burial). This means that the person is cremated or buried, but there are no readings and no mourners. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to book a wake venue or a gathering after this. If it’s not in keeping with the person’s wishes or beliefs or isn’t what you’d had in mind you don’t have to book a venue at all. Keeping things simple might be just what you need.

Still unsure which venue is best for the funeral you’re planning? You may benefit from the help of a funeral director. They’ll have the local knowledge to answer your questions about your options and what they’ll cost.

Photo by Jospeh Pearson on Unsplash.