A wake is a chance to come together with friends and family to share memories of a loved one, before or after a funeral ceremony. The wake traditionally was a very sombre occasion, but today they are used as a celebration of the life of your loved one, an opportunity to share memories with family and friends.
In this article, provide lots of funeral wake ideas which will help to spark conversation, evoke happy memories and personalise the event to your loved one.
Where to hold a funeral wake
One of the best ways to find somewhere to hold a funeral wake is to remember the favourite places of your loved one. Did they often walk their dog in a local park, or maybe they were a regular at their village pub? Places like these which hold a strong connection to your loved one can help those attending the wake to join in with sharing happy memories, rather than focussing on the sadness of loss.
Think about when your wake is being held too. If you are having a wake before the funeral service, which is traditionally when a wake was held, you could consider holding a special memorial brunch at their favourite café. If you are holding a wake after the service, which is the more common today, you could consider visiting your loved one’s local pub for a sit down meal together.
If the service is taking place in summer, you could hold a “celebration of life” BBQ or garden party. Alternatively, if you wish to have a more low-key gathering, spending time with family and friends at your home can be a very comforting way to begin the day of a funeral.
Funeral Wake Decoration Ideas
Just as many decorate the funeral service venue, it can be a lovely personal touch to decorate the wake venue too.
The simple addition of the deceased’s favourite flowers, or a sprinkle of confetti in their favourite colour, can help to remind those attending of their loved ones. This is an inexpensive way to add a really meaningful touch to a wake.
Bringing in these decorations as a nod to your loved one’s hobbies or interests is another great way to encourage an uplifting conversation at a funeral wake. If your loved one was a keen sewer, you could bring along some of their creations to adorn the table and seating with. Or, if they were a big football fan, you can drape their club’s football shirts over the backs of chairs or decorate the table in their club’s colours.
Another simple way to spark a happy conversation between guests is to spread photos of happy memories around the table. With many of us holding onto photos through our phones, taking the time to get photos printed means guests can hold and pass around the images at a wake, and take some home as a reminder of their loved one too.
Funeral Wake Food Ideas
Another thoughtful way to evoke memories of your loved one is to serve the food they loved or that reminds you of them. In day to day life, a lot of happy memories and celebrations centre around food. It doesn’t just have to be their favourite food either, maybe you want to share with guests one of the simple home cooked meals your loved one would make for you, or remember a fond family holiday with food from that place.
By sharing this with your guests, it gives you the opportunity to relive the stories and memories connected with the food you are serving and help you to feel close to the person you have lost.
Are you planning a wake and funeral service? We have lots of advice articles to help you navigate the process at an emotionally challenging time. Click here to read more of our funeral planning advice articles.