What is a funeral wake?

Funeral ceremonies themselves are filled with a lot of grief and emotion. They are a final goodbye to your loved one as you mourn their passing, which plays an important part of the healing process.

The funeral service is often accompanied by something called a wake, which tends to be a happier celebration of your loved one. This most commonly takes place shortly after the funeral service.

The wake is a gathering typically held in a separate venue and is more informal than the funeral ceremony. It provides a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to come together, often over food and drinks, to share stories and happy memories of the deceased in celebration of their life.

Why do people have a wake?

The wake plays a really important role in the grieving process. Coming together with others who share in your pain can help you to feel less alone in your grief. The act of sharing stories and joyful times also helps to remind us of the wonderful life our loved one lived, rather than focusing on their death. This can help many come to terms with their loss more easily.

What’s the difference between a wake and a viewing?

Some families choose to have something called a ‘viewing’ before or after the funeral service. This is an informal gathering where friends and family can visit the deceased, sometimes in an open casket, or if they have been cremated, in an urn surrounded by photos and memories. A viewing is different from a wake, and it is a personal choice as to whether you want to do both a viewing and a wake or neither. The choice is completely up to you.

How do I plan a wake?

Find a venue to host the wake
A wake can be held wherever you feel is appropriate. Some people decide to do it in their homes, whilst others might look for a venue such as a pub, restaurant, village hall, church hall, golf club or hotel. The decision is entirely yours and will often depend on what your budget is and whether you feel that one type of venue holds more sentimental ties to your loved one over another. Perhaps they had a favourite pub or golf course, for example, or a village hall close to where they grew up.

Consider catering
Whilst it is by no means a requirement, many people do decide to provide food and drinks for the guests at a wake. If you are holding the wake at a venue with catering facilities, such as a hotel or restaurant, it is likely that they can arrange the catering for you, however, this will come at a cost. Some venues, such as a pub for example, might also allow you to provide your own buffet-style food whilst they serve the drinks.
Alternatively, if the wake is taking place at your own or someone else’s home, you might have to consider sorting the catering yourself, asking friends and family to help out by bringing a dish, or hiring a catering company to do it for you. This also provides the option to celebrate with the food you associate with your loved one, rather than a standardised menu.

Let guests know about the wake
When letting people know about the funeral service – whether that be by newspaper, emails, social media or local news boards – consider adding a note about the wake too. This can include things like location, time and whether all are welcome, or if it is a small and intimate occasion for close family only.

Some will also use the end of the funeral service as an opportunity to invite those in attendance to the wake as well (if the invitation is open to all).

Add a personal touch
In the spirit of celebrating your loved one, why not add a personal touch to commemorate them at the wake. This can be in whatever form you like, from memory jars to photo albums, playing their favourite music, or even giving the wake a fun theme. Whatever feels most fitting in their memory.

 

 

If you are in the process of planning a funeral and would like some more advice, you can visit our advice section here.

To search and compare funeral directors near you, click here to use our free search tool.

 

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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