What is proper funeral etiquette?

If you are soon to attend a funeral, you might be concerned about what is expected of you as a guest. Knowing the proper funeral etiquette can help to put your mind at ease during this difficult time, so you have one less thing on your mind.

What to wear to a funeral?

The outfit you wear to a funeral can be a sign of respect or sometimes a tribute to the person who has passed. Traditionally, many choose to wear black when in mourning, but some funerals will request alternative dress codes. We have a full guide here on what to wear to a funeral, but here are our top tips for choosing appropriate attire:

Remember that if you’re not sure about the dress code, don’t be afraid to ask the organiser of the funeral for their advice.

What do you need to bring with you?

You may not need all of these items, but before the day, it is useful to consider what you are bringing with you to avoid forgetting anything. As a guest at a funeral, we would recommend bringing:

What to do during the service?

Each service is unique, but most will, to some degree, follow similar etiquette rules. As with our dress advice, don’t be afraid to ask the organiser of the event if you are unsure about anything.

When choosing your seat, it is customary for the immediate family and very close friends to sit in the very front rows. The rest of the space is then filled with all other guests. You may find it comforting to sit with those you are closest to, or perhaps you’ll want some space to grieve. Do whatever feels right for you.

 

What to say at the wake?

The wake is a time to spend time with family and friends and share fond memories of the person whose life you are celebrating. Usually this is held in a sperate location and is a less formal setting. For more information on what a wake is, click here.

Depending on how close you are to the one who was lost, you may wish to say a few words and share some memories with those attending the wake, but there is no pressure if this doesn’t feel right for you. If you would like to speak at the wake, contact the funeral organiser and let them know, so they can make sure you get your chance to speak.

 

Should I bring a gift or donation?

This is often declared on the invite. Whether the family wish for donations to be made in lieu of gifts, or nothing at all, it is important to respect the wishes of those holding the funeral. If welcome, you may wish to bring a card for the family or flowers to place on the day.

If the family are collecting for a donation, then bringing a small amount of cash will avoid any hassle on the day.

Understanding what is expected of funeral etiquette will help to alleviate any anxious feelings before the ceremony. It is a difficult day, but taking the time to properly prepare yourself can help to make the experience less overwhelming.

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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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