Unique funeral ideas

In the past, funerals have largely been sombre occasions, where grieving loved ones gather to pay their respects for the recently deceased. People usually dress entirely in dark mourning colours, and the ceremonies are quite often religious, with hymns/songs and readings. These things are often considered elements of a traditional funeral. But tradition is not for everyone. Many people are now choosing to bypass things often associated with a traditional funeral, in favour of organising a more personalised, unique funeral in a loved one’s honour.

Here are a few unique funeral ideas that may inspire you, for your loved ones or if you are planning ahead for your own funeral:

Pick a Theme

Picking a theme for the funeral can help the mourners feel close to the departed by celebrating something that they were passionate about, a special achievement or even a much-loved place.

Organise a Firework Display

If you want the funeral to be a celebration of their life, a memorable fireworks display can be a great way to honour and remember a loved one. If you do choose a fireworks display, you should organise it through a qualified display team or follow all safety advice for lighting your own fireworks.

Be colourful

Many people are opting to bypass the tradition of mourners wearing black to a funeral and asking those attending to wear bright and colourful clothes instead. If your loved one had a favourite colour, you could even ask guests to dress in that colour. Alternatively, you could request mourners wear ‘anything but black’.

If you are going to ask mourners to dress different to the norm for funerals, you should give them as much notice as possible.

Traditionally, funeral flowers and floral tributes are usually white and simple, but you could also opt for brighter flowers to celebrate the life of a loved one in a unique way.

Hand out seeds

If you are planning to give your guests a small gift in remembrance of a loved one, then seeds are a unique idea.

You could hand on packets of seeds for mourners to take home and plant in their garden, accompanied by a personalised card. Planting seeds and watching a living thing grow in memory of a loved one is a special way to keep memories alive. There are companies online who make personalised seed cards for different occasions.

Forget-me-nots may be a nice choice; a small blue flower that are easy to grow and maintain and are a famous symbol of remembrance.

Ask guests to share a memory

There are lots of unique ways you can ask attendees to share their memories with your loved one.

You could start a memorial book and ask guests to write messages, share stories they experienced with the deceased or bring photos showing your loved one during different periods of their life. Similarly, you could create a memory tree and leave blank cards where people can leave thoughts and memories on and hang on the tree.

To highlight the achievements in someone’s life, you could display a memory table during the service or wake. This could include pictures, trophies, favourite items of clothing, a favourite mug or anything that people will fondly associate with the deceased.

All the Details on Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

Queen Elizabeth, the longest-reigning British monarch in history, died on Thursday 8th September at her Scottish residence Balmoral Castle, where she was surrounded by her family. The 96-year-old passed away peacefully at Balmoral yesterday afternoon, Buckingham Palace announced.

Funeral Details

As monarch, the Queen will be given a state funeral, which is expected to take place at some point in the next two weeks. Specific details about the ceremony, which would have been planned for decades, have yet to be formally announced, though it is expected that the Archbishop of Canterbury, who the senior bishop of the Church of England, will lead the service. Per Buckingham Palace, “Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, it is His Majesty The King’s wish that a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral. The date of the Funeral will be confirmed in due course.

Royal Mourning will be observed by Members of the Royal Family, Royal Household staff and Representatives of the Royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties.”

We will update this post as soon as more information has been shared. If the ceremony will be broadcast, or available to watch in the United States, we will also include those details.

In the days prior to the funeral, the United Kingdom will mark a period of mourning in which Queen Elizabeth’s body is expected to lie in state, and the public will likely be able to pay their respects.

Cost of living crisis hits the cost of dying as crematoriums increase prices

A report has found one in six families have significant financial worries over funerals and are opting to save cash by choosing a cheaper coffin and spending less on flowers.

Even the dearly departed are feeling the squeeze of inflation as cremation fees top £1,000 in some areas.

Crematoriums are charging stiffer prices to reflect the rising cost of fuel.

The average has gone up by £20 to £867.75 since 2021, but some providers have added more than £100.

In January, a basic cremation cost over £1,000 in seven areas: Thatcham in West Berks, Westerleigh in Bristol, Peterborough, Torquay, Basildon plus Friockheim and Moray in Scotland.

Fees were upped from £659 to £763 in Bangor, North Wales, and from £793 to £895 Chelmsford, Essex. And costs are still rising, with further increases due in September.

More people are now opting for the cheapest direct cremation option, with no service and the ashes kept or scattered by loved ones who arrange their own farewell.

SunLife insurance, which commissioned a Cost of Dying report, says these amounted to just 3% of all funerals in 2019 but 18% last year.

It found that although the average cost of a UK funeral fell for the first time on record last year – by 3.1% to £4,056 – savings mostly came from lower undertakers’ and ministers’ fees.

One in six families had significant financial worries over funerals and half of those who lost a loved one last year looked to save cash, including a cheaper coffin, spending less on flowers and having the wake at home.

UK’s biggest headstone could be torn down

Britain’s “biggest headstone ” which features two life-sized models of the deceased and a solar-powered jukebox could be torn down after it emerged it breached planning rules.

Bare-knuckle boxer “Big” Willy Collins, dubbed the “King of Sheffield ” by the travelling community he came from, was aged just 49 when he died during a family holiday to Majorca in July 2020.

The huge grave stone – which is said to be made of 37 tonnes of fine Italian marble – has been branded an “eyesore” and “monstrosity” by some visitors to the cemetery in Sheffield who’ve taken issue with its extravagance.

Initially, the council said that the massive mausoleum, weighing 37-tonnes, had been constructed “without permission”.

But today, they released a new statement clarifying that while the Collins family did obtain permission for a headstone, it had failed to match the designs they had submitted.

The local authority rules that memorials must be under three inches thick and no taller than 4.4ft.

Cemeteries are a place where people can come, pay their respects and visit loved ones who are no longer with us. We understand memorials are deeply personal, however we must have rules in place to ensure fairness.

A spokesperson for the council in a new statement said: “Sheffield City Council approved plans for a memorial; however, the plans which were submitted and approved differ from the memorial now in place.

“This was not fully appreciated until after the structure was fully unveiled.

“We have reached out to the family and intend to discuss changes which need to be made in order to satisfy the cemetery rules and take into consideration other cemetery users.

The stone features imposing biblical carvings, a working jukebox playing Willy’s favourite tunes, and 24-hour surveillance which acts as a walkie-talkie for his family to converse with him whenever they need.

However, many other visitors have branded the stone an “eyesore” and a “monstrosity”.

Families are now renting coffins for funerals amid cost of living crisis

Some funeral directors are now offering coffins for rent to cut down the costs for families.

An average funeral runs to thousands of pounds, with coffins a major contributor.

The cheapest wooden coffins on offer by Co-op funerals on their website are £450 for traditional oak, cherry or maple, while their most expensive standard coffin (white rose casket) is £2,650.

Even a cardboard coffin is priced at £450.

With many families struggling with increased costs of electricity and fuel, finding the money to pay for an expensive funeral is an added strain.

The rented coffins are used in the service and even in the burial, but are later removed with the deceased person later being cremated or laid to rest in the simple wood or cardboard liner.

US provider Everplans, which offers rented coffins, says on its website: ‘A rental casket is a casket that has a removable interior. The body is placed in a simple wooden box and the box is placed inside the casket, giving the appearance that the body is actually in the casket.

‘In fact, the body never touches the casket, and the wooden box is easily removed after the service. The body can then be buried or cremated in the simple wooden box, and the funeral home can re-use the rental casket.’

How to decide whether to cremate or bury?

Direct cremation, in particular, is considered less costly since it lowers costs by saving on terrestrial space.

It is a very personal decision made by the individual or family members. In addition to taking into consideration the wishes, feelings and beliefs of the deceased loved one, there is also the fear in some people of being decomposed or buried alive.

Religious and cultural beliefs also play an important role in this decision. With the exception of Orthodox Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam, most religions accept the process of cremation.

In fact, this system has been practiced in Hinduism since time immemorial, believing that not only cremation serves as a means to get rid of the body but also helps the deceased soul on his journey to the next world. The burial ground, on the other hand, symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Christ.

Cremation is also being promoted for social, technological and philosophical reasons. There are concerns about public hygiene due to corpses buried near the surface of the earth.

In addition, technological advancement has led to the creation of modern cremation kits that can help reduce the body to its basic elements. However, there are environmental concerns associated with the emission of gases released during cremations.

Cremation or burial

Cremation reduces the body to cremated remains in a matter of hours, while traditional burial follows a slow and natural decomposition process.

Direct cremations are more cost effective than direct burials, as they do not require embalming. In addition, you have the option of keeping the body in an alternative container instead of a coffin.

Cremation is a simpler process that also helps save floor space, unlike in the case of a burial. However, both are considered safe ways of dealing with the corpse.

As people today live far from their family roots, cremation provides more flexibility in terms of commemoration compared to the method of burying in a graveyard.

The cremated remains can be stored in a cremation urn and displayed on a shelf or mantle at home, scattered in the ground, scattered from the air from an airplane, floating in water, placed in a columbarium, buried in a cemetery or buried in a crypt inside a mausoleum. You can carry with you the cremated remains of the deceased if you move to another city, which is not possible in case of burial.

However, since cremation is an irreversible process, it is essential to decide and be clear if cremation or burial is preferred.

In addition, it must be taken into account that cremation is not a substitute for the funeral since the final disposal of the remains is also required.

Other alternatives are to perform a funeral before cremation or a memorial service later. By choosing cremation, the ashes of the loved one can then be scattered, buried or buried.

What to wear to a funeral

Funerals are a time when we pay our respects to the dead. It’s important that you’re dressed appropriately and in black, though there is much flexibility with what color or style of clothing would suit your personal tastes best- bright colours can be very uplifting during this somber occasion!

This passage talks about how funerals have changed over recent years as more people look towards celebrations instead; traditionally reserved only for those who die young (or otherwise), these services allow everyone else also have their say so they do not feel left out leading up until an emotional goodbye afterwards where feelings may run high depending on circumstance.

If you are unsure of what to wear, it’s important to be respectful to the deceased. The family may set a specific dress code, or want you to wear a certain colour, so it’s always best to double check with them first.

Here is our guide for what to wear to a funeral:

What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?

Traditionally, funeral etiquette suggests men and women wear black clothing that’s conservative and respectful. Black or dark colours are most common, but some cultures expect mourners to wear a less traditional funeral colour. The weather and location of funeral services can also play a factor, so try and consider these elements before you decide what to wear.

If you are attending a celebration of life, woodland burial or a funeral in an alternative venue to a place of worship or crematorium, you may find that the family of the deceased are expecting a less formal attire for these occasions. They may request a less traditional dress or may have a personalised theme they would like you to adhere to.

What to wear to a funeral that is not black?

Wearing black to a funeral is generally acceptable across Western society. However, not all cultures consider black as the appropriate colour for a funeral. For instance, black is considered inappropriate at a Hindu funeral or Sikh funeral; instead, mourners (both male and female) are expected to wear white. Here are some other popular colours worn worldwide:

 

  • Red – in South Africa, red is sometimes worn as a colour of mourning. For a Ghanain funeral, it’s traditional for members of the community to wear black and white while the immediate family will wear red and black.
  • Purple – in Thailand, purple represents sorrow and is often worn by widows during the mourning period. Purple is also worn in Brazil alongside black.
  • Grey – in Papua New Guinea, a widow applies a stone-coloured clay to their skin while mourning their husband.
  • Bright colours – many African, Caribbean/West Indies, humanist and non-religious funerals in the UK and across the world will opt for more vibrant colours. Wearing bright colours to a funeral can reinforce the celebration of life.
  • Subdued colours like grey, maroon and navy blue can be a good alternative to black.

That being said, it’s best to speak to a family member regarding what they want you to wear.

Royal Funerals

Royal funerals are a state affair — but what does it actually mean to handle one?

The last royal funeral in the UK was for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He passed away on April 22nd 2021 at age 92 and asked to have a ceremonial rather than stately ceremony because he felt like an ordinary member of society who had served his country well with loyalty until retirement from public life several years ago- not someone special or entitled enough according how most people think about these things anyway!

Royal undertakers are always prepared

The current funeral directors and undertakers to the royal family, Leverton & Sons, overlooked the funerals of Princess Diana, the Queen Mother, and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Chairman Clive Leverton said that “back in 1991, I had a phone call from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.” He wasn’t approached with a written contract. “It was just a handshake really,” the Guardian previously reported.

Apart from helping to arrange the funeral service, royal undertakers also have responsibilities to plan for a sudden death and keep a special coffin at the ready in case a member of the royal family dies, as reported by Sam Knight in the Guardian.

During the inquest into the death of Diana, Leverton told Jonathan Hough, the counsel to the inquest: “We have some plans for some members of the royal family, and there is an overall operational plan involving repatriation if there is a death abroad — or, say, in Scotland, where road transport would not be practical.”

The pandemic also compelled the royal family to adapt their funeral protocol to England’s third national lockdown. The guest list for Philip’s funeral was cut from 800 to 30 people, with no lying-in-state ceremony for the public.

Royal undertakers have to abide by strict procedures following the death of a sovereign, but changes like these have prompted questions about the flexibility of the traditions that have been inherent to royal funerals.

“We’re 300 years old, but compared to the business of being the royal family in the state of the UK, it’s really nothing,” Field said. “They’re kind of more constrained around what they can and can’t do with a state funeral.”

Philip’s death also sparked questions around funeral procedures for the Queen.

Codenamed “Operation London Bridge,” current royal undertakers Leverton & Sons have prepared for any emergency scenarios following the Queen’s death, including keeping a “first call coffin” at the ready.

If she dies abroad, a plane called “the Royal Flight” will take off from Northolt, with the coffin from Leverton & Sons, Knight wrote.

Her state funeral would most likely be held at Westminster Abbey, and would include a procession in London and Windsor and a nationwide two minutes’ silence at midday, as reported in Elle.

Although many royal funeral traditions have stood the test of time, embracing modernity has become a bigger part of the equation in the last century. Royal funeral directors are now tasked with the challenge of abiding by the monarchy’s protocol, while adapting to any unprecedented changes that are thrown at them.

How to plan the perfect funeral

When a loved one dies, it’s often difficult to know what to do. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to plan the perfect funeral. By following these simple steps, you can make the process easier for yourself and your family. First, decide what type of service you want. There are many different options available, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Then, select a burial or cremation site and make arrangements with the funeral home. Finally, gather together any important documents and ensure that the deceased’s estate is in order. Planning a funeral can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do it. By taking care of everything ahead of time

  • Plan the funeral in advance
  • Choose a location for the service
  • Find out what will happen during the ceremony
  • Write your eulogy to be read at the funeral
  • Select music that is appropriate for your loved one’s life and personality
  • Send invitations to friends and family members

Planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things someone can do in life. That’s why it’s important to take care of all the details so that loved ones are able to grieve without having prep too much on their plate for this final celebration of love. If you need help with your planning, contact us today! We have experts ready and waiting to help make sure every detail is perfect for your family member or friend who has passed away.

What are the Different Types of Coffins?

Traditional Coffin

The British coffin style provides a classic look, modest and traditional.

These are characterised by a flat top, the sarcophagus (coffin shaped) i.e. narrower at the head and toes than at the shoulders and simple fittings. They can be enhanced with raised lids and additional detailing on the side of the coffins called wreaths.

The lids are shallower than European styles but one of the styles we offer has a Double raised lid which gives a similar effect.

The coffins are made using oak veneers, which are laminated on to chipboard or medium density fibreboard (MDF). All are Forest Stewardship Council certified. They are approximately 80-85% wood and 10% Glue and rest moisture. A high proportion of the wood is from recycled wood. It’s pressed together with heat and glue a then a usable board is made, which is used to make our coffins.

The coffins are finished with a water based lacquer not solvent based. When it’s dry it’s completely biodegradable No other toxins are contained within the board, therefore, these coffins are suitable for burial or cremation.

When the coffin is cremated, as it’s mostly wood as the coffin burns it aids the process of cremation without any harmful emissions. The amount of CO2 released from the coffin during cremation is offset by the CO2 taken up during the life as a tree and can be considered carbon neutral.

If you’ re planning on a woodland burial please let us know, so we can use a suitable calico liner which will comply with regulations and be completely biodegradable.

Cardboard Coffin

In recent years cardboard coffins are becoming a very popular option. Seen as eco-friendly, modern and now using modern digital printing can be decorated in high-quality designs as varied as your imagination.

The coffins we supply have no fixings at all and the cardboard are folded in a way that the structure is maintained. The finished item is incredibly strong and can hold considerable weight. Our standard cardboard coffins will support a person of up 23 Stone. If the person is heavier we can do this with special provision, please let us know.

We supply coffins that are traditional coffin shaped (sarcophagus) i.e. narrower at the head and toes than at the shoulders and also Casket (rectangular) shaped – some customers prefer this shape, but this a purely personal choice.

We supply our coffins with strap fabric handles as standard – please let us know if you prefer not to have these.

If you don’t find something on our catalog that you like, please contact us and we can make a design specific to you.

Our fabric coffins have a rigid cardboard structure but then some with a decorated cover called a pall.

Natural Materials Coffin

The products that we don’t make in the UK are either manufactured by co-operative associations or are covered.

In recent years he has been a trend to move to more sustainable and natural material for coffins. They often have a softer look and feel and have no ‘ hard edges’ or corners and our coffins have no metal fixing and often ties and fixing are made with the materials itself. a fair trade agreement ensuring that all workers and suppliers are treated fairly and work in good and safe conditions.

In line with our strong green beliefs, all of our products are manufactured in the most environmentally friendly way. Our products are handmade from local materials grown and cropped in licensed plantations.

American Caskets

These stylish and beautifully made caskets are either made of solid wood or Steel sheet. They come fully finished with quality plush linings and include all fixtures and fittings that embellish the exterior of the caskets.

Most of these are suitable for burial only all these caskets are suitable for repatriation.

These Caskets, made in America by the same well-established manufacturer who provided caskets for John F Kennedy and Michael Jackson.

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