Words, music and personal touches can be far more powerful than expensive cars or coffins.
The amount of money spent on someone’s funeral does not equal how much you loved them.
Some people find carrying out or arranging some aspects themselves can make the funeral feel much more personal and like ‘a gift’ to the person who has died. It can also help reduce the cost.
Some things to consider:
Transport – some people use their own vehicles, or a taxi (some companies have very smart fleets) to get to the venue rather than limousines.
- Some funeral directors have less expensive options for transporting the body to the funeral, rather than a more expensive hearse e.g. a hearsette, estate car or private ambulance
- Coffin – ask the funeral director for details of their simplest coffin.
- Pallbearers / coffin bearers – would you or family/friends like to carry the coffin yourselves? Some people feel it is one last ‘gift’ they can give to their loved one. If you would like to provide some or all of the bearers, speak to the funeral director to check this is possible. It may also reduce the cost.
- Orders of service – do you need them? If so, could you print your own? It could be a sheet of paper rather than a booklet.
- Flowers - did the person who died want flowers? If so, consider purchasing some lovely, but inexpensive supermarket flowers and arrange them with some ribbon. Or going to a florist direct will often be cheaper than going through a funeral director.
- The service - Ministers and celebrants tend to charge but if you are a regular attender of a faith community, your faith leader may offer to lead the service for free. A funeral director may also be able to lead a simple service, or a friend or family member may want to take the lead.
- Number of venues - many faith-based venues will charge for you to use their space for a funeral, though if you are a regular attender they may waive this. Funeral directors will generally also charge extra for their time, staff and vehicles if using two venues. Having everything at the crematorium or cemetery chapel can help reduce costs.
- Viewing – if you do not wish to view the deceased in the funeral director’s chapel of rest do tell them as there is a chance it could reduce the price. We have more information on embalming on the next page.
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