Bennetts Funeral Directors in Essex
Bennetts funerals logo
Can we help 01277 210104 or 01277 627492

Call 01277 210104

Bennetts funerals logo

A guide to alternative funeral ideas

Alternative and unique funeral ideas to make your loved one’s final goodbye more personal.

Home » Advice » Alternative Funeral Ideas
Funeral cortege

A funeral procession is also called a funeral cortege. It is a slow, solemn and respectful convoy of vehicles. The cortege conveys the deceased and mourners from the funeral ceremony to the crematorium or graveside.

The Funeral Cortege

Dressing the deceased

It has become popular to dress the deceased in attire that reflects a personal passion. This might be a hobby, occasion or achievement.  Examples are wedding dresses, football strips, military uniforms, or motorbike leathers. You are also welcome to bring in your loved one’s make-up, perfume, or aftershave.

Guide to Dressing the Deceased

Carrying the coffin

A pallbearer is traditionally one of the people who help to carry someone’s coffin from the hearse to the funeral venue. If they are being buried, this would include the grave. People chosen to do this, or who would like to, are usually close family members and friends.

Guide to carrying the coffin

How to write a eulogy

Writing and delivering a eulogy is a deeply emotional experience. It can be a positive experience for some, it must be remembered that it can be too difficult for others.

Guide to delivering a eulogy

The funeral reception

The funeral reception, or wake, held after the funeral service can be a traditional or unique affair.  Personalised funerals become more popular. Therefore, people are choosing to use this time to celebrate the life of their loved one rather than mourn their passing.

Guide to organising a funeral reception

Newspaper notices

The newspaper notice or obituary is an important opportunity to publicly announce the death and funeral details. It can also be used to detail where any donations or floral tributes and funeral flowers can be sent.

Guide to writing an obituary

After the funeral

After the funeral, you are not alone. Bennetts Funeral Directors will continue to support you. We offer all our bereaved families practical information and a vast network of bereavement support services.

Guide to bereavement support

Bereavement support

Dealing with loss and bereavement can be a very difficult and confusing time for any individual or family and losing someone we love is probably one of the hardest experiences many of us will ever go through. Our local bereavement support groups, courses, and seminars will guide and support you through your healing process. You are not alone!

Bereavement Support Services

Arranging a funeral is a very personal experience. Without a doubt, It’s the little things, that make a loved one’s final goodbye or celebration especially memorable.

With this in mind, here are some of our wonderful, unique, and alternative funeral ideas:

  • Release doves and watch them carry your loved one’s spirit into the heavens above
  • Invite guests to wear a bright colour or bring a single bright flower
  • Hold the service in your home or garden, by the sea, in a woodland
  • Arrange unique funeral transport; Bennetts Funeral Directors have a fine selection available
  • Place something personal on top of the coffin – a favourite hat, book or photo
  • Friends and family could bring a photo or item that has a memory attached to  share
  • Choose a picture coffin for your loved one, and allow their personality to shine through
  • Show a slide show or home movie of the person’s life
  • Invite friends to join hands during the funeral service to refelect: it’s simple, and supportive
  • A  personalised Order of Service creates a wonderful, everlasting keepsake
  • Play a favourite song and sing along
  • Light candles to remember the deceased by
  • Fingerprint jewellery, is a delicate and everlasting way to commemorate the deceased.
  • Get together to prepare the food: bake bread – perhaps in the shape of a heart or a plait – and break it together
  • Following the funeral you might want to gather in the village hall, community center, your home, or the local pub
  • Hire a horse-drawn carriage for the final journey
  • Have alternative funeral music, for example, a jazz band that leads the funeral procession
  • Ask everyone to write a message and tie it to a tree, a pebble, or rock
  • Organise a Woodland Burial, We can recommend, peaceful settings in Essex, and can arrange this for you.

Above all, remember, there is no wrong way

Along with all the ideas we have mentioned above, alternative funeral ideas can include reading poetry in a forest, tying messages of love on trees. Indeed, any anyone can do these things.  Undoubtedly, the most important thing is to do what feels right.  Last but not least, this special time will enable you to celebrate a unique life and mourns its loss.

If you would like to arrange a unique, alternative funeral, speak to the staff at Bennetts, we have many years experience in planning unique funerals in the Essex area and will support you throughout.


Create your own unique funeral with our funeral directors free funeral planning wish list

Bennetts provide a free funeral planning wish list. It allows you to create a detailed plan of what you would like to happen before, during, and after your funeral. In addition, it takes the stress of arranging a funeral away from your loved ones, after your death.  As well as that, they will be able to carry out your exact wishes.

It’s easy to do, you can download a Bennetts Funerals Funeral Planning Wish List, print it out, record your wishes, and then store it with your Will. Alternatively, you can come into our head office in Brentwood or go straight to the funeral planning wish list page on our website and follow the instructions. Remember this service is completely free and available only at Bennetts Funeral Directors.

Call us on 01277 210104 or 01277 627492, we are here to help.