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Organising a funeral reception

Because different endings need different goodbyes, read our guide to organising a funeral reception or wake.

Home » Advice » Organising Funeral Reception
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

Alternative funeral Ideas

 It’s often the little things that can make a loved one’s final goodbye or celebration more personal. Allow us to inspire you with some wonderful, unique, and alternative funeral ideas.

Guide to alternative funerals

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

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

Sometimes referred to as the wake, the funeral reception held after the funeral service can be a traditional or unique affair. As personalised funerals become more popular, increasingly, people are choosing to organise a funeral reception that will celebrate the life of their loved one rather than mourn their passing.

Announcing the funeral reception

The reception can be public or private, so when communicating arrangements, be clear about what’s required from family and friends.  Close family members will need to be contacted personally with the details of the reception.

If the reception is public, we suggest address and directions to the venue are printed on the Order of Service. If the reception is to be a private affair, use the Order of Service, to ensure that everyone in attendance at the service is aware of this. There is also the option to not mention the reception at all.  Alternatively, you can direct queries about the reception directly to your Funeral Director who will pass on details on your behalf.

Points to remember:

  • Number of guests – If you are expecting a large number of attendees at the funeral service then the venue you choose for the reception will need to be large enough.
  • The venue – usually a pub, hotel or sports/social club close to where the funeral is to take place, but, you could also consider other venues such as your home, church hall, coffee shop, restaurant or golf club.
  • Catering – decide on the amount and type of food you wish to serve. Do you want caterers to organise food or will you be providing homemade food and drinks? Some venues will offer a bar service and catering facilities.
  • Entertainment – as funeral receptions become more of a celebration of life, some people opt for live music. Slide shows and photograph displays are also popular.
  • Reception cost – when organising a funeral reception you should consider the cost. How much do you want to spend on the venue, catering etc?  We can advise on approximate costs.
  • Timings – depending on the time of the funeral, we will be able to give an approximate time of when the guests will start to arrive at the venue. You may decide that you only want guests to stay for a certain length of time. If this is the case we can advise the venue accordingly.

Whether you are planning a traditional funeral reception or a more casual get-together, this time, importantly, provides an opportunity to gather extended families together to say goodbye to a loved one.

Our funeral directors can help in all aspects of arranging a funeral reception

If you are arranging a funeral reception for your loved one and would like further advice, talk to Bennetts Funeral Directors.  We can suggest appropriate venues and local catering companies in Essex.
Call us on 01277 210104 or 01277 627492, we are here to help.