How to make a funeral more personal

The number of personalised funerals, which aptly reflect the life of the deceased, is increasing yearly. Here is our guide to finding innovative ways to make sure that the funeral is a heartfelt, personal occasion which will be remembered.


Photographs and mementos

One of the most popular ways families can personalise a funeral service is to take a collection of personal items and keepsakes to the funeral or wake. These could be as simple as a pipe and slippers, gardening gloves and tools, military medals, or anything else that belonged to the deceased that was meaningful or played a big role in their life. Surrounding a venue with keepsakes of your loved one can really help to personalise the funeral and spark fond memories of the deceased.


Creating a wall or board of photographs for the event will help everyone share in happy memories. If you can, find a selection which spans the entirety of your loved one’s life. Use anything and everything which represents them, whether it’s them and their hobbies, comical photographs from holidays or serious photos like graduations.

Another nice idea is to place your loved ones cherished items in the coffin with them. This can be things like photographs of beloved family and friends or a favourite item of clothing or a religious item that they loved.

Don’t just place flowers on the coffin, a favourite book or hat could also be sat atop. Invite everyone to come to the coffin as they leave the service – simply touching the coffin can be a heartfelt goodbye.


Music and literature

Writing a specific eulogy or poem is a nice way to personalise sections of the funeral. Also consider selecting readings that meant something to the deceased and their family.

Consider bringing in music that your loved one liked and have it played during the ceremony. It can be a nice touch to have their favourite song played during the funeral or during the entrance or exit to the funeral. This is a common request at funerals and can normally be easily accommodated and typically is organised via the funeral director.


Finally, a memories book is a great lasting memento of the service and in many ways a life. Encourage people to write something about the deceased in a book at the funeral service.


Get people involved
You can choose people to read at the funeral service or to take part in the coffin. It can be quite an honour to be chosen to speak at a funeral, but do not be surprised if someone does not want to.


Ask people to get involved in the service whether it’s carrying the coffin or giving readings. It can be a nice idea to ask people to bring along a photo or a note or card.


The key to personalisation in any event is to include items, photographs and specifics that were particularly relevant to the individual. A funeral service is no different and working with your funeral director to arrange a service that perfectly befits the life of the deceased is an excellent way to commemorate the person you have lost.


RW Barrett & Son are a local independent family firm of Funeral Directors in Newcastle upon Tyne. Contact us now for further information on pre-payment funeral plans.