How To Personalise A Funeral

Funerals are occasions to mourn a loved one’s death and celebrate their life, but over the years, they have fallen to tradition, so much so that the character and soul of the person who has passed can become lost in the event. 

That is why mourners are starting to hit back against this, with more people planning personalised funerals to really remember their relative or friend. 

  • Humanist ceremonies 

In fact, a report from Co-op Funeralcare revealed just ten per cent of people want a traditional religious funeral, and 77 per cent of funeral directors have seen a rise in requests for non-traditional ceremonies over the last few years. 

Humanists UK head of ceremonies Isabel Russo stated: “With an increasing non-religious population, these ceremonies will continue to grow as more people look to honour their loved ones with a deeply personalised ceremony that is authentic to the individual who has died.”

Instead of hymns, a church setting and a religious service, more people are opting for cremations, pop songs and locations of their personal preference instead. 

  • Personalised touches

While traditions such as having pallbearers, a hearse and a wooden coffin are still strong, there is a growing trend to add a personal touch to the occasion. For instance, 54 per cent of funeral directors have been asked to arrange a coffin that represents the character of the deceased, from ones painted in rainbow colours to those with football crests on. 

There has been a 21 per cent increase in requests for alternative hearses recently, as people are choosing vehicles like tractors, trailers, and tandem bicycles instead. Even the Duke of Edinburgh designed a Land Rover Defender hearse to carry his coffin before he passed away in 2021, as Prince Philip was well-known for his love of the British car manufacturer. 

  • No longer just at church

Church attendance in Britain has dropped over the last few years, with just five per cent of the population being regular church-goers in 2015. This figure was even lower in England, at 4.7 per cent.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that many people are opting against having their funeral in a religious setting, instead choosing places closer to home, from their favourite beauty spot to their own garden. The most alternative locations for funerals include on a bus, in a McDonald’s Drive Thru, a zoo and a cattle auction house. 

  • Bright and cheery

Black has been the colour for mourners for centuries, and is even thought to have originated as long ago as Roman times. However, this is beginning to change, as loved ones don’t want the ceremony to be one of sadness but an opportunity to rejoice the life of the deceased. 

Subsequently, nearly nine out of ten mourners wear bright clothes, while others choose the favourite colour of the person who has passed away. More than one-tenth of mourners have been requested to wear fancy dress, which would really add some laughter to an otherwise upsetting day. 

  • Personalised stationery

When designing funeral stationery, it is also important to think about what best represents the deceased. For instance, you could purchase memorial bookmarks to remind mourners of their loved one’s passion for reading.

Alternatively, you could include designs, images, words, or song lyrics in the orders of service that celebrate their character, or hand out remembrance cards with their favourite poem for a personalised touch.