At some point in life, for most of us, we’ll have to take a turn at organising a funeral. Final Fling aims to demystify the process, put you in charge, explain the options and help you make the best choices for you and yours.
Whether you need help now to organise a funeral or you’re thinking ahead about plans for yourself or another, we’ve lots of ways to help. See guidance on traditional funerals and our funeral ideas then download some of our checklists below.
Dealing with a death now
See our 10 Step Guide to keep you right when someone dies.
Get our Funeral Checklist.
Notify others or pay respects in Notices+Tributes.
Find a funeral director or Humanist or celebrant.
Understand the rules and options around funerals.
5 things to think about before organising a funeral
- First, think of the person you are honouring and keep the mood and style in a way that would suit them – the funeral they might choose for themselves.
- Second, remember a funeral is for the living as well as for the dead. Try to think about where people’s heads and hearts will be at and what might support them best. It’s good to include funny stories as well as poignant memories in the day. Laughter and tears are equally therapeutic.
- Third, think about who might like an active role on the day or in the planning. From decorating the coffin to baking, to hosting or welcoming guests, it can mean a lot to others to be able to play a part. This can help share the load too.
- Fourth, speak to the family and friends who were closest to the person who has died. You might be the next of kin, family aren’t always that close in day to day life. It’s important to acknowledge the ‘significant others’ who really were part and parcel of the life of the person who’s died.
- Fifth, ask those ‘significant others’ for contacts, stories, thoughts, contributions and ideas to make the funeral as rich and meaningful as possible.
Timing for a funeral
The standard crematorium service time is 30 minutes. You can customise plans to suit yourself. See our guide to timing and structure for a traditional funeral.
Finding the right funeral music is the single biggest reason people visit Final Fling. See our Top 10s funeral music lists for ideas.
Getting professional help
Most people turn to the professionals when organising a funeral. See who does what at a funeral to understand how funeral directors and celebrants can help. See our Marketplace to find someone near you to help with arrangements; it features all sorts of suppliers and service providers who can help including coffin makers and specialist funeral transport. It’s good to have a look over the funeral checklist (above) before meeting with a Funeral Director so you know the sort of questions they’ll need answered.
Talking about organising a funeral
If you need help broaching the subject of end of life planning with friends and family, see our films on how to talk about death.
More help to organise a funeral
Final Fling is jam-packed full of information on all aspects of death, dying, funeral arranging, rules and options.
If you are a Keyholder for another person’s My Final Fling account, check their Wishes for any thoughts and instructions for their send-off.
Check out other great funeral planning guides.
See what folks in the street thought about the sort of send-off they’d like:
Use Final Fling’s free Life Planning Tools to start your own free My Final Fling plans and share your plans with your Keyholder.
- Make the most of life NOW: start a Bucket List
- Sign up for our B Positive newsletter: tips, tasks and tonic
- Store 20 Documents next of kin will need in your secure Safe Deposit Box (see prompt list below)
- Start a Memory Box to pass on photos, your story, special messages
- Capture favourite music and ideas for your send-off in Wishes.
5 thoughts on “Organise a funeral”
thanks for the insightful article
I know some venues are registered for weddings. Do you have to register a venue for a funeral
Hi Hazel – there is no registration process. I do weddings and funerals and get permission from the Registrar General to perform a legal wedding. There’s no permission needed if it’s just a ceremony and def don’t need for funerals.
I just signed up. Is Final Fling still active? Is it for Scotland only?
Hi Susan, Many of the blog posts relate across the world – they are more about attitude to death and dying and possibilities for richer, more meaningful funeral rituals.The directory is UK-wide. I am based in Scotland so exhibitions, events and death meet-ups I’ve organised tend to be in Scotland, though I present all over at festivals and events.