Traditionally, a funeral service and committal take place at the same time, at either a crematorium or at graveside in a cemetery.
... but it doesn't have to be 30 minutes at the local crematorium, if that's not for you!
Do you 'hate going to funerals'? Find chapels & cemeteries depressing? Maybe you might consider different options to make it a more fulfilling, and positive, experience. Have the farewell at a place you feel comfortable, or was somewhere the deceased liked.
You might wish to have the deceased in situ at your chosen place, then have them travel to the crematorium whilst the celebration of life continues. Or have the farewell at a lovely place, and then go with the deceased to the place of rest for the committal.
You might wish to separate - or remove - the committal part from the celebration of life. This gives you free choice of place and day for the celebration, and saves money on booking a chapel. Perhaps you may choose an immediate direct cremation (no attendees), or a simple 'short slot' 10 minute committal, then have a celebration some weeks later.
You don't need a funeral director to organise the funeral, although most people will want to use one to care for their loved one. I can recommend a funeral home to you, or signpost you if you'd like to be more involved yourself.
As the area's (Grimsby and Lincolnshire) only listed Celebrant Plus celebrant, I can help you have the type of service you want when and where you choose, whether that is traditional or alternative. There are no legal restrictions on where your ceremony is held, subject to owner permission. I can suggest venues if you'd like something different.
A farewell may be held at a:
natural burial site
funeral home chapel
function venue or hotel
private land or garden
"From the moment we spoke with Dawn, we were at ease. The service was beautiful and it felt like she knew her personally. We had many comments on how warming the service was and how lovely Dawn is."
Can We Personalise the Farewell?
A 'personalised or tailored' a farewell does not mean 'a traditional service with a choice of 20 coffins, and the celebrant wore a coloured tie'!
That's nice, of course, but personalising is about creating a bespoke ceremony that reflects your loved one's beliefs, values and interests, as well as giving comfort to mourners.
Once you have decided which belief type you would like reflected, then you can opt for the service format that best suits you. That may be it a traditionally structured, with processional music, a poem, eulogy, reflection, committal and recessional music; that's fine.
Or you may wish to do something else - sitting together in a circle sharing stories, just listening to music chosen by key mourners and the story behind it, or at simplest, having a space for silent reflection. Maybe you don't want words of committal, or perhaps no eulogy. It's up to you.
What's the essence of your person? That can be the starting point. If they had a favourite hobby or interest, or something that was a key part of their identity, put it centre stage. Sport, joke telling, bingo, cake baking, whatever, a professional celebrant will help you with ideas for how to make these part of the ceremony.
Ritual and participation can play a role, and are helpful for grieving. Rather than passively watching a farewell, you can be part of it - you knew your person best! Symbolic acts and rituals can help process feelings; I can talk to you about these.
If you are using a funeral director, they will have access to a wide range of options for the 'showy stuff'. They'll have access to traditional and 'alternative' hearses (e.g. different colours or patterns - including rainbow and leopard skin, horse drawn carriages, motorcycle side cars and lorries) and different varieties of coffin (from different wood effects to sparkling glitter and customised wrap picture coffins).
Perhaps you'd prefer a greener option. There are more eco-friendly materials used in coffins now, such as wicker and natural shrouds. If sourcing them yourself, do check what criteria need to be met at the crematorium or burial ground first. You can have a burial that minimises environmental impact. Some people choose a service at a natural burial ground. There are sections of some cemeteries, and also dedicated woodlands and a special burial barrows.
Unless the 'stuff' makes you happy, and the deceased would approve, don't feel pressured into things you don't need, or want. There's nothing wrong with a plain coffin (some people decorate a cardboard one), making your own flower arrangement (or even fruit & veg!), or using your own cars. You can shop around, get quote break downs, find out if a package costs more than just the services you require, and ask if there is any commission on sales.
Don't assume you're getting the same level of service for the same fee across different providers, nor that that higher prices are pure profit margin, and that cheaper is just as good. Many factors make up the fees you'll see. E.g. There might be £1500-2000 difference between a big chain funeral provider and family-run or indie funeral home, and £50-100 difference between a 'cut-and-paste' officiant versus a bespoke ceremonies celebrant. What matters most? What do you want to get out of the farewell? There is nothing wrong with traditional services, if that's what feels right, but there are other options too if you choose a progressive funeral director and celebrant. As a Coffin Club Celebrant Plus, some people come to me first, before choosing other funeral providers. Get in touch for a chat, or if you'd like a recommendation.