My story about Hank and Cheek gave me an idea. I used to work as an event designer where I designed funerals for sophisticated clients.
I wish to share some insights in making the funeral events more unique and memorable. People do not like to talk about it but the family is often at lost when it comes to organizing a funeral.
Contrary to the wedding industry, the funeral events typically lack style. The funeral industry has evolved but it is still not stylish and the choices are still very limited. That is why families hired me.
I was responsible to design the funeral theme, source more sophisticated supplies and decorate the room. I supervised the event to make sure every details where handle properly. This way, the family could pass quality time with the people who came to give their respect. You could say that I did the job of a wedding planner but for a funeral. Unlike a wedding, everything from planning to execution is done in a matter of days. So it is best to learn the basics before you need to plan a funeral.
Celebrating Life Not Death
The best funerals are the ones that celebrate the life of the deceased. A funeral is a time to say adieu but also to remember someone’s life.
Since it is a time of sorrow why not distribute custom handkerchiefs at a funeral? I would not go with the person picture; I think it would feel weird. It would be proper to use a cheerful illustration as long as it speaks about the deceased. I did it before on thank you cards. Even conservative people commented to the family how great were the thank you cards and the festivities. Look at your pictures of vacations and happy time to find the right ones.
Personalize the Ceremony and Celebrations
From my experiences, the immediate family gets more comfort when we remembered what the departed did in his/her life. Forgo the cliché mountain, lake and sky pictures. Print instead something that symbolizes a passion, a life philosophy or a point of character. This also goes for the memorial bookmarks. Be creative, you want people to share a nice memory about the deceased.
Custom handkerchiefs would make a tasteful and useful thank you gift at a wake. You can still send a memorial Thank you card with a personal note later on. But I do not know if Hank and Cheef can deliver in short notice for the wake. Rush delivery is the main issue when you plan for a funeral.
Delay the Event
Having a beautiful personalized funeral takes times. I encourage you to consider, if the body is not exposed, to delay by one week the funeral. Opt for less busy time of the week. Monday is ideal. You get a more dedicated service from the funeral home and people from out of town can still attend. If the late was still working, more coworkers will show up. A ceremony Saturday afternoon at 2 pm is the worst; everything is rushed by the funeral homes.