How to Arrange a Funeral

Danielle Houghton

Community Writer

We know how hard it can be to arrange a funeral: it's a lot of work. But don't worry—we're here to help.

We'll start by walking you through some of the most common questions people have when they mourn the loss of a loved one, like "Where do I begin?" and "How much does it cost?" We'll also share some tips on how to make sure your loved one gets the send-off they deserve without breaking the bank.

1. Getting Started

There are a number of decisions and arrangements that need to be made, so we've created this guide to help you get through the process.

a) Who should arrange the funeral?

If you're arranging a funeral for someone who has died in your family, it might seem natural to assume that you should take on this responsibility yourself.

However, there are many reasons why it might be better to pass on this responsibility:

  • You might be overwhelmed by emotions: If you're feeling sad, angry, hurt, or confused about the loss, it can be hard to think clearly about what needs to happen next. It may be easier for someone else to step in and take over this part of the process for you.
  • You don't want to decide what type of service or ceremony should be held: There are many things that need to be considered when planning a funeral - Including whether or not there will be music played at the service and whether attendees should wear black clothing.
  • If you're feeling stressed out by making these kinds of decisions, it might be a good idea for someone else to step in and help make these choices for you instead.
  • You're not familiar with British customs: British customs around funerals vary from those in other countries around the world; while they may seem odd or uncomfortable at first glance, they are an essential part of what makes up British culture. If you aren't familiar with these traditions already—or if they just aren't your thing—it may be easier for someone else in your family or friend group to handle the planning process.

b) Planning the funeral

Take your time! You may want to start by gathering some information about local funeral homes, reading up on their policies, and talking with people who have recently gone through the same thing.

The first step is figuring out how much money you need for the funeral. This is where you'll want to get help from a professional—you can't just guess how much it will cost! There are many factors that go into determining how much it will cost: what kind of arrangements you choose, whether or not there's a viewing, when the service will be held, who will speak at the service, etc. It's best not to try to do all of this alone—talk with someone who knows what they're doing so they can help you figure out what kind of services are available and what they'll cost.

c) How to get help

The first step is to contact a funeral director.

If you live in the UK, you can use as a place to start looking for funeral directors in your area.

That listing includes a comprehensive list of local funeral directors and their contact information, as well as customer reviews from people who have previously used their services. You can read what others are saying about each business before making an appointment to meet with one of them in person!

You can also find one by contacting your local undertaker or visiting their website.

2. Choosing a funeral director

This is the person who will deal with your loved one's body and ensure that all of their wishes are carried out. You may have heard that choosing a funeral director is an important decision, but how do you make it?

a) Questions to ask a funeral director

There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a funeral director. It can be overwhelming to consider all of these factors at once, so we've made it easy for you. Here is a list of questions you can ask when meeting with a potential funeral director.

First, find out if they're accredited by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). If they are, they'll be able to show you their certificates in person or provide them over email.

Next, ask about their services—

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What kind of training do your employees receive?
  3. What options are available for the disposition of the deceased’s remains?
  4. Is embalming required?
  5. What elements of the funeral can be customised?
  6. What is the usual price range for services at your company?
  7. What packages are offered?
  8. What are the other costs involved?
  9. What are my payment options?
  10. What makes your services special?
  11. Are you familiar with our religion/culture?

b) Things to Consider when choosing a funeral director

When choosing a funeral director, there are a few things to consider:

  1. What kind of experience do they have? A funeral director should be able to talk about all the available services, from simple services with just one or two family members attending large events with hundreds of attendees. They should also be able to tell you how much each type of service costs and what kind of price range you can expect for them.
  2. What kinds of services do they offer? A good funeral director will have an idea of what kinds of services might appeal to your family's needs—whether that means providing information about cremation or burial options or helping you organise a memorial service instead of an actual funeral—and they'll be able to direct you toward resources that can help guide your decision-making process (like local chapters of religious organisations).
  3. What kind of personal touch do they offer? When arranging funerals, it's important that everyone involved feels respected and supported throughout the process

c) Arranging a Funeral Without a funeral director

Arranging a funeral without a funeral director is not impossible. The first thing you need to do is to ask for help from people who have already arranged their loved ones’ funerals. You can ask them how they did it, what were the things they had to pay attention to and how much money did they spend on it.

Another thing you should do is to check your local government’s website, where they can provide information about regulations and laws that apply when arranging a funeral in your area. You also need to check whether arranging a funeral without a funeral director is legal in your area or not because if it is not, then you will have an additional headache - finding a place where you can hold the ceremony.

Finally, once you’ve taken care of everything else, it's time to start arranging the funeral.

3. Burial or Cremation

In the UK, there are two main options for how you can pay tribute to your loved one after they've passed. Burial and cremation both have their benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to do some research before making a decision.

a) How to Choose Between these two


Burials are ideal if you want to preserve the body of the deceased and keep them close. However, they're more expensive than cremations and require a burial plot or grave space. If you choose burial, you'll also need to consider whether or not you want an open-casket service.


Cremation takes place at a crematorium, a facility that specialises in the cremation of bodies. The body is placed in a retort, which uses intense heat to reduce it to ashes within hours. These are then collected, placed into an urn, and returned to the family.

This allows families to scatter ashes, which can be spread across a loved one's favourite place or brought back home with them as keepsakes.

b) Choosing a Coffin

First, consider the type of burial you will have. Solid wood or metal caskets are typically better suited to burial, whereas lighter options such as cardboard, ply, or eco materials are frequently better suited to cremation.

So, here are three questions to ask yourself when choosing the best coffin for your loved one:

  1. What is your budget?
  2. Do you want a simple coffin or something more ornate?
  3. Is it going to be buried or cremated?

4. How much a funeral will cost

The cost of funerals varies greatly depending on where you live and what services are included in the package. A simple cremation service can cost as little as £400, and a full-scale funeral can be as much as £11,000.

The average cost of a funeral in the UK includes:

  • Funeral Director fees: £1,500
  • Casket/coffin costs: £750
  • Flowers/souvenirs: £300
  • Headstone/memorial plaque costs: £1,000
  • Cremation fees: £400

However, this is just an average—the actual costs can vary widely depending on what kind of ceremony you want and how elaborate it is going to be.

5. How to Cut Funeral Costs

Funerals can be an expensive affair. But if you’re looking to cut costs, there are plenty of ways to do it.

  1. Choose a simple coffin or casket.
  2. Consider cremation instead of burial.
  3. Don't buy too many flowers for the ceremony - If you do use flowers, then choose ones that are less expensive than usual.
  4. Write the eulogy yourself rather than hiring someone else to do it.
  5. Use a funeral director who offers a discount for cash payments.
  6. Ask about discounts for paying in advance.
  7. Don't add any extras unless they're absolutely necessary,

6. Planning the wake

The wake is the time when friends and family gather to remember someone who has passed away. It's a time for sharing stories, laughs, and tears. It's also an opportunity for you to say goodbye to your loved one in your own way—whether it's making a toast or playing a song that reminds you of them.

There are several ways in which you can plan a wake, including:

  • A Candlelight vigil service with prayers, hymns and readings
  • A reception or buffet meal at home or in a hall
  • A gathering at a pub or social club

It's important to remember that there are no rules when it comes to planning wakes, so this is entirely up to you. You can use your imagination and come up with something personal and meaningful for your loved one.

7. Digital life of a dead person

Finally, when someone dies, you may want to take action to ensure their digital legacy is taken care of.

If your loved one had any social media accounts (such as Twitter or Facebook), change their passwords so no one else can access them.

If they had any digital assets such as email accounts or photos stored on iCloud, go ahead and delete them now, so there's nothing left for anyone else to find later.

These steps will help ensure that your loved one has everything they need once they pass away peacefully—and also make it easier for those left behind to move forward with their lives without worrying about what might come up next!

In this digital age, it's important to consider how you would like your loved one's death to be memorialised.

We recommend that you publish an online obituary and a biography on a website like It just takes a few minutes to publish, and it will make it easier for people to find out more about your loved one's life and what they accomplished.

Additionally, the online obituary and biography allow friends and family members to write tributes. This provides an opportunity for them to share their stories about how they knew the deceased person and what he or she meant to them personally.


At the end of the day, there is no right way to arrange a funeral. And that's okay. You can get advice from friends, family members and even strangers on the internet. But ultimately, you have to do what feels right for you and your loved ones. That's why we've created this guide—to help you find out what options are available to you so that when it comes time to make decisions about how your loved one will be laid to rest, you'll know exactly where to start.