Do I have to have a traditional funeral?

memorial bear and flowers


Traditional funerals have tended to follow a similar pattern – usually a faith-based service followed by a burial or cremation. Today, there are many more options available, and the ability to choose an alternative service or memorial which is very different from days gone by. In fact it’s worth bearing in mind that there is no legal requirement to have a funeral at all, which gives you lots of flexibility to plan something which works best for you and your loved ones.

Of course many people are still keen to incorporate some traditional aspects into their funeral or memorial. You may want readings but no music, or a celebration of life rather than a formal service. Ultimately there are a range of options, which can be used to help guide your thoughts for when the time comes. Here are some of the choices you could consider:

Direct cremation or burial

A direct cremation or burial is a good option if you would prefer not to have any form of ceremony take place. It’s a simple and affordable solution if you’d prefer no fuss, whilst still giving your loved ones scope to hold a celebration of life or memorial service at a later date if they choose.

Celebration of life

A celebration of life can be held at any time after you die. It doesn’t have to take place at a crematorium or church and instead offers your loved ones the opportunity to come together in a more relaxed event to remember you. This option has become more popular in recent years, offering an opportunity for a more personal goodbye, and in perhaps a less sombre setting.

DIY funerals

Although most families find it easier to use a funeral director, there is the option to do-it-yourself. This can be a major task for your family, at an already difficult time, but if you prefer the idea of a much more individual memorial, this option can make for a very personalised event. It may also allow your family to feel a real sense of closure, having had to take care of every element themselves.

Eco-friendly funerals

Green or eco-friendly funerals have become more normal in the past few years, as more people have become aware of environmental issues. Natural burials at woodland or designated sites are an option, and it’s also possible to bury or scatter your ashes in these locations too. Many settings offer a beautiful backdrop for an accompanying service or opportunity for your loved ones to come together to remember your life. There may be some restrictions; some sites don’t allow headstones for example and you will need to consider whether there are particular materials which your coffin must be made from, such as bamboo, cardboard or wicker.

Remember to share your wishes

Whatever you decide it’s important to share your thoughts and plans with your family and friends. This gives you the opportunity to share the reasons behind your choice, so that when the time comes your loved ones are ready to carry out your wishes. You can use your Will to make a formal note of your preferences, or consider a funeral plan to document what you’d like to happen.

 Our products and memorial keepsakes can help support you and your family, whether you choose a traditional funeral or more relaxed alternative.

Suggested reading

Can I plan my own funeral?
Are willow coffins suitable for cremation?

After adding this item to your basket you will be redirected to personalise the included accessory.

You have chosen a product that can be personalised. Would you like to personalise it now?

Personalise now