How to find the right funeral home and funeral celebrant
In early September 2021, Sonya Hosbrook found herself suddenly in need of a local funeral director – a service she had never thought about. A service she had never wanted, nor researched.
So when she typed “funeral homes near me,” into a Google search she was disappointed with the results. There were pages of of old-fashioned funeral parlours with confusing lingo and complex packages. Lists of what she called ‘frighteningly sad and uninspiring funeral homes’ were advertised and her gut feeling straight way told her that celebrating the life of her amazing Mum, Frida in a traditional funeral home, would not be the right choice.
Fortunately, however, Sonya had attended a wonderful, modern wedding ceremony in 2019. Her ‘now married’ friend mentioned that their celebrant Kate Morgan had recently been a part of launching a brand-new funeral business in Melbourne, Tomorrow Funerals which had a fresh approach to funeral planning.
Once Sonya picked up the phone to chat with Tomorrow Funerals she was relieved to find a team with a vision that matched the one she had in mind. They helped her plan an uplifting memorial style funeral at their family home which included all the funeral elements like a cremation and eco-friendly coffin.
Finding the right funeral home for your situation might not be easy. There is a lot to think about and, like Sonya, it is often a topic that people do not research very far in advance. And sadly, some funeral homes will take advantage of their clients being generally un-informed, pushing them towards complex packages and cheeky upsells when they are at their most vulnerable.
When looking for the right funeral home to celebrate the life of a family member, or even if you’re doing some research for your own funeral, there are some important things to consider.
Important things to think about before talking to a funeral director
- Do you wish to book a cremation or a burial?
- Is it important for religious (or other cultural) reasons to have the coffin present at the ceremony?
This is an important consideration. If you want an open coffin, a viewing of the body, or even if the symbolic gesture of having your person’s coffin present you should choose a traditional funeral at a funeral chapel.
However, if you or your loved one was less focused on the physical presence of the body you might want to consider the advantages that a memorial style funeral offer. Planning a memorial means you are not limited to holding the funeral in a chapel or funeral parlour but could plan a life celebration in a place that feels more personal, modern and ‘life affirming.’
- What are the most important parts of the funeral package to you?
Put in order of importance, (from 1-10) the elements you feel will ensure the funeral feels special and personalised.
This will help you figure out what is most important to you, and where you should focus your budget.
- Coffin & coffin handles
- Good food and drinks
- A professional, caring celebrant to guide you through the process and help write the ceremony
- A viewing of the body & mortuary care (preparing the body for a viewing)
- Live music or other performances
- Fancy hearse (car for transporting coffins)
- A venue or location that feels ‘right’ for the life of your loved one
- A religious venue
- A beautiful tribute video with music and photos
- Stationery – invitations, order of service cards & other printed materials
- An urn (decorative container for storing ashes)
- Burial plot & head stone
- Personalised memorial website which can also be used as a guest book
- Live streaming
If you find that things coffin handles, coffin finish and generally a religious kind of ceremony are not high on your list, you may wish to find out more about our memorial style funerals.
Here is the feedback Sonya left us.
“Tomorrow thought of every detail when it came to helping us after Mum passed away. Her ashes were hand delivered to us with a thoughtful gift. Kate had so many wonderful ideas to help create the perfect memorial afternoon. A few weeks later we received an amazing photo book which was the icing on the cake! We cannot thank the team enough.” Sonya Hosbrook
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