Arrange a burial service for your loved one

We understand how challenging it can be to plan a burial service while grieving the loss of your loved one. We’ve put together this guide to help you through the process, step by step, and support you in arranging a funeral that commemorates your loved one. From administrative tasks like arranging transport and booking a venue to choosing readings and music for the service, we’re here to lend a hand.

To speak to one of our expert funeral directors, simply type your location into the search bar below and select the most convenient funeral home for you.

In this guide, you’ll find advice on:

  • How to plan ahead for the day of the funeral
  • Choosing a date, time and venue for the service
  • Personalising the burial service
  • Planning music, readings and order of service
  • Choosing a coffin style
  • Booking transport to and from the burial service
  • Writing an obituary 
  • Considering options for flowers or donations
  • Planning a wake

Planning for the day of the funeral

To prepare a suitable farewell for your loved one, a useful first step is to find out if they have pre-planned their funeral in advance. If this is the case, they may have already set out their wishes — or even pre-paid for elements of their burial service. If this isn’t the case, we can appoint a funeral director to walk you through the planning process.

Choosing a date, time and venue

There are a number of venue options available to choose from. A crematorium chapel, place of worship, village hall or hotel are all common choices — or you may decide that holding the service at a private home is the best option for you. When choosing a date and time, it’s important to find out when a local funeral director and suitable venue are available.

Personalising the burial service

In order to personalise the service to celebrate the life of your loved one, it’s useful to consider their religious preferences (if these apply) — as well as their interests, passions and any family traditions.

Some people create a photo display of the loved one at the service and have friends and family members give readings to share special memories. Choosing music that reflects the interests and personality of the deceased offers another way to personalise the occasion.

If you decide to put together an order of service booklet for the burial service, consider including photos, a poem, biography or quotations to create a tailored tribute. The funeral reception can also include personal touches, in your choice of food and decoration.

Arranging these details can feel daunting, especially when you’re grieving — so don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re here to help you plan a day that celebrates the life of your loved one; get in touch with your local funeral director to discuss your needs.

Options for flowers or charitable donations

Some people choose to honour their loved one’s life by opting for floral tributes at the service venue. Another common option is to name a charity or organisation for guests to donate to if they choose, in memory of the deceased.

Coffin options

Material, size and finishing touches — such as handles, trimmings or engravings — are important to consider when choosing the coffin. Families are often surprised at the range of styles on offer; speak to your funeral director to find out what’s available, and to discuss what your loved one would have wanted. You may be able to place personal items in the casket or coffin, too; these might include letters, photos or flowers.

Transport on the day

On the day of the burial service, a hearse will take the coffin to the venue. Sometimes, friends and family choose to travel in a hired limousine that follows the hearse in a funeral procession — this can help to avoid parking issues at the venue, and ensure guests arrive at the burial service on time. Your funeral director will be able to offer advice on planning the route, avoiding high-traffic areas and rush hour to ensure the journey is a smooth one.

Writing an obituary

Publishing an obituary in a local paper can be a way to commemorate the life of your loved one, as well as being a means of sharing details of the upcoming funeral. If you need guidance, you can read our guide on how to write an obituary.

If you choose options for sharing an online funeral notice on social media, you can read our guide to announcing a death on social media.

Planning a wake

Organising a wake or funeral reception after the burial service offers a chance for friends and family to congregate and share special memories. We can help you to book a venue near where the service was held and advise on arranging food and drink for guests.

If you’re planning a funeral wake, chances are you have a lot of questions in mind. We’ve answered some of the most popular questions in our guide: What is a funeral wake?

Why use Funeral Partners for funeral services?

It’s easy to see Funeral Partners is a widely respected brand. MuchLoved, the bereavement charity, for example, collects and publishes independent reviews of funeral directors which consistently rate Funeral Partners branches highly. Funeral Partners has over 200 funeral homes and organises 13,000 funerals a year in the UK. Some branches offer many different services and this choice allows families to find the right funeral providers for them and get in touch with ease, at a difficult time. We have a deep knowledge of the industry, providing reliability, trust and quality to help you navigate a difficult and potentially unknown time.

For more information, please contact your local funeral home where our dedicated team will be happy to discuss your needs.

Compare funeral directors in your area


29 funeral directors


4 funeral directors


13 funeral directors


15 funeral directors


33 funeral directors


19 funeral directors


10 funeral directors


11 funeral directors

Search for your local funeral director