How To Plan A Funeral Reception: A 5-Item Checklist

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There’s nothing that equates to the pain of losing someone you love. Whether it’s a family member, a special someone, or a friend, the excruciating moment leaves you hollow and saddened. And apart from the funeral that you need to organize to ensure a proper burial for your deceased loved ones, you have to plan for the reception that’ll take place afterward.

Planning a funeral reception can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. This is understandable given that the task isn’t frequently required of most people. However, the event needs to be arranged properly beforehand so everyone who knew the deceased can get together in their honor. Holding the reception is also a good way to remember the life of a person, and it allows attendees to bring comfort to one another.

If you’ve started preparing for the event yet find yourself a bit confused, review the checklist below:

Selecting The Funeral Service Provider 

Before the reception comes the funeral, so the first step is to research your options for funeral service providers. Reputable funeral homes like Funeral Directors Doncaster can provide you with guidance on how to handle the service.

When you choose the right establishment to work with, they can help you arrange the memorial with ease. They’ll give you information about specific funeral packages that come with products and services suitable for your circumstances. You can ask for expert advice regarding the various body disposition processes, including their advantages and disadvantages. You can also acquire death certificates with their help for your convenience. 

Any religious or cultural preferences you wish to be respected should be discussed with your provider. Funeral homes are usually flexible when it comes to a family’s religion or traditions. Many of them can also accommodate the rites and customs of diverse cultures. Having had countless clients in the past, they’ve likely already encountered a broad range of funeral cultures and practices. Hence, it’s wise to check the funeral homes, cremation providers, and cemeteries in your area before organizing a funeral or memorial service.

Finding The Perfect Venue 

When choosing where to host the funeral reception, you have to consider several factors. You must think of the number of attendees and where they’ll be coming from. Although you’ll have access to a wide selection of venues, it’s best to carefully assess whether they can handle your guest capacity and they’re highly accessible.

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Think of some of the places that were significant to your late loved one; you can hold the reception in any of those locations if possible. Don’t be afraid even if the place is a bit unconventional, such as their favorite park or even a particular soccer field if they used to play there often. Whatever the venue may be, it should represent the person who’s passed away. This makes the event extra memorable and meaningful. Here are some additional tips to follow when setting up the venue:

Decorate Appropriately

Funeral receptions don’t need to be overly formal and bland. In fact, it’s better to decorate the venue in a way that creates a positive tone and mood. While it’s indeed a sad occasion to gather together because of you’ve all lost someone special, setting up the reception with beautiful decorative elements can lighten the atmosphere.

Incorporate the things that people usually send when someone passes away, such as flower arrangements, potted plants, or portraits of the deceased. All these can give the venue more vibrance. Prepare tents and fans if the reception will be held outdoors. Those’ll protect the guests from sudden rain showers and prevent them from feeling uncomfortable should the weather be warm during the event.

Whether the place is indoors or outdoors, there are many creative ideas out there you can try for the funeral reception. The key is to ensure organization without compromising aesthetics.

Choose The Right Music To Play

Don’t overlook the importance of music in an event such as this. Inquire ahead whether the place can accommodate music that can be played during the funeral reception. Furthermore, choose songs that are suitable for the occasion. You may also go for the favorite songs of the deceased person. Once they hear those being played, the guests may be reminded of all the good times they had with the person.


Deciding The Schedule 

A funeral reception is usually held immediately following the burial or cremation. But if you or other family members prefer it, you can have the reception a few days later. This will give enough time for guests from different cities or countries who haven’t been able to attend the funeral to travel to your locality. Another option is to hold the event more than once so that those who can’t attend the first time still have the chance to do so. 

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What’s more, you can prepare one event for general acquaintances or distant relatives and a more intimate one for close family members and friends.

Considering Your Budget 

Another essential factor to consider is your budget. You need to base all your decisions on how much you can afford. If you intend to hold a large reception, you must prepare a budget that can accommodate all of the guests. Ensure that the space you’ll rent for the reception will allow the attendees to gather without feeling cramped. You should also set aside money for food, refreshments, decorations, tables and chairs, and other reception details.

Preparing Food And Refreshments

Refreshments are an especially good idea to provide for attendees if the reception immediately follows the funeral. This is a form of courtesy, and it’ll be appreciated since many of the guests might be feeling hungry or thirsty by the time the funeral’s over. Be sure to entertain everyone and make them feel comfortable and relaxed. After all, some might feel down and more emotional than usual because of their loss. Having some easy-to-make refreshments may help them feel soothed and calm.

It’s best for you to prepare food and drinks depending on the schedule of the funeral service. For instance, you can prepare lunch if the funeral ends at noon.


A funeral reception is a means for family and friends to come together and celebrate the deceased person’s beautiful and well-lived life. It also allows those in attendance to bereave the loss of their loved one. You can use the checklist above to make sure that the event goes smoothly and that you’re able to prepare everything well in advance.