Personalising a funeral for yourself or a loved one

In the 21st century, it is now possible to have a funeral that is personalised in whatever way you choose and which is personal to you and your family. Below we'll explain in more detail, and look at the ways you can personalise your funeral.

How to personalise a funeral

Unless you're having a very traditional funeral, you are able to personalise any funeral in any way you'd like to, however you like.

This could be having a number of songs, readings, poems or hymns. It could be by having a short or lengthy eulogy. Or you may even like people to dress a certain way.

With Distinct Cremations, our attended cremations include a 10 or 20 minute service which is led by the family, and therefore can incorporate anything you wish.

You may also want to consider our direct cremation. With a direct cremation, the funeral itself is unattended, but you can arrange a memorial service after the cremation with the ashes present, at a venue of your choice, personalised in a way that suits you and your family.

For more information, call our team on 01543 211997 today. We can talk you through the options and answer any questions you may have.

Personalising a funeral

Here are some ideas that may help you with personalising a funeral for yourself or for a loved one.

Personalise a funeral

Ways to personalise a funeral

There are a number of ways to personalise a funeral to make it unique and special for your loved one.

Readings & eulogies

Funeral readings

Most funerals will have some space for readings and eulogies dotted throughout. You may like to have one, you may like to have a few. They can be written about the deceased, or they can be readings from a favourite book or religious text. The choice is yours.

Funeral readings


Modern funeral music

Often at a funeral, people like to have a song played at the beginning, at the middle or at the end. Or maybe all three. You can choose a downbeat song, something more uplifting or even something funny. There are no hard and fast rules.

Funeral music


Funeral hymns

Hymns are often associated with the religious, and even though many hymns do have a religious theme running through them, they don't have to be. Some hymns may just resonate with you and your family whether you're religious or not.

Funeral hymns


Funeral poems

Funeral poems can be uplifting, tearjerking and can unlock the heart in a way few things can. They can also provide a comfort at the most difficult time. You can read a poem you love or you could even write one yourself tailored for the funeral.

Funeral poems

Coffin & flowers

Funeral coffin

These days, there are an abundance of funeral coffins on offer, from something bright and beautiful to something sport-themed or even something very elaborate. The flowers to go alongside the coffin or at the grave can be equally elaborate too.


Funeral transport

There is also a vast array of funeral hearses available for the procession too, if you're having one. You could go for something standard, a personalised hearse, or something really different like a 19th-century style horse-drawn carriage.

Personalising a memorial service or wake

A memorial service or wake can be held at any time. Some like to hold it immediately after the funeral, some like to wait a few days after, others might have it before the funeral.

Like with most things to do with the funeral, there are no hard and fast rules and the option is completely up to you and your family.

There are, however, some things you might like to do to make that memorial service extra special.

The date & venue

Family Sitting On Beach

Focus on choosing a venue that suits the attendees and would've suited the deceased. No matter whether you want to go for something upbeat or something low key, a memorial service can be a cathartic experience where people come together to share love.


  • Renting a room at the local pub
  • At a family home with nearest and dearest
  • A buffet at a church or community hall
  • A picnic in the park or on the beach


Funeral memorial book

To make a memorial service or wake special, you may like to add a few personal touches. This could be something formal like a eulogy, a guestbook for people to fill in or you may like to have a memorial table with a few mementos and photos of the deceased.


  • Eulogy or share memories in a speech
  • Memory table of photos and mementos
  • A slideshow or video of the deceased's life
  • Guestbook for attendees to share their memories

Comfort & support

Senior friends hugging and supporting one another

A memorial service can be a celebratory event, however it is a moment to lovingly share with others, while supporting each other after going through a difficult time. Making time and space for comfort can help ease people and perhaps bring them closure.


  • Set up an area for reflection
  • Invite a grief counsellor or support person
  • Open mic-sharing to share memories and emotions
  • Play comforting and meaningful music

Organising a funeral

We understand organising a funeral can be difficult. To help ease things for you, here is a checklist of everything you need to consider when making funeral arrangements.

  • Notify loved ones: Inform family and friends of the deceased's death
  • Check the will and paperwork: The will may detail specific funeral requests or the deceased may have a prepaid funeral plan
  • See if the deceased is an organ donor: The deceased may have wishes to donate their body or organs
  • Set up a support system: A support system with friends and family will help you to deal with the emotional side of organising a funeral
  • Contact funeral provider: A funeral provider will be able to help with the arrangements, and if a loved one has died at home, they can take them into their care
  • Choose type of funeral: Select what type of funeral you'd like to have, burial or cremation, and choose a time and place most suitable
  • Personalise the funeral: For your funeral, you may like to include readings, arrange flowers and choose someone to lead the service. This can be arranged with the funeral provider
  • Complete legal paperwork: Ensure all necessary legal paperwork is in order, including the death certificate
  • Write an obituary: You may like to publish an obituary in the local newspaper or online
  • Plan a memorial service or wake: If you wish, you can organise a commemoration or celebration event at a time and place of your choosing
  • Prepare for the funeral: Gather photos and memorabilia to display at the service, organise transportation and speak to your funeral provider about what to expect

Want to plan ahead?

You can plan ahead by taking out a prepaid funeral plan. A funeral plan gives you and your family peace of mind knowing that funeral costs and the funeral arrangements are all taken care of in advance. That means no emotional strain or stress of organising a funeral when the time comes. Find out more about our funeral plans.

Other helpful articles

Here are a few more helpful articles to do with personalising a funeral that you might be interested in.

Organising a funeral

Wooden coffin with a bouquet of funeral flowers laid on top

There are a number of ways to organise a funeral in the UK. You can use a national funeral provider, a local funeral director or even organise the funeral yourself. Here we'll go into more detail and provide you with all the information you need to know.

Organising a funeral

Funeral Plans

Sue Cook smiling

A Distinct Cremations funeral plan allows you to pay for a funeral in advance for yourself, for a family member or for a friend, and gives you peace of mind knowing that funeral costs are covered. Acceptance is guaranteed with no medical questions.

Funeral plans

Funeral costs

Cremation costs

If you’re arranging the funeral of a loved one, you’ll need to know exactly how much a funeral costs so that you can make the appropriate arrangements. It's important to remember though that you don't need to feel pressured to spend more than you can afford.

Funeral costs

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who have arranged a funeral or purchased a funeral plan through Distinct Cremations.

"Smooth and straightforward purchase with plenty of contact and feedback."

“Easy to use and very helpful. Very easy to use their services and always called with updates. Sorry to say I've had to use their services twice now and I've already booked my own service. On both times I've used this service I've been kept informed by calls to everything going on. All my requests were made to feel like no trouble whatsoever, happy to help attitude made what was a very emotional time pass with no problems. Ty to all the teams involved"

"Quick and easy to arrange. Very good value. The information pack arrived days after I made my enquiry. It was so easy to arrange the plan that I wanted. The follow up call was very reassuring. I am very happy with the service provided."

"Already recommended to other family members. Easy to access and apply for a plan at a good price, and even better, in 20 years time there will be no additional cost. It's not a subject that anyone wants to think about but now I have it sorted it has given me peace of mind knowing my family won't have the worry or cost when that time comes, now I can forget it and enjoy many more years, highly recommended. Hassle free application that was completed in minutes but I'm not planning on using this plan anytime soon!!"

"I was very pleased with the prompt efficient service that I got, everything was explained to me, and the paperwork was easy to understand, and there was no pressure put on me for a decision. I would most certainly recommended this company for price and efficiency."

“Happy with everything. We were well pleased with the consultant Sarah Mills she was very helpful and made us feel very confident that we were doing the right thing about our funeral plan."

"Positive without being pushy. Easy to understand the scheme, helpful brochure and a realistic price. The staff I contacted were polite and professional. Great value. An ideal alternative for those of us who don't want a lot of fuss."

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