How to plan a funeral service step by step?

Losing someone close is an emotional experience and grief tends to make the funeral service planning really difficult. Since this responsibility can be challenging, we prepared a short checklist, so you can take care of the memorial service one step at a time.

Don’t forget: the funeral service must be perceived as an opportunity to honor someone’s life. Family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances gather together to remember the deceased while comforting and supporting each other.

Step 1: Notify all the relatives, friends and acquaintances about the death

You may contact family and close friends first, and ask someone to help you with the rest of the calls. Since you will be in a vulnerable emotional state, we recommend you to create a “script” you can rely on. Write down a checklist with all the information you need to provide.

Step 2: Choose the form of disposition

It may be easier to plan the funeral if you decide the form of disposition because it can have an impact on other steps in the planning process.
  • Burial: in a cemetery plot or in a mausoleum; This form of disposition often implies purchasing a space, a burial vault, a headstone or a plaque etc.
  • Cremation: this process is reducing the human body to ashes; The remains can be kept, buried in an urn, spread in a certain place etc.
Depending on the form of disposition, you may need to purchase clothes, eyeglasses or other accessories.

Step 3: Choose a meaningful way to say goodbye

The funeral must reflect the deceased’s religious or spiritual beliefs. The next step is to choose the place where the ceremony will take place:
  • A chapel that includes religious ceremonies
  • A private non-religious location
  • A private funeral for family and close friends, plus a memorial service later, for all the loved ones
  • Cemetery or crematorium chapel
  • Graveside etc.

Let Farewell Services assist you with the stationery

Use our funeral templates and personalize them with your own copy, pictures and design. Your family can login and take a look at the templates before sending them to the print. You can choose express delivery within 24-48 hours or pick them up from one of our 160 locations.

Step 4: Contract a funeral director

This is not a mandatory step, but it can be helpful to have an experienced professional taking care of some arrangements and consulting you in the context of venues, decorations, choosing the coffin etc.

Step 5: Obtain the death certificate

A doctor will help you to obtain a Medical Certificate for the cause of death and register it. If you choose to collaborate with a funeral director, you will receive help regarding this issue.

Step 6: Plan the budget

During a funeral, the financial cost tends to be the last thought on the organizer’s mind. We think it’s important to plan the costs. Ask for quotes from various companies and choose the one that better fits your needs. According to Money Smart, a funeral can cost around $4.000 to $15.000, depending on how elaborate it is.

Here’s a list with the typical items you need to pay for when arranging a funeral:
  • Funeral director fees
  • Transport
  • Coffin
  • Death certificate
  • Permits
  • Burial / cremation
  • Cemetery plot
  • Other expenses, such as a celebrant or clergy, flowers, newspaper notices, bookmarks, booklets etc.

Step 7: Decide the type of services and contract the 3rd parties:

We are talking about the music, multimedia, the person who conducts the funeral service, the memorial cards, orders of service, the transportation, invitations, catering etc. If you contact a funeral director, it will help you go through all these steps.

We hope this list will give you a starting point in planning the funeral for your loved one. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at We can help with the following services: order of service, personalized booklets & bookmarks.

Be strong!

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