It’s said that the late Duke of Edinburgh spent years planning his own funeral – a rather modest affair compared to other royal funerals this generation has witnessed. However, the quiet affair was said to be just what he would have wanted and reflected the man that he was, albeit influenced by the restrictions brought about by Covid-19.
It’s important to make your funeral personal to you – to reflect your life, your interests and your individual personality. Personalising a funeral in this way can help create a meaningful and lasting tribute for those who are saying goodbye.
Here are five unique funeral ideas that may inspire you to think about how you would like your loved ones to remember you:
1. Alternative hearses for a fitting final journey
If you want your final journey to reflect a certain aspect of your life or personality, you could opt for an alternative hearse. The choice of transportation continues to expand, with fire engines, campervans and horse-drawn hearses among the most popular requests.
2. A firework display to celebrate your life
If you want your funeral to be a celebration of your life, a memorable fireworks display can be a great way to be honoured and remembered by the loved ones you leave behind.
You can even have your ashes put into the actual fireworks, so your friends and family can scatter them in a truly unforgettable and special fashion.
3. Choose an unusual venue
You may wish to choose a more personal or unusual venue for your funeral, whether you have religious beliefs or not. From beaches to football grounds, lakeside locations to golf clubs, there are endless possibilities which you could look to explore.
4. A memorial tree
Memorial trees can represent life going on and provide focus for remembrance. Many people believe that planting a tree is a great way of giving back to the environment whilst establishing a living memorial that you frequently visit.
It is also possible to plant a tree from ashes, creating a living memorial which incorporates the remains in the growing process. This can be a poignant and meaningful part of any green funeral or memorial service.
5. A colourful affair
There are many ways of incorporating colour into a funeral, if that’s an important part of who you are. Flowers and floral tributes, the funeral order of service, even down to the ties worn by your chosen funeral director. You can even opt for a colourful coffin, if that’s your wish.
Many people are also opting to leave behind their wish for mourners to wear bright colours, instead of the more traditional black.
Radio Times has partnered with Dignity to offer a choice of four Prepaid Funeral Plans. Dignity introduced the UK’s first funeral plan in 1985. Since then, they have helped nearly one million people^ plan for their funeral in advance.
Adding special requests to your funeral plan, whether big or small, is simple and straightforward.
By adding special requests, your loved ones need not worry about trying to guess what you would have liked – you will have already told them, and left instructions that are included in your funeral plan documents. It could also prevent disagreements or any overspending. Understandably, loved ones often go above and beyond honouring memories, when in fact it’s the small touches that can matter most.
You can make as many special requests as you like. Small requests, such as specifying a particular poem to be read can be made at no extra cost, whilst some, such as a memorial will inevitably incur additional charges, as there are third party costs to pay.
Any additional costs incurred would either need to be covered by your loved ones when time comes, or you can choose to add a contribution towards these requests as part of your plan*.
If you change your mind at any time, there is no extra charge to update your wishes.
• Request your free guide online or call 0800 033 4717 today, quoting RAD164ND, and find out how you can protect you and your family from funeral costs, which have risen faster than inflation in recent years**.
• When you receive your guide, choose the plan that best suits your needs and budget.
• Call Dignity at any time if you have any questions and they will be happy to talk through the plan or payment options with you.
^Dignity plc Annual Report and Accounts 2019. "nearly one million customers" refers to the total number of people who have made funeral arrangements with Dignity in advance.
*It is not possible to make additional contributions with the Limited Plan.
**2011 - 2020 Matter Communications independent research.
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