Designing Your Funeral

There really are infinite ways to celebrate, honor, and remember. Here you’ll find inspiration and motivation to get you started planning a funeral worth remembering.

How to Honor a Life

It’s about bringing those you love together at a time of loss. First decide the basics of how you want to honor or be honored.  Consider whether you want to…

• have a solemn, dignified ceremony or a lively celebration.
• have the ceremonies at the mortuary, a church, or other special place.
                                                                                  • have a weekday or weekend, day or evening ceremony.


How to Make it Uniquely Yours

Once you have the basics down, begin to paint the picture of who you or your loved one is.  Consider what makes you unique.  Here are a few ideas to get you started…

• Select a fitting ceremony for your loved ones to participate in, making them feel like an important part of the service. 

Tip: Consider what type of participatory ceremony best reflects your life.  A few ideas include a dove, butterfly, or balloon release at the close of the service; a candle lighting or sand ceremony; laying of flowers or wreaths on the casket or at the grave; or a “leave your touch” ceremony.

• Decide what keepsake gift you’d like each of the attendees to take home with them as a token to always remember you or something you valued.

Tip: Consider your hobbies and passions.  Some keepsake ideas include a packet of wildflower seeds or a tree seedling, especially if you are a nature or gardening lover; a penny if you are a coin collector or were known to “pay it forward”; a small flag if you were a patriotic person or veteran; a cookie and your favorite recipe if you were a baker.  Again, you decide what you want; we’ll make it happen.

• Think about the type of music, or even the specific songs, you enjoy.  Designate if you want them to be played during the visitation (viewing) or the funeral or memorial service. 

Tip: There’s no rule book that says the songs must be traditional, religious, or formal.  You can decide to have recorded music, a soloist, or a live New Orleans-style or rock band.  You decide what you want; we’ll make it happen.

• Choose poems, stories, or prayers that are special to you.  Be sure to note if there is someone in particular you’d like to read them.

Our Funeral Directors have helped thousands of families create unique and meaningful services to honor their loved one.  Let us help you do the same.


How to Ensure your Wishes are Known

Now that you’ve determined how you’ll honor a life and how you’ll make the services uniquely yours, it’s time to ensure important people know what you’ve decided.  Be sure to…

• Meet with our Funeral Directors to get your wishes down on paper.  We’ll walk you through the Three Simple Steps of preplanning. 

Tip: If you don’t want to meet, simply bring in, mail, or email a copy of your wishes to us and we’ll keep them on file for you.  Don’t worry about making them neat or formal – just get them written down and we’ll do the deciphering!  If you need help organizing your thoughts, request a free copy of “A Guide to My Funeral & Memorial Wishes”…a comprehensive worksheet that will help you gather information your family will need to know.

• Give a copy of your wishes to your Executor, attorney, a family member, close friend, or neighbor. 

Getting your wishes to the right people will help ensure they are carried out just as you want them to be.


Need More Help? 

Our Funeral Directors and Certified Celebrants are here to help you celebrate, honor, and remember. Call us any time – day or night – at (317) 467-4918 or (317) 485-5138.  We’ll answer questions, listen to your ideas, and help you capture your wishes.