How to Plan a Funeral: A Step-by-Step Guide


Whether you are planning a funeral for a loved one before they die or after, it can take an emotional toll on you. Knowing how to plan a funeral can be a challenging process; there are many things you should consider, from what flowers you want to display to arranging after-service catering. 

Even though planning a funeral is not a pleasant experience, we must remember a funeral’s purpose. It is to honor and remember the loved one and also give comfort and support to those who were close to the deceased one.

To that end, let us look over a step by step guide that will help you plan an honorable memorial service.

How to Plan a Funeral

Before going into the steps, we should think about the pre-arrangements. If you made pre-arrangements with your loved one, then make sure to contact the funeral home as soon as possible. If you are not sure, you should check if your loved one made any arrangements before their death.

Finding this out is an essential step as it will save you time, stress, and money. 

Don’t worry if you were not able to pre-arrange the funeral. We will now look at the steps you should take to have peace of mind and not become anxious over what to do.

Should You Hire A Funeral Director?

Before we get further into the steps, we should think if we want to hire a funeral director.

Of course, you do not need to hire one, but hiring one can lighten the load of arranging a funeral. They will guide you in all of the preparations and make sure that the funeral service will give honor to your loved one.

What Funeral Home Will You Use?

Choosing the right funeral home is a vital step as they will follow the instructions you give them regarding arranging the funeral services.

It is best to find one held in high regard, perhaps asking someone close (who also has organized a funeral) or looking online for one with positive opinions. After finding one, be sure to contact them promptly and discuss how much the service will cost. 

Will They Be Cremated Or Buried?

Once you know what funeral home you will use, now we must decide the form of disposition. Perhaps before their death, they mentioned a preference; if not, then it is up to you to determine how you will want your loved one to be arranged.

Let us discuss the two most common ways of disposition. A different and beautiful option is a tree urn.


If you choose this way, then we must consider several other factors. We must select a casket, this depends on your budget, but nowadays they are very affordable. After choosing, we must decide if we want a cemetery plot or mausoleum space. 

Next, we must decide if we will want a grave liner or burial vault for the casket. And finally, if we will use a  headstone or grave marker. On a final note, we should decide if family members or close friends will be the pallbearers; if not, the funeral home will have staff ready to carry the casket.

Choosing a burial may seem like a lot of work, but with the help of the funeral home staff, it will be more comfortable.


Choosing this form of disposition will allow you to decide where and when you can part from your loved one. You have the choice of keeping them in your home arranged inside a beautiful urn or disposing of them in a different location. As with the funeral homes, it is essential to look for reputable cremation services

You must make sure they will treat the body with the utmost care and honor your deceased loved one deserves.

What Will Be Done In The Memorial Service?

First of all, we must decide who will be the officiant at the memorial service. The officiant can be the funeral director, celebrant, a clergy member, or a family member. We should inform them of what we would like to be said about the deceased. We can tell them what aspect of them we would like them to focus on or perhaps particular accomplishments they achieved in their life. 

Other aspects we should consider is who will deliver the eulogy of the loved one or what sort of music will be played during the ceremony. We also should decide if we would like a specialized catering service at the funeral home or your own home. 

Another decision we must make is what we will display during the memorial service. We can place pictures, set up a video memorial, memory board, and even display memorabilia from our loved one. It is up to you to decide how much you want to show at the memorial service.

Will You Want Flowers?

Depending on your preferences, you may decide on how many flowers you would like to display. Usually, funeral homes provide this service, so check with them to see what they have. This will save you time from searching for yourself.

Most likely, family members, friends, and even community members will bring or send flowers on the day of the funeral. The funeral home will take care of arranging them so as not to clutter the memorial service. Some families may also prefer donations to charitable organizations of their choosing. 

If that is something you would like, make sure that on the death notice or obituaries, a common way of wording it is saying, “In lieu of flowers…” then saying the charity you would like the donations to be sent to.

Everything Will Be Ok

In the end, all you want is your loved one to be remembered and buried (or cremated ) in peace. With these steps, we hope that you know how to plan a funeral. After it is time for you and your family to heal emotionally, you can feel peace of mind knowing you did everything you could to give them an honorable memorial. 

Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Thanks for mentioning that it’s smart to choose a funeral home that is held in high regard and has good online reviews. My sisters and I are worried that we may have to start planning our mom’s funeral soon because she has started to rapidly decline. We will have to make sure we choose a funeral service that has a lot of positive reviews because I think that would help make sure they knew what they were doing and would be professional and comforting about everything.

    1. Chantal Bechervaise – Outaouais Region - Canada – I blog about everything surrounding the world of work and how it intersects with personal life. Topics include: HR, Leadership, Social Media, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture and Achieving Success and Happiness. It is all about your own personal balance and what is appropriate for you. I also love the outdoors and reconnecting with nature.
      Chantal Bechervaise says:

      I am sorry for what you are going through with your mom.

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