Funerals are very personal and emotional experiences. Each one is different in order to reflect the person who has died, and the needs of the family organising the service.
From flowers, music, readings and more, we can make sure you get the service you want. If what you require is not mentioned below, just ask and we'll do our best to help.
Venue and date of the service
A funeral service can be held in any suitable venue within Gateshead or further afield, though many people choose to have the service in a church or crematorium chapel. It is also possible to hold the service in a private home or a public room. Will we work with your to arrange a suitable date and time.
Choosing a coffin, casket or urn
You will need to make a decision on the type of coffin, casket, or urn you want. We have a range you can choose from, and can discuss your favoured option when you make the arrangements.
Another way of making a funeral more personal is to have the favourite flowers of the person who has died. We can offer a variety of different floral arrangements and have a florist available to help you. We can also collect the cards from the wreaths and bouquets sent by mourners, and pass them onto you to keep. We are also able to collect donations for you and record who they have been given by.
Most music can be played at the funeral as long as copyright restrictions do not apply. You can choose a hymn, play a CD or have a favourite song or piece of music downloaded at the crematorium but you can also have live music. If you want to have an organist you should ensure that they are able to play the music you have chosen. Alternatively, we can arrange this on your behalf or something similar, such as a piper or choir.
Who will lead the service?
If a funeral is held in a church, the minister of that church will lead the service and they will tell you what you can and can't do in their church.
If you would like a religious service at the crematorium, your local minister will also be able to lead the service there for you. The crematorium chapel can also host a service that is not religious, which would involve a civil celebrant or humanist officiant. In theory, anyone can lead a funeral service, whether they are religious or not.
Typically, services include a mix of readings or prayers, poetry and passages. Make sure that whoever is delivering the main tribute knows some personal details about the person who has died.
You can discuss this with the minister or celebrant and they will guide you through it.
Order of service and thank you cards
You may want to provide an order of service - these are helpful for mourners and you may want to send a copy to people who can't make the service. We can arrange to do this for you.
After the funeral we can organise thank you cards for you to send to people who gave flowers and donations, if you would like us to at a cost.
The hearse will take the coffin to the funeral service on the day. The hearse is usually followed by limousines which carry close members of family. Please let us know if there is a particular route you would like the procession to take. Additional limousines can be arranged should you wish to carry more people in the procession.
A horse-drawn hearse can also be arranged for those who want a traditional style of funeral.
People sometimes like to add further personal touches to reflect the life of the person who has died. Other arrangements that you might wish to consider include:
Woodland burials are becoming increasingly popular and we will be able to tell you the location of your nearest woodland burial site. A wide variety of eco-friendly, biodegradable coffins are available for woodland burials. Memorials and headstones are not usually permitted but often trees can be planted to mark the grave.
A motorcycle hearse is appropriate at a funeral for those whose passion in life was motorcycles and is a dignified way of showing the deceased's character.
Releasing white doves
The release of white doves at funerals and memorial services is a very popular way of adding a special touch to a funeral ceremony. Releasing white doves signifies letting go and is a good start to the grieving process.
Once you have decided exactly what you would like, we will discuss the costs with you and provide a written estimate and then proceed to make the arrangements. Throughout the process we will be open with costs and try to provide you with the best options.