“Extras” You Can Easily Cut from the Funeral
One of the fastest ways to save money on a funeral is to trim away extra services and products you do not need. Today’s funerals tend to be elaborate, traditional affairs that take every detail and consideration into account—which is great if the deceased had the foresight to plan ahead, but can be difficult to justify if the funeral expenses are coming out of your own pocket.
Before you reconcile yourself to a direct burial or direct cremation, consider holding a traditional funeral with just a few of these extras cut out.
- Funeral Flowers: You do not necessarily need the casket blanket or the huge floral arrangement at the front of the memorial hall. Instead of going all out on funeral flowers, consider a few artfully arranged bouquets or skip the flowers entirely and decorate the space with some of the deceased’s personal belongings. (Quilts or paintings they made, favorite fishing tackle on display, or an enlarged family photo all work well in these situations.)
- Embalming: Embalming is a nice touch (especially if you will be holding an open casket), but it is not a requirement for burial. The eventual decay of the body is going to happen no matter what, and prolonging it will only end up costing you money you might not have.
- Open Casket Services: Embalming, body preparation, cosmetology…all these things come into play when you have an open casket. Consider having the family say goodbye to the body in a more private ceremony before the funeral and close the casket for everyone else.
- Funeral Service (as Opposed to Memorial Service): In a funeral service, the body is usually present at the front of the room. A memorial service, on the other hand, can take place anytime, anywhere. Instead of reserving space at the funeral home and going through the ceremony of carrying the body out to the cemetery, consider having a memorial service somewhere else instead. You can still have all the guests, eulogies, and prayers, but since the body is already taken care of, you do not have the added expense of transporting it.
- Casket Details: All bodies will eventually decay, so opting for a high-grade metal or hardwood casket won’t affect your loved one’s remains. Opt for simple woods. Choose a lining that looks nice but is not necessarily made of silk or satin. Do not have the casket personalized or monogrammed. In the end, what most people remember about a funeral is not the casket, anyway.
One area in which you might not want to cut corners is on the cemetery plot and headstone. Funerals only last a few hours, but the place you go to mourn lasts forever. Choose a nice location in a cemetery that brings you peace, and purchase a headstone to match. You will appreciate having somewhere to go when you need to feel connected to your departed loved ones.
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By Amy Johnson