Where to Hold the Funeral Memorial
Big or small, public or private, catered or pay-your-own-way—there are as many different ways to hold a memorial service as there are types of people. Although most of us hear the term “memorial service” and picture a formal gathering at a funeral home, there are no real rules about how—or where—you can hold one.
Depending on your funeral planning budget, the wishes of the deceased, the time of year, and the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one, here are a few location options for a memorial service.
- Funeral Home: Yes, it is fairly common to hold a memorial service here, but that is because funeral homes specialize in offering a full range of options as well as plenty of space for family and friends to gather. Although you will pay for this space as part of your overall funeral package, you rarely have to worry over the details.
- Church: Churches (including church rec rooms or outbuildings) are the second most common place to hold a memorial service because they too offer plenty of space and an appropriately reverent atmosphere. They have the benefit of being affordable for families who need a more cost-effective memorial.
- Private Home: The home of the deceased often makes for an ideal gathering place because so many people will have memories associated with it (especially if the deceased is a parent or grandparent). Other, larger private homes can also provide a lovely backdrop. You won’t have as much space, and you might not have access to large parking lots or audio/visual hookups already in place, but there is something more personal and intimate about this option.
- Park/Garden: You may have to get a permit or reserve space in order to hold a memorial service at a public park or outdoor garden, but the results are often well worth it. Whether you hold a casual barbeque or put out chairs and go for something more formal, the fresh air and natural scenery can go a long way in lifting people’s spirits.
Of course, you are not bound to these tried-and-true options. If you want to keep things small, you can invite a few friends and family members to a restaurant or vacation destination and hold the service there. Larger gatherings can opt for places such as golf courses, resorts, lake cabins, public halls, beaches, or even national parks. The general rule of thumb is this: if you can plan a wedding there, you can plan a memorial service there. It may take some extra legwork and require more money to plan something truly unique, but it can be worth it to have everyone gathered together to say their final farewells.