Planning a Memorial: Location and Time
Funeral and memorial services can be held nearly anywhere -- a
funeral home, a place of worship, the honoree's home or a beloved
park. Consider the ambience you want to create for the service and
then choose your venue accordingly. A service in a traditional
Christian church feels completely different from a jazz procession
through a city street; a reception in a banquet hall feels
different from one in a state park.
Like weddings, there are a multitude of venues available and you
will certainly be able to find one that suits your needs. But also
just like weddings, memorial celebrations can either be
outrageously extravagant, modest or somewhere in between. When it
comes time to choose a venue for the memorial service and
reception, the first step is to consult the wishes of the honoree.
If no instructions were left behind, and perhaps even no funding
put aside for a service, there are still a number of ways to pay
Talk with relatives or friends, agree on an appropriate budget,
and then proceed from there. While it's best to hold the memorial
service within a reasonable time period (at least within one year),
you do not have to rush into making an immediate decision. Take the
time to do it right.
Less Expensive Venues
An affordable memorial service doesn't have to look cheap!
Unlike other events, a memorial service can be held during any
season, any day of the week and at any time of day. You do not have
to have it on a Friday or Saturday night, which tend to be the most
expensive times to rent space. If you expect a lot of older guests,
bear in mind that they often prefer to drive or travel during
If the venue you are considering charges a rental fee, let them
know the nature of the event - they may offer you a reduced rate if
the venue is available anyway.
Below are some suggestions for alternative, less expensive
- Church, chapel or temple
- Community facility
- A large yard, park, beach or other outdoor location (be sure to
check with the town to see if you need a permit for public
- The home of the honoree
- A location special to the honoree (a tailgate party for the
football enthusiast, a barbeque for a grill-master, a garden tea
for the gardener)
More Extravagant Venues
If you have the funds and wish to do something extravagant,
there are infinite options. An easy way to explore ideas is to draw
on the tourism and wedding industries. It could also be helpful to
hire an event planner to help you work through all of the details
of the event.
Once you have determined the location and time of the funeral or
memorial service, share it on your honoree's Heart2Soul Community.
For ideas on where to hold a reception after the funeral
service, visit Reception Location.