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How to Plan a Funeral Reception

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    Receptions held after funerals provide families and friends with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one and pay their respects.

    The majority of funerals and memorial services are solemn and formal events; consequently, a gathering held after the service offers a more relaxed setting in which your friends and family can catch up with one another.

    After the death of a family member or close friend, many families make the decision to throw a reception for close relatives and friends.

    After a funeral, it is traditional but not necessary to host a reception for family and friends.

    Family members and friends will be able to catch up with one another in a less stuffy setting thanks to the get-together that will be taking place.

    Mourners have the opportunity to console one another, share more personal stories and memories, and carry on the celebration of life during the reception that follows the funeral.

    Those who were close to the deceased and their closest friends and family members might want to think about hosting a reception after the funeral of a loved one. This would give those who were at the funeral a place that was less formal and more relaxed to share stories and find companionship after going through such a trying time.

    If you do decide to throw a reception after the funeral, you'll give everyone who was important in the life of your deceased loved one the chance to catch up with one another and talk about the good times they had together.

    It provides the opportunity for members of the family and friends to laugh together and take pleasure in each other's company outside of the funeral home. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    This article is designed to help you effectively plan a post-funeral reception efficiently while saving money and time in the process.

    FAQs About Funerals

    When someone dies, they don't feel things anymore, so they don't feel any pain at all.” If they ask what cremation means, you can explain that they are put in a very warm room where their body is turned into soft ashes—and again, emphasize that it is a peaceful, painless process.

    Quite often the peripheral bones of the hands and feet will not be burned to such a high intensity as those at the centre of the body, where most fat is located.

    In most cases, people are cremated in either a sheet or the clothing they are wearing upon arrival to the crematory. However, most Direct Cremation providers give you and your family the option to fully dress your loved one prior to Direct Cremation.

    Can you be buried in a cardboard casket? Yes, by law you can be buried in any type of container. Cardboard caskets are actually preferred by natural cemeteries due to their biodegradability.

    At the funeral, the front rows of seating are reserved for family and pallbearers. The closest family should sit in the front, with additional close family members behind them, such as cousins or grandchildren.

    Funeral Reception Planning Guide

    If you have been tasked with hosting or planning the funeral reception, you probably have many questions.

    • How exactly do I go about planning a reception for a funeral? What is the initial step to take?
    • What are some creative and unique ideas for a funeral reception? How can I put them into practise?
    • Do I absolutely have to provide food for the reception? Which items on the menu are the most appropriate choices?
    • Where are some possible locations for the wedding reception? What do my choices consist of?

    These inquiries, along with others, are going to be addressed in depth today.

    Our mission is to assist you in producing an event that will live long in the memory of your loved ones and will be fitting of who they were in life.

    Let's begin by taking a look at some fundamentals of reception planning, shall we?

    What Is a Funeral Reception?

    Some families choose to hold a reception following the funeral or memorial service for their loved one.

    The funeral reception takes place in a different location than the funeral itself, and it is intended to be a smaller, more personal get-together to which only close friends are invited.

    Because the post-service reception is typically more laid back and is not bound to any strict schedules, it is the ideal location for inviting family members and friends who live outside of the city.

    In many cultures, funeral receptions are followed by a meal. It is common practise for them to be held at restaurants or the homes of close relatives, and they are typically catered.

    Some people favour a more intimate setting, consisting only of immediate family members, and a home-cooked meal. In the end, the decision will boil down to the preferences of you and your family as well as the circumstances in which you feel the most at ease.

    Who Is in Charge of Planning a Funeral Reception?

    The members of the deceased person's immediate family, such as a spouse, children, or parents, are typically the ones in charge of organising a funeral reception.

    However, if you are also responsible for making funeral arrangements, arranging for the deceased person's burial, and handling any and all other aspects of a loved one's passing, it can be an overwhelming experience to plan the reception.

    You can ask a dependable member of your family for assistance in planning the reception, or you can call the funeral home for guidance if you would rather have someone else handle the planning of the event. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    In addition, there are restaurants and catering services that are experienced in the organisation of funeral receptions.

    It is understandable that you would not feel comfortable planning the reception on your own during this time of mourning; however, if you do not feel comfortable doing so, you have the option of reaching out to a venue or caterer to ask for their assistance.

    It is likely that many people will be familiar with the process of organising a funeral reception and will be able to offer you the assistance you require in order to make things as simple as possible for the entirety of your family.

    Planning a Funeral Reception Step-By-Step

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    When organising a funeral reception, it can be helpful to keep a "to-do" list on hand, on which you can easily cross off each task as it is finished being worked on.

    We went ahead and made it for you so that things are a little less complicated for you to deal with.

    We have made an effort to strike a balance between providing general guidance and going into exhaustive detail; however, please feel free to make any necessary adjustments to each point.

    Step 1: Choose the Date and Time of the Reception

    The funeral or memorial service is typically followed immediately by the reception, but there are exceptions to every rule.

    However, this is in no way a hard and fast rule. There are many different kinds of circumstances that might require a later or even a delayed reception (for example, not everyone would attend who wants to).

    Step 2: Consider Your Budget

    Are you willing and able to host a large group of people and provide them with food? If you wanted to rent an event hall or a private room at a restaurant, do you think you could afford it? Do you plan to have a simple potluck, a meal that is completely catered, or hors d'oeuvres and dessert?

    These options will have an effect on your finances, and conversely, your finances will restrict the choices you have.

    Step 3: Choose Your Location

    These days, a good number of funeral homes include in the price of their services the provision of a reception following a funeral; some even have specially designed spaces to accommodate exceptionally large get-togethers.

    However, if you are in charge of planning the reception, you get to decide where it will take place; the location of the reception is not predetermined in any way.

    You have the option of holding it in a park, a church, an event hall, or even in your own home.

    Alternately, you could make it one-of-a-kind by picking a location that was significant to the person who passed away or their family, such as a favourite restaurant.

    Make sure that you also arrange for chairs and tables. The decorations, which include things like tablecloths, centrepieces, and possibly even a memorial table, are also an essential component.

    Step 4: Decide What Food to Serve at the Reception

    It is recommended that attendees of the reception be offered some refreshments after the funeral service has concluded.

    After all, they (along with you) will have just been through an emotionally draining experience at the funeral, and you will have been there too.

    In addition, eating together, even if it's just appetisers, is a time-honored and fundamentally human way to form bonds.

    You have the option of serving a full lunch course, sandwiches, coffee and cookies, or hors d'oeuvres depending on the time of day.

    Step 5: Send Out Invitations

    ...or make the announcement of the reception that will follow the funeral.

    You will need to make a decision regarding how you will inform people about the reception.

    Before the funeral takes place, some people who are hosting a funeral reception decide to send out invitations in the mail, send a group text, send an email blast, or post on social media.

    These choices can be useful if you want to limit attendance to a specific group of people, such as members of your immediate family, for example.

    On the other hand, if attendance at the reception is not limited, it will be much simpler to include the relevant information on the invitations to the funeral service.

    It is also a wonderful idea to take the microphone and let everybody know where to meet after the service has concluded.

    You can ask the funeral director or the officiant to make an announcement about you if you would rather not have to speak in front of everyone. They will do so with a huge smile on their face!

    Step 6: Plan a Thank-You Speech

    During the course of the reception, make it a point to greet each guest and express your gratitude for their attendance.

    You can either think of a short speech to thank everyone all at once, or you can go around the room and greet everyone individually. You will only be required to fulfil this one formal obligation moving forwards. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is here to assist you in making each funeral and cremation services a unique and moving memorial to your loved one.

    It is also a gracious act to express gratitude to the many individuals who assisted in the execution of the funeral and reception.

    It may be done at other times, such as during the funeral service; however, the reception is an excellent setting for doing so.

    Be sure to express your gratitude to the funeral director, his or her staff, the minister or other member of the clergy who presided over the service, as well as any members of the deceased person's family or friends who helped out.

    Step 7: Assemble a Take-Down Crew

    Find a group of people who are willing to remain after the event is over and assist with the cleanup.

    Even at venues that offer full-service catering, you will still have things to clean up after the event, such as flowers, photos and other mementoes from a memorial table, decorations, and other items.

    At some locations, it is expected of you to leave the room or hall in the exact same condition as you found it.

    Consider the following when making your preparations:

    • Make sure the tables and food trays are clear.
    • Make sure the kitchen and the area where food is prepared are clean.
    • Tablecloths should be washed and returned.
    • Decorative centrepieces and other elements
    • Put the tables and chairs back where they were or replace them.
    • receptacles for the food that has been left over
    • Get rid of the garbage.
    • Vacuum/sweep

    Step 8: Plan to Rest

    Take a moment to catch your breath once everything is finished. You did it!

    But you should make sure to plan for your own needs in advance; otherwise, you might find that you are pushed right back into more "final arrangement" details, providing support for the grieving family, or a busy work week.

    You have planned such a lovely funeral reception to honour the memory of your loved one, despite the fact that you are going through such a difficult time since the loss of your loved one.

    After seeing to everyone else's needs, it's time for you to kick back, relax, and focus on your own wellbeing.

    Personalising a Funeral Reception

    It is common practise for families to look for ways to personalise a funeral in modern times, and this may include hosting a reception after the service.

    Families and friends are able to ensure that the funeral or memorial services speak to their departed loved ones and share the stories of their lives through the use of personalisation.

    Celebrating the life of a deceased loved one can be made more meaningful through the addition of personal touches to the funeral reception. It helps to preserve memories, affords the opportunity to think back on good times, and has the potential to put a smile on the face of loved ones, even in the midst of such a trying time.

    A personalised funeral reception is a way to honour your loved one in a manner that truly reflects who they were as an individual, while also incorporating the traditions of your own family into the service. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    Funeral Reception Décor

    Accentuating the existing design of a funeral reception is the quickest and easiest way to give it a more personal touch. Flowers are traditional and somewhat expected at funerals, but you might also consider giving:

    • Funeral guest signing books
    • Picture rails
    • Tables to store memory
    • Authenticated sports artefacts
    • Arrangements of the things that are most dear to the person you love
    • Accessories for the home that reflect the passions of a person you care about

    Ask people to bring one item that reminds them of your loved one to the funeral reception.

    Things to Remember About Planning a Funeral Reception

    You will receive assistance in organising the funeral from the funeral home, but in the meantime, here are some ideas for organising the funeral reception.

    It's possible that this is the first time that many of you have ever had to organise a funeral reception, and the experience may leave you feeling overwhelmed.

    If you aren't sure how to get started, use these pointers as a basic guideline to get you going.

    Where Should You Hold the Funeral Reception?

    It will depend on what members of your family prefer. On the other hand, the majority of families decide to host the funeral reception either at their own home or the home of a close relative.

    Additionally, if the funeral home has a banquet hall, families have the option of holding the reception that follows the funeral there.

    Restaurants are another common location for funeral receptions. Families may choose to rent out a private room for the reception to give friends and loved ones some privacy while they are still grieving the loss of a loved one.

    The time of the funeral reception typically coincides with the conclusion of the actual service.

    Those who were unable to attend the funeral but still wish to show their support for the family member and express their condolences can do so at this memorial service.

    How Many People Should You Expect?

    It is difficult to estimate how many people will attend a funeral reception because you do not know how many of the deceased person's coworkers, old friends, or colleagues will come to pay their respects. This makes it difficult to plan appropriately for the event.

    It is common practise to extend an invitation to everyone who shows up to the funeral; however, it can be difficult to anticipate who exactly will be in attendance at a service.

    Always make sure to plan for more than you expect, and remember to take into account any organisations, teams, or clubs that they may have been a part of in the past.

    When it comes to hosting a funeral reception, some families opt for a more personal and secluded approach.

    It may be a "invite-only" event, which means that the location of the event as well as the specifics of it are only shared with very close friends and family members.

    It is perfectly acceptable for you to dress in this manner if it is the manner in which you feel the most at ease, particularly if the funeral reception will be held at your house. Arranging a funeral in Melbourne can be difficult. That's why Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is here to help guide you through the process and make sure that the wishes of your loved one are fulfilled.

    In addition, if you are concerned about the expenses that are associated with hosting a funeral reception, a private reception might be the most cost-effective option for you to pursue.

    What Food & Drink Should You Provide?

    Organizing catering for an event can be difficult and expensive, especially when you consider the limited amount of time you have to make preparations.

    However, you might be surprised at how reasonably priced the catering services offered by your neighbourhood deli or grocery store are for a funeral reception.

    You could also check with a local restaurant, choosing one that was the decedent's go-to spot when they were still alive.

    In most instances, members of the family and close friends will also contribute something. Before placing a large order, you should take that into consideration as well.

    When it comes to planning a funeral reception, many restaurants, delis, and catering services are aware of the immediate need and are able to accommodate the short notice that is given.

    When planning the reception for your loved one, it can be a thoughtful gesture to hold it at a restaurant that they were especially fond of.

    As long as it is a place where you can relax and be yourself, its level of sophistication and opulence are irrelevant. It is possible that this will be a meaningful way for you to remember your loved one.

    The amount of money you have available, the total number of attendees, and the venue all play a role in determining the variety and quantity of food you purchase for a funeral reception. If you are looking for funeral directors in Melbourne, Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is able to assist you in personalising and individualising each funeral service to make it a truly memorable experience and a fitting tribute. 

    The best approach is to limit the number of different food and drink options. If you decide to put together a meal, our funeral directors strongly advise going with a buffet-style arrangement for the menu, which should include the following items:

    • Garden salad
    • Baked ziti
    • Dinner rolls
    • Fruit tray
    • Brownie tray
    • Coffee
    • A glass of iced tea

    The time of day that you plan to hold the funeral reception is another factor that must be taken into consideration.

    If you are planning on having a funeral reception in the early afternoon after the morning service, consider serving lighter options as opposed to planning on having a dinner reception after the service in the late afternoon or early evening.

    How Can Others Help Make Things Easier?

    what to say at a funeral

    Following the passing of a loved one, it is common practise for people to say, "Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!"

    Make use of the opportunity they've provided. Request that they bring a dish that needs to be covered, drinks, or assistance with any of the other dozens of tasks that will need to be completed.

    It will not only make things easier for you, but it will also give your loved ones the satisfaction of knowing that they are assisting you in your time of need.

    In the midst of grief, it's easy to lose track of the little things that matter the most. Give other people the opportunity to assist you with these.

    At a funeral reception, even something as seemingly insignificant as bringing extra paper plates, plastic cups, serving utensils, ice, or napkins can make a significant difference.

    If the funeral reception will be held in your home, it is a good idea to ask a select few attendees if they would be willing to assist you in cleaning up after the event.

    It is common for difficult feelings to begin to surface after everyone else has left, and having people who care about you nearby can make it easier to cope with these feelings.

    Can You Set up Something Special?

    Keep in mind that the purpose of this event is to help honour the loved one you have lost. It's possible that people will travel from all over the country to express their condolences.

    At the entrance to the funeral reception, place a table on which guests can place photographs and other mementoes that bring back fond memories of a deceased friend.

    Make sure everyone knows that they can bring something to add to the table if they want to.

    People will be able to begin sharing their memories of the person who was loved by everyone by using these pictures, which will be an excellent conversation starter.

    There may be some ceremonies held at the funeral reception even if the deceased person was cremated after they passed away.

    The family is free to choose whatever they feel is appropriate in order to honour their departed loved ones. The following are some of the most common types of ceremonies that are held at funeral receptions:

    • Ceremony involving the scattering of ashes Open mic for speakers
    • I was paying homage by playing a video.
    • A ritual involving the lighting of candles

    Funeral Reception Planning, Your Loved One, and You

    Expect to have a lot on your plate as you move forwards with the funeral reception planning for your loved one who passed away. (Oh, and if you find that you will need to refer back to this page in the future, be sure to book mark it!)

    Despite this, or perhaps even more so, it is essential to keep in mind the importance of being kind to oneself during this period.

    You are participating in the period of mourning that everyone else is, but at the same time, you are doing something that is distinctive.

    You are currently making preparations for the reception that will follow their funeral, and you are aware that this is all a part of your efforts to pay tribute to the memory of your cherished one. Therefore, it is important to keep the following brief points in mind:

    • Ask for help. Don't be afraid to get other people involved. It's stressful to plan an event, and it's even more stressful when you're grieving after a loss. Therefore, if you feel yourself starting to become overwhelmed with everything, don't think twice about asking for some assistance from a friend or relative who is close to you. Additionally, everyone wants to assist because they see it as a way to do something in memory of the deceased person. Therefore, let other people lend a hand!
    • If something is causing you stress, don't make the situation worse by doing too much of it. It's wonderful when things are kept in their simplest form.
    • Allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to complete everything that you have set out to achieve. In the same vein as the actual funeral service, it is highly likely that there will be less than a week to plan and organise the reception.
    • Try to avoid being a perfectionist. Don't forget to take deep breaths. Bear in mind that what you are doing is not about you; during the reception, all attention will still be on your loved ones and the life that they lived. Keep this in mind at all times. No one is going to notice the minor point that you forgot (or, more likely, that you're just worried you'll forget), and there's no reason to be concerned about it. Visit Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals to know more about our prepaid funeral service and find the best funeral option for your unique situation.

    Thank you for reading! We hope that through this guide, we could provide you with some valuable information that you can use to your advantage as you plan for your loved one's funeral reception.

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