Funeral services are more than a time for grief; they’re a chance to tell a loved one’s life story. Families want their loved one to be remembered for who they were, and their funeral service desires reflect this. According to the NFDA, personalization is one of the top funeral trends. More people want services to creatively show their loved one’s personality, hobbies, passions, and interests.
Through photo displays, releasing ceremonies, tribute videos, and other personalization elements, the deceased is remembered for what made them special. And your funeral home can stay on top of funeral trends and embrace change.
This guide explains how to understand your client families’ wants and needs when it comes to funerals. By putting those desires into action, you create a personalized service that truly memorializes the deceased and reflects their individuality.
Effective Communication Leads to a Personalized Funeral Service
By talking to the family, you can learn about the deceased’s passions and personality to create a personalized funeral service. Below are a few steps to follow for effective communication.
- Do Your Research
The first step in creating a personalized service is learning who the deceased was. Their hobbies and interests are the basis for the funeral service. Before meeting the family, it’s a good idea to do some research to prepare. See what information you’re able to find about the deceased, such as what activities they were involved in.
- Find Somewhere Comfortable to Meet
Meeting at a location other than your funeral home may help families get in the mindset of personalization. Consider meeting at their home or somewhere the deceased liked to go, such as their favorite restaurant. Or, if the family prefers to meet at the funeral home, that is perfectly fine, too. You can even meet virtually via video chat, if needed.
- Language and Tone Are Key
When meeting the family, your tone and how you phrase everything is just as important as planning the funeral itself. For personalization, it’s important to ask questions to get inspiration for personalizing the service. While they respond to your questions, you should actively listen to their responses, so you don’t miss anything important.
- Organization = Success
By staying organized, you and the family can rest assured that their loved one’s personalized funeral service will go smoothly. To stay organized, you can make a checklist of essential information, determine what personalization projects are the most important, and create a backup plan. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
How to Stand Out in Your Funeral Home’s Community
Offering additional unique features for families creates more opportunities for personalization. Below are a few ideas your funeral home can start with!
- Be Unique
Adding unique features and amenities to your funeral home helps comfort grieving families. It’s about seeing what’s trending in the funeral profession and asking families what they want in a personalized funeral service. For example, a few ideas are providing families with coffee and free WiFi or adding a memorial garden.
- Update Your Lobby
Another way to personalize your funeral home without adding a new facility is to update your lobby. Hire an interior designer or decorator, or you can make a few simple changes yourself. For example, you can update your furniture, change the color scheme and wall color, or plant some fresh flowers.
- Offer Personalization Programs
Your funeral home’s programs not only create opportunities to get to know your community, they create another opportunity for personalization. For example, a holiday remembrance program pays tribute to the deceased during the holiday season. A few other ideas are educational seminars and webinars about funeral planning and grief.
Creative Ideas to Personalize the Funeral Service
Through decorations, floral arrangements, and other unique elements, the funeral service truly reflects the deceased’s personality and interests. Below are a few ideas!
Think outside of the box by having the funeral service in a unique location. This automatically adds personalization, especially if the location was somewhere special to the deceased. A few ideas are a family member’s home or backyard, community park or garden, beach alongside the water, or banquet hall or barn.
Personalize the funeral service by establishing a creative central theme. It can be a seasonal theme, such as winter or fall, or it can focus on the deceased’s favorite hobbies, such as baseball or traveling. For example, you can incorporate the theme in the funeral service’s colors, decorations, and mementos.
A funeral can quickly be transformed into a personalized service and celebration of life through funeral decorations and memorabilia. For example, you can personalize the floral arrangements, music, photo displays, and other decorations with the deceased’s memorabilia. Involving the family in the funeral service also makes it more personalized.
Unique Ways to Personalize the Post-Funeral Reception
For centuries food and grieving have paired together when coping with a loss. Comfort food goes a long way in improving someone’s mood, and it does exactly what the name says; it comforts people.
Some thoughtful and delicious food options to consider when building a personalized menu are the deceased’s favorite foods. Family members also can make their signature dishes that the deceased loved. If the deceased liked to cook, make the deceased’s own recipes to serve and give funeral attendees a copy of the recipe as a memorial gift.
Another memorial gift option is a bag of the deceased’s favorite candy or snack. And don’t forget about the deceased’s favorite beverages, such as their favorite soda or kind of coffee. Everything can be personalized in some way. The food, refreshments, and decorations all come together to create a personalized post-funeral reception. For example, napkins can match the funeral theme or be the deceased’s favorite color.
How to Personalize the Burial/Cremation
Both burial and cremation have opportunities for personalization. The casket or urn itself can be personalized by having an original design, color, or shape. It can be as simple as their favorite colors or shaped like one of their favorite objects.
Cremation goes hand in hand with personalization, as families can scatter their loved one’s ashes in a special location or use them to make a memorial keepsake. To add more personalization, families can dedicate a memorial bench to their loved one at the ash scattering location. Witnessing the cremation allows for more personal funerals, as well.
If being environmentally friendly was important to the deceased, families can choose green funeral options to reflect this passion and help save the environment in their honor. There are pine caskets, biodegradable urns, and other green casket and urn options for families to choose from.
With Tribute Center, you can create personalized funeral register books, memorial folders, and more for your families. Download Tribute Center to start creating personalized funeral stationery products!