Personalizing a Funeral Service While Being Mindful of Expenses

By: VGFS
Saturday, October 24, 2020

Planning a funeral service for a loved one can be both an honor and a financial stressor for the bereaved.

These costs can vary greatly depending on where you live and which extras and upgrades you select. If you are on a restrictive budget, you do have options. Below are some helpful ways that you can personalize a funeral service to make it meaningful and memorable without overextending your budget.

Decide between a ground burial and cremation.

Compared to a traditional funeral service, cremation is generally the more affordable disposition method but it isn’t right for everyone. Ultimately, you and your loved ones will have to decide what’s right for you. By choosing an in-ground interment, additional costs will be required, such as for the casket, burial plot, and grave marker. Cremation was surging in popularity long before the COVID-19 pandemic cast it further into the spotlight. Its lower cost and added flexibility are attractive to many grieving families. Recognizing that some people who choose cremation still want the opportunity to incorporate elements of a more traditional funeral service, visionary funeral providers are now offering enhanced experiences such as a memorial service, visitations and viewings. It’s always best to discuss your options and questions with your funeral director before making any final decisions.

Give thought to the service’s location.

Traditional funeral services often take place in the funeral home. Hosting the gathering at a public park, fellowship hall, or in a room at a community center can be more cost effective. These locations also work well for memorial services, which can be held days, weeks, or even months after your loved one has passed away. Think about locations that were meaningful to the departed or your family members. Holding the event in a familiar place, where memories can be shared and re-lived, can provide a great deal of comfort to the grieving.

Brainstorm ways to personalize the space economically.

If you opt for a traditional funeral service, you might consider skipping elaborate flower arrangements, for example. Instead, infuse personality into the room by asking guests to bring scented candles, favorite bible verses inscribed on slips of paper, or other sentimental items to place around the casket. You can also create a special space by involving the departed’s personality, hobbies, and interests. For example, if your loved one was a big Ravens fan, you could ask friends and family to wear something purple and enjoy a repast with his/her favorite game-day foods.

Memorialize your loved one in a creative obituary.

This type of obituary includes much more than just a list of dates, names, and locations. Rather, it aims to tell the story of the person—what they valued, who they loved, what made them so special. Inserting a short anecdote, such as how your mother baked bread every Sunday for the local food bank, can add a unique touch that will make her obituary stand out from the rest. If you are unsure of what to write, ask your friends and family members to share their favorite stories.

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy.

As you celebrate his or her life, of course you want the homegoing to be as special as possible. Remember, it’s the amount of heart you put into the gathering that will make it exceptional.

If you need additional tips or suggestions for your loved one’s final arrangements, please reach out to us anytime. We are always here to help you to make the best decisions for your unique situation.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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