Helpful Tips for Hosting a Memorable Repast

By: VGFS
Sunday, November 25, 2018

There are so many decisions to make as you plan the homegoing celebration for a loved one.

Aside from the many details of the funeral or memorial service itself, it’s also customary (but not required) to host a reception or repast following the event. It allows friends and family the opportunity to meet in a less formal environment. The post-funeral reception also gives mourners the chance to support one another, share stories and fond memories, and continue the celebration of life of the departed.

With the trend toward funerals becoming more personalized, the same holds true for the repast. These events can range from the casual pot luck at a family member’s home to a full sit- down dinner party at a restaurant or banquet hall. Either of these approaches, as well as anything in between, is perfectly acceptable. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the post-funeral reception food and drink. It can be as simple or as elegant as you like. Just remember to keep the purpose of the event in mind and take your own needs into consideration. Above all, give careful thought what the person whose life you are celebrating would have wanted.

Regardless of the type of repast you decide to have, the event will take some planning. Here are four tips that will help you to plan and host a memorable repast for your loved one:

1.     Consider the venue. The most common locations for funeral repasts are at the home of a friend or relative, a church banquet hall, or in the funeral home’s repast venue. Many people also opt to use a local restaurant. When thinking about the venue you will need to consider how many people might attend and the proximity from the funeral home and cemetery, if appropriate. Don’t forget about local parks or other open air locations that may be fitting.

2.     Choose the menu. The type of food and drink you serve will depend on financial considerations, the amount of time you have to prepare, and cultural factors. If a potluck is your preference, it’s not uncommon to ask close friends and family members to provide a dish. If you’re hosting the reception at a restaurant, consider offering a limited menu or a buffet-style meal. If you’re using a caterer, their representatives can help you decide the appropriate amount and type of food for the number of people you expect to attend.

3.     Personalize the repast. As mentioned previously, the purpose of the funeral reception is to give those in attendance the opportunity to share memories and further reflect on the life of the deceased. You can help foster interaction and make the reception more personal by including touches that bring to mind your loved one. There are so many ways to do this. Serving fare that was a favorite of the deceased is a popular option. Creating a photo wall or memory table are common methods of personalization, as well. Many families choose to create a video tribute that runs in the background during the repast. These are just a few of the ways you can make the funeral reception unique. You can find plenty of inspiring ideas on popular social platforms like Pinterest.

4.     Ask for help. Planning an event can be overwhelming under the best of circumstances. When you add the fact that you are grieving, it can become unmanageable. In this situation, the best thing you can do is ask for help. If you’re working with a church, ask about the possibility of using their resources or volunteers to plan the reception. If you’re having the funeral or memorial service at a funeral home, these venues may have a professional assigned for just this purpose. Turn to friends and family members who have offered to help. They will undoubtedly be relieved to have a way to support you.

The key thing to keep in mind about the repast is that there are no set rules. What you choose should depend on your budget and your personal preferences. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple and accepting help. Those attending the post-funeral reception aren’t expecting a sumptuous meal; they’re there to support you and to pay their respects to the departed. For more additional help planning a repast for your loved one, please contact one of our compassionate funeral directors today.

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 one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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