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Planning a Post Funeral Reception

August 1, 2019

A reception following a funeral is an opportunity for friends and family to support one another, share stories and memories of someone they cared about, connect with others who are grieving, and continue to celebrate the life of their loved one. If you are planning a post-funeral reception, here are some ideas that you can use to help with the process.

While it is not required to hold a post-funeral reception or luncheon, it can be an important part of the grieving process and an extension of a loving life tribute, allowing family and friends to gather in a more informal atmosphere. Post-funeral receptions range from casual pot lucks at someone’s home to a sit-down luncheon at a restaurant or banquet hall. Remember, the event can be as simple or as involved as you prefer.

Don’t Do It Alone

One of the most important things to keep in mind when organizing a post-funeral reception is that you may also be grieving. Planning an event can be stressful even in the best of times, and when you’re also in mourning it can become overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Your funeral director is an expert in the field and can guide you through the process. At Keohane Funeral Home, we are here to help. We can set up a reception at one of our funeral homes, or we can help you make plans for an event at a different location in the area.

Keep in mind that friends and family want to be there for you and would welcome the opportunity to pitch in. If someone offers to help or make food, take them up on it. Lean on your community, and they will be happy to have a way to support you in your time of need.

To keep stress to a minimum, consider pre-planning your own funeral reception. By pre-planning, you can ensure that people celebrate your life in the way that you want and avoid putting the burden on your loved ones.

Where to Hold the Post-Funeral Reception

The most common locations for a post-funeral reception are at the funeral home, at the home of a friend or family member, at a church banquet hall, or at a local restaurant. You might want to consider a park or other outdoor venue, depending on the time of year. When considering a venue, decide how many people might attend, the type of atmosphere that is important to you or to the deceased, as well as what costs might be involved.

Most often, the reception is held either immediately following the funeral service or within a few days, but that is not a fast and hard rule. If you decide to hold the reception at a later time and date, consider the travel schedules of friends and family who might have to travel from a distance to attend the funeral.

Make it Personal

With the trend toward funerals becoming more personalized, post-funeral receptions have become more personal as well. The event can help create a tribute to the personality of the deceased and honor the things that the deceased loved to do in life. There are creative ways to add meaning to the event as a loving way to honor the life of a loved one. You can put together a memory board of photos and memorabilia or create a video tribute that can be played at the event. If your loved one had a special hobby, career or interest, you can make centerpieces or create a display table with special items, such as fishing lures for the fishing enthusiast or medals and uniforms for a veteran. If your loved one liked to cook or enjoyed a special dish, include that on the menu for the event.

One of the purposes of the funeral reception is to give those attending a chance to share memories and reflect on the life of the deceased. You can help promote interaction by providing notecards for those who attend to write down their memories of the loved one. You can build a memory tree by creating small ornaments with messages for the loved one or you can simply ask if people would like to share a memory.

Remember, if you are planning a post-funeral reception it’s important to ask for help, find a venue that works best for you and your family, and make the reception more personal by including touches that bring your loved one to mind.

For any questions regarding post-funeral receptions, please contact us at any of our locations or call our main office at 1-800-Keohane (800-536-4263).


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