what should I serve at a Funeral Reception

Should I Plan a Reception After the Funeral?

Planning a Funeral Reception

After the loss of a loved one, many families decide to host a funeral reception for friends and family. It is customary, although not required, to hold a post-funeral reception. At this gathering, family members and friends can have the opportunity to see each other in a less formal environment. The funeral reception gives mourners the chance to share more intimate stories and memories, support each other, and continue the celebration of life.

Close family members and friends might consider throwing a reception after the funeral of a loved one, allowing those that attended the funeral a more casual, relaxed place to share stories and companionship after such a difficult time. If you do choose to host a reception after the funeral, you’ll allow all the people in your loved one’s life an opportunity to get together to share stories and friendship. It gives family and friends a chance to lighten the mood and enjoy each other’s company outside of the funeral home.

What’s a Funeral Reception?

After a funeral or memorial service, some families plan a reception. The post-funeral reception often takes place in a different setting, and it serves as a smaller and more intimate gathering to invite close friends. The post service reception is usually more casual and not tied to strict schedules, making it the perfect setting for family members and friends that are coming from outside the city.

Who’s In Charge of Planning a Funeral Reception?

Usually the immediate family members – spouse, children, or parents – are the ones tasked to plan a funeral reception. However, it can be overwhelming to plan the reception while also taking care of the funeral arrangements, burial, and everything else involved in the death of a loved one. If you rather someone else to organize the reception, you can reach out to a reliable family member, or contact your funeral home for assistance.

Personalizing a Funeral Reception

Nowadays, it is very common to hear families looking for ways to personalize a funeral, and that includes the post service receptions. Through personalization, families, and friends can make sure the funeral or memorial services speak to their loved ones and share their stories as well.

Funeral Reception Décor

The easiest way to personalize a funeral reception is by adding accents to the décor. While funeral flowers are custom and somewhat expected, you could also add:

5 Things to Remember About Planning a Funeral Reception

The funeral home will help you plan the funeral, but here are some suggestions for planning a funeral reception.

1. Where Should You Hold the Funeral Reception?

It depends on your family’s preferences. However, most families choose to host the funeral reception either at their home or the house of a close relative. Also, families can choose to plan a post-funeral reception at the funeral home if they have a banquet hall. The funeral reception is often scheduled immediately after the funeral ends. This gives an opportunity for those who could not attend the funeral to support the family member and pay their respects.

2. How Many People Should You Expect?

This is difficult to predict, considering you don’t know how many workmates, old friends, and colleagues might come to pay their respects. It’s good practice to invite all those that attend the funeral, and often, we don’t know exactly who will show up to a service. Be sure to consider the clubs, teams, and associations they might have been involved in and always plan for more than you expect.

3. What Food & Drink Should You Provide?

Getting the event catered can be expensive–and difficult considering the short time to plan. But, you might be surprised at the affordability of getting your local deli or supermarket to cater. You can also check with a local restaurant, opting for one that was a favorite of the deceased. In many cases, family and friends will also bring something. Consider that as well before placing a large order.

The type and amount of food you get for a funeral reception will depend on financial considerations, the number of people, and the location of the event. Ideally, you want to keep food and drink options simple. If you choose to prepare food, our funeral specialists always recommend following a buffet-style menu setting that includes:

  • Garden salad
  • Baked ziti
  • Dinner rolls
  • Fruit tray
  • Brownie tray
  • Coffee
  • Iced tea

4. How Can Others Help Make Things Easier?

After the death of a loved one, people usually say, “Please tell me if there’s anything I can do to help!” Take them up on this offer. Ask them to bring a covered dish or drinks, or help you with any of the other dozen tasks you’ll have to deal with. It will not only lift the burden on you but allow your friends and family to feel that they are helping in a time of need.

5. Can You Set Up Something Special?

Remember that this event is to help honor your lost loved one. People come from all over to share their sympathies. Set up a table in the front with photographs and memorabilia that remind everyone of their lost friend. Let people know that they can bring some pieces to add to the table. These pictures will be a great conversation starter and allow people to begin sharing their stories about the person you all loved.

Sometimes, when the deceased has been cremated, the funeral reception might hold some ceremonies. Ceremonies can be anything the family chooses to honor their loved ones. Some of the most common funeral reception ceremonies to think about include:

  • Scattering of the ashes ceremony
  • Open-mic speeches
  • Playing a tribute video
  • Candle lighting ceremony

Pre-Planning Funeral Reception vs. Last-Minute Funeral Reception Planning

Planning funeral arrangements last-minute can be challenging and overwhelming. That is why our funeral specialists recommend pre-planning the funeral reception, just as you start pre-planning your funeral arrangements. When you plan, you can avoid the last-minute scrambling and make sure everything your loved one wanted for their arrangements is met accordingly.

Need More Help?

If you are looking at your funeral arrangement plans, do not forget about the funeral reception. Contact The Gardens of Boca Raton today and schedule an appointment with one of our funeral specialists to go over your wishes. Together, we can plan funeral arrangements that are a true celebration of life that honors a memorable and distinctive legacy.

N.B.  Note that banquet facilities for post-service celebrations are part of the new expansion to the South Building at The Gardens of Boca Raton.