Reception after the funeral

The reception after the funeral, which is sometimes called the wake, is an opportunity to mourn the passing of the person who has died and, as importantly, to celebrate their life. The reception also gives friends and relatives the opportunity to express their condolences and support for the deceased person’s close family.

The gathering can take many forms from a traditional cup of tea and sandwiches to a drinks party at home or in the pub.

Choosing a location

You need to decide the sort of gathering that you and other family members want. The deceased person may well have made their own preferences clear either to the family or in a letter of wishes.

If you decide to use a local hall, restaurant or other location you should make the booking as soon as you have decided the date for the funeral. The funeral director, who you have appointed, will be able to help both in choosing an appropriate location or in making the booking.

Arranging catering

You may find in the days following the death that understandably family members do not feel up to the job of preparing the food and drink for the reception.

Instead, you may want to ask other relatives and friends to help with the catering for the reception. They are likely to appreciate being able to assist and will feel included as a result. Alternatively, you may find it easier to use outside caterers and again the funeral director will be able to help arrange this.

You will need to estimate out how many people will be attending the reception. This can be difficult to do and you may need to ask a couple of family members to help you by phoning around to quantify numbers.

Special touches

As part of the increasing trend towards personalising funerals, families are introducing special touches into the arrangements for the reception. These special touches may be a simple display of some photos of the deceased person, a choice of music, a favourite choice of wine or some informal reminiscences from close friends.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.