Planning a funeral for a loved one can be quite a daunting prospect. They meant so much to you in life, so you want to make sure that you do them justice by giving them the send-off that they deserve. But, just because the majority of people go for a traditional religious funeral service in a church, that doesn’t mean that you have to do the same.

Non-religious options

A funeral does not need to be conducted by a minister or priest. Humanist funerals are conducted by celebrants, who will take direction from family and friends. The speeches, the order of ceremony and what happens are up to you.

The Humanist UK website can show you where to find a celebrant in your area.

And there is no reason a funeral needs to be led by an outsider at all. It can take the form of family and friends each saying a piece.


Themed funerals are an increasingly popular option these days, as many people prefer the idea of their family and friends marking their passing according to their interests. Motorbike side car hearses are available for motorbike aficionados, for example, or a favourite football team’s colours are used. If the person was an avid reader, why not give away one of their books to everyone who attends?


Eco-friendly options

Cardboard and wicker coffins and bodies that have not been embalmed allows for faster decomposition and a return of the body to a natural state. Woodland burial sites often plant trees on the site of the grave, allowing the body to nourish and replenish growth. For a list of woodland burial sites in the UK, check out the Woodland Burial Sites website.

Direct cremation

Direct cremations can lower the costs of funerals dramatically, with prices starting from as little as £995. At a direct cremation, the funeral director takes the body, it is cremated in private without any one attending and the ashes are returned to the relatives afterwards. Families can then spend the money they have saved on a party in honour of their loved one instead.

Memorial services

Memorial services are often used so that more people can pay their respects to the person who died. They are common for people who are influential in a community or famous. The body usually isn’t present, having been buried or cremated earlier. It allows for more people to attend.


If you would like to get in touch with Finders International regarding tracing heirs or assets to estates, please contact us today on Freephone 0800 085 8796, email [email protected] or visit our website.