But deciding on the wake afterwards can be just as important, making sure you give loved ones a chance to come together and allowing more of the personality of the deceased to come through.
Here, Golden Leaves sets out the 10 steps to plan a wake to ensure that it pays tribute to the life of the deceased.
Decide who is coming
The first step in planning a wake is to decide who you want to attend. Options include inviting everyone who is going to the service to the wake, to just inviting those who were especially close to the deceased if you want a more personal event.
Pick the location
Next, it is important to choose where you want to hold the wake. Many people choose to hold them at a restaurant or club as this prevents the host from having to worry about providing food themselves. The location could also be somewhere that was important to the deceased.
Others choose to hold the wake at home, allowing loved ones more privacy.
Plan the food
Whether holding the event at a restaurant or at home it is important to provide food. It does not have to be formal food but make sure to provide options for everyone, including vegetarians and those with allergies.
Pick the music
Music is an important part of a funeral (link to funeral music article) and allows the personality of the deceased to come through. Make sure to prepare some of the deceased’s favourite songs for the wake, which will ensure that their personality comes across.
When sending out the invitations to the funeral, make sure to let people know where and when they are expected to be at the funeral and wake, as well as any dress code.
Sort out parking
If holding the wake at home, make sure to let people know in your invitations where they can park.
Ask for requests
If you have any special requests, including for donations to charity, let them know this in the invitation too.
Get photos together
Bringing together photos of the deceased for loved ones to see will make the wake more personal. These can be printed off and placed in frames or an album.
Decide on children
Some people prefer children not to attend funerals and wakes so decided ahead of time whether you are happy to have children and let people know in your invitations.
Pick memorial tribute
Many people like to pay tribute to the deceased with a memorial event, including a fireworks display.
Golden Leaves can help you choose the right pre-paid plan for you, ensuring that your wishes are carried out when the times comes and helping you plan your service.