Creating a Unique Funeral Service 

Losing a loved one is a deeply personal experience, and creating a unique funeral service can be a meaningful way to honour their life and celebrate their individuality. In New Zealand, various options are available to customise a funeral service. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create a unique and heartfelt farewell for your loved one.

Step 1: Reflect on the Individual's Life and Wishes
Take time to reflect on the life of the person who has passed away. Consider their passions, interests, and values. Reflect on any conversations or wishes they may have expressed regarding their funeral arrangements. This step will lay the foundation for personalising the service.

Step 2: Choose the Setting
Consider the setting that would best reflect the individual's personality and preferences. You can opt for a traditional funeral home but also explore unique locations such as a beach, park, family home, or a place that holds special meaning to the deceased. Obtain any necessary permits or permissions if choosing a non-traditional location.

Step 3: Select a Celebrant or Officiant
Find a celebrant or officiant to lead the funeral service and help create a personalised ceremony. Choose someone experienced, compassionate, and willing to work closely with you to honour your loved one's life. Meet with the celebrant to discuss your ideas, share stories, and collaborate on crafting a unique service.

Step 4: Customise the Ceremony
Work closely with the celebrant to personalise the funeral ceremony. Incorporate elements such as favourite music, readings, poetry, or religious/spiritual traditions that hold significance to the deceased. Encourage family and friends to contribute by sharing memories, stories or performing unique musical pieces.

Step 5: Create a Memorial Display
Design a memorial display that reflects the individual's life. Include photographs, memorabilia, artwork, or personal items symbolising their passions, achievements, and interests. Consider creating a video montage or slideshow showcasing their life journey.

Step 6: Arrange for Special Touches
Consider incorporating special touches to make the service unique. These can include releasing balloons or doves, lighting candles, planting a tree in their memory, or creating a memory jar where attendees can leave handwritten notes or messages.

Step 7: Explore Alternative Forms of Disposition
If traditional burial doesn't align with your loved one's wishes or values, explore alternative forms of disposition and research options such as cremation, natural burial, or eco-friendly alternatives. Consult with funeral professionals who specialise in these practices to ensure your loved one's wishes are respected.

Step 8: Share Funeral Details and Invite Attendees
Communicate the funeral details with family, friends, and other loved ones. Provide the service's date, time, location, and any additional information or requests. Consider creating personalised invitations or utilising online platforms to share the details efficiently.

Step 9: Engage in Post-Funeral Activities
Consider hosting post-funeral activities that allow attendees to gather, share memories, and support one another, and this can be a simple gathering at a favourite restaurant, a picnic in the park, or any activity that reflects your loved one's preferences.

Step 10: Reflect and Preserve Memories
Reflect on the funeral service and its impact on honouring your loved one's life. Consider preserving memories by creating a memory book, photo album, or a digital memorial website where friends and family can contribute their memories and messages.

Remember, an essential aspect of creating a unique funeral service is honouring and celebrating your loved one's life in a meaningful way to you and those who knew them best. By personalising the service, you create a lasting tribute.