What's the best option for a DIY Funeral? FuneralGuide.co.uk

DIY Funerals - A Short Guide 

Did you know you can bury a loved one in your back garden?  

As long as a few rules are abided by you can avoid a funeral director altogether. 

Many grieving families wish to go through the do it yourself route for more than just funeral cost savings. Others of course feel that arranging the funeral with the help of a Funeral Director is a better fit for them. A DIY funeral, for the vast majority, is actually quite straight forward

Furthermore, the feedback from Rosie Inman-Cook of NaturalDeathCentre.org is that agencies, on the whole, are very helpful. The only recommended pre-requisite for going through with a DIY funeral is  having a number of able-bodied persons from your family & friends to help. 

The other big benefit of organising a funeral yourself is that it's an incredibly cathartic process which helps immensely with the grieving/mourning process. And when you think about it, it does make sense as families are doing the last thing for their loved one themselves, and with love.  

At the time of someone's passing, it is a difficult moment, a period of grieving will ensue after the shock. Arranging a funeral yourself can be achieved and the short guide below will hopefully assist in going some way to getting started and potentially saving money on burial costs too.

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Arranging the funeral is only one piece of the puzzle. When a person dies their body is usually kept somewhere before a service.

This can be any length of time between three days and two weeks in some areas. Some people keep the loved one at home but this does not require embalming.

Saying that, common sense and a healthy dose of reality is required re cooling and time constraints - not all funeral directors have proper refrigeration and some let bodies rot.

Hospital mortuaries are usually happy to store for a few days and will dress and put  people into the coffin if asked nicely.

When enlisting a Funeral Director, they already have on hand refrigeration facilities and a person to apply make up and clothe the body.

These are elements most people would prefer to take for granted rather than arrange a DIY funeral. If you are to take on the duties of a Funeral Director, you will need to consider most if not all of the following agenda.

Speaking to crematoriums, religious bodies, individual coffin and cask manufacturers as well as the details you were seeing to already.

Finding a place to keep the body

  • Deciding upon a coffin, casket or urn, styling and purchasing and arranging delivery - One phone call away and most deliver within 24 hours. 
  • If you are religious, using your local church or crematorium for both service and final resting place
  • ​Sourcing a gravedigger for hire (only required if burial is in your garden), cemetery masonry and plaque, burial plot dressage
  • Hiring a celebrant to oversee the service, religious or otherwise - A phone call away.
  • Plan and draw up service schedule, booklets and stationery, with floral tributes (families do this anyway with the funeral director)
  • Organising transport for not only the coffin or casket but family - Taxi's are great for this. 
  • Posting death notices in local and national newspapers and notifying family and friends - not as hard as it seems, and only a phone call away.
  • Book a venue for any wake or arrange for transport to the person's home - families will do this anyway. 

Which situations would suit a DIY Funeral?

Organising a DIY funeral will not be for everyone. Occasions where they might be suitable for any family wishing to take on different aspects personally by themselves. If the death is one that is being managed or known before the fact, the person dying may wish to take part in organising their own funeral. This is something that could be experienced by close family and friends who wish to help. Ultimately this is the most personalised funeral option, it will most likely work out much cheaper too.

Home Burial  / Burial on Private land

Another aspect of a DIY funeral could be that of placing the deceased within the confines of property and land that you own. You do not have to use a Church yard or recognised consecrated ground. In fact you can not only bury loved ones in your garden, but in woods you own, fields, any private land as long as it meets certain environmental criteria.

Who would change their land to be a burial site? (click to expand)

Are there any rules on burying a body in your garden?

Why burying on small plots isn't ideal:

Any last details?

Funeral Guide