Top 10 Funeral Wake Ideas
DEATH.io’s Changing Attitude to Death 2018 Report showed that 50% of us in the UK would rather have a celebration than a sombre funeral. So we’ve created a list of top ideas for celebratory funeral wakes for you to mull over before starting to planning your own. Let’s go.
1. The Pub
We’re starting humbly. For some of us, the pub has been a real cornerstone at one point in our lives: the proprietors of our local may know more about us than some of our closest friends, the beer-soaked walls may have housed our many laments about the world, and we might have even cried with joy after watching a football match in one of them.
So why wouldn’t you want your close friends and family to remember the good times by raising a pint of your favourite bitter? Pubs are low key and unfussy, but have the potential to be memorable (or unmemorable, depending on what you think constitutes a good time).
There are plenty of museums out there that aren’t shy of a dead body or two. Of all the places in the world, a museum is where you’re most likely to expect a skeleton or a set of preserved limbs. .
History buffs are well-catered for: from steam engineering lovers (the London Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford has been known for its funerals), to York Castle Museum (famous for its manicured gardens), for Roman City wall-lovers, museums are welcoming to funeral parties.
3. Music venue
If you would never be seen without a guitar strapped to your back or you were a legend on the Persian oud, you might want to think about incorporating musical elements into your funeral.
Why not hire a whole orchestra, a few singers or just the local band. Take a look at our musical funeral inspiration page here. We’d hold back on the open mic, though; we can’t guarantee this type of fun will be in everyone’s taste.
The great outdoors is so-called for a reason – fresh air, uplifting landscapes and an excellent source of Vitamin D. But when you’re dead, there’s less of need for it.
Still, a wake outside is a popular choice for dead people. Whether it’s dancing under the stars or huddling around a campfire, you don’t have to be alive to appreciate the outdoors – just make sure it’s known that you’d like to be remembered for getting your family out on one last hike.
If you were regularly seen on dance floors throughout your life then, for continuity, you might want to be known for leaving the world on one.
If life for you is a dancefloor, love is a rhythm and you’re really into cliche metaphors, then a disco wake is for you. You don’t need to hire a fancy nightclub to do this – all you need is a playlist, a decent speaker and an enthusiastic crowd.
6. Firework display
No longer solely reserved for Guy Fawkes Night, a firework display is also a great way of making sure your wake starts with a bang. You might combine this with scattering your ashes; this means you’re scattered all over the world as well as providing an excellent show for all those around you.
7. Make a guest appearance at your own wake
There’s been a rise in making a physical appearance at your own wake. Through the more sophisticated applications of embalming fluid, you can end up propping up your own bar or taking a seat in your favourite chair, or manning the buffet table.
It’s a real thing (Remember to let everyone know that this is your plan: we don’t want to be responsible for any heart attacks suffered from surprise.
8. Go on holiday
Some of us might want to save the money and make sure the remaining cash (if there is any) goes towards a jolly nice time away for the family. It could be a place where you spent a lot of your time when you were still alive, or somewhere that you connected with at some point.
There’s been instances where a bit of money has been leftover in a will for this exact reason. A man from Swansea left £3,500 to his friends (near enough the average funeral cost in Wales) to go on ‘hol to Berlin.
9. Plant a tree
Get immortalised in organic matter, and perform a ritual dance around it. This isn’t to everyone’s taste but will satisfy those who are eco-conscious nature lovers that wouldn’t settle on simply hugging a tree, but become one. For ceremonial tree rituals, look no further than The Druids and the Buddhists.
10. Throw a wake while your still alive
You don’t have to be dead to host a wake. You can choose the booze, the songs and even when it’s past your bedtime. Try it.
Find out more
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