Although funerals can be a very sad occasion, many people choose to arrange a post-funeral reception after the event to give people the chance to come together. These events are a celebration of the life of the deceased and they allow mourners the opportunity to talk to each other outside of the constraints of the formal service. Many people find that these events are a far more comfortable place to talk to another and share their memories of the deceased. However, organising a post-funeral reception does add to the overall total cost of the funeral and mourning period. You will need to consider a few things if you do want to organise a post-funeral gathering.
If you are arranging a post-funeral reception, you will need to carefully consider the venue for the gathering. You can hold the gathering at your own home, the home of the deceased or another private venue. It will be less expensive to hold the gathering at your home, however you will need to take charge of organising things and making food at a time when you will be very busy with funeral arrangements. You should also consider whether your home would meet the mobility and space needs of all of the potential mourners. On the other hand, holding the post-funeral gathering at a private venue may not be a viable option if you only have limited funds available to you. Some funeral directors can help you to organise catering for an event that is held at your home, which may be available at a lower cost than the food which is served at private venues.
If you do decide to hold a post-venue gathering at a private facility, your funeral director may be able to help you to make arrangements. If you do not have an existing preference for the event, they may be able to tell you about possible options in the local area. Take the time to think about the logistics of how people will be able to get between the venue of the services and the location of the post-funeral gathering. People will be less likely to want to attend a gathering in a remote location where they will struggle to park. You also need to consider how people will get to and from the venue if they are not familiar with the local area. A hidden gem may be a lovely place to remember your loved one, but you won’t be able to share those memories properly if the other mourners cannot find you.
Post-funeral gatherings can be just for close friends and family, or the invitation can be extended towards anybody who knew the deceased. If the gathering is open to everyone, it is a good idea to take a moment to remind people about it at the end of the service. Alternatively, you may also wish to announce if there is not going to be a gathering, because this can help to prevent confusion. If you do not organise a formal gathering, some mourners may wish to hold their own informal gathering. Some people only get the opportunity to see each other at events like funerals, so try not to begrudge them this opportunity to catch up.
If you are planning on arranging a post-funeral gathering, you will need to consider whether you wish for food and drinks to be served. The food that you serve could be a small buffet or it could be a larger meal. It is normally easier to plan a buffet-style meal, because this does not require you to know how many people will be attending the gathering. Most people also find it easier to consume finger food at a post-funeral gathering, because they can pick and choose the foods that they want, without any pressure to eat a lot. Buffet food can be eaten whilst stood up, which will enable you to move around the room and talk to all of the different people that you want to catch-up with.
If you do decide to have the post-funeral gathering at your home, you may be able to ask other guests to bring dishes with them. This option works well for people with larger families, as it helps to create a really informal attitude that allows mourners the opportunity to unwind. If you do ask people to bring sharing portions of food along with them, you should consider delegating to them, otherwise you could end up with a lot of versions of the same dish.
Alcohol can help people to relax and talk to each other at a post-funeral gathering; however it is a good idea to avoid any situations where people might be tempted to overindulge. If someone gets drunk and makes a scene it can be very upsetting for the other guests.