DIY Funerals

Find out what’s involved with planning a DIY funeral

Last updated: 16 March 2017

After the death of a loved one you might decide not to use a funeral director. Some families choose instead to arrange the funeral themselves in what is commonly known as a DIY funeral.

Before you decide

The decision to arrange a DIY funeral should not be taken lightly. Some people find the process helpful, but for some it is too stressful to organise everything themselves, especially during an already difficult time. Be sure that you can handle the arrangements, both practically and emotionally. It can help to have plenty of support from family and friends as you arrange the funeral. Being able to call on them for advice may be invaluable.

One of the main issues that needs to be considered is where you will keep your loved one until the funeral. Whereas funeral directors have specialist refrigeration facilities, if you decide to undertake a DIY funeral you will need to find a suitable place to store your loved one at the right temperature. Practical considerations such as this need to be thought about carefully before you commit to a DIY funeral.

Arranging a DIY funeral

If you want to arrange the funeral yourself, instead of via a funeral director, you will need to organise each element of the service, transport and committal yourself. This will require speaking directly with providers, such as crematoria, religious organisations and coffin manufacturers.

Elements you may need to consider include the following:

  • Buying a coffin
  • Booking a time slot for the service at your preferred venue
  • Hiring a celebrant to officiate the service
  • Hiring any transport required
  • Securing a burial plot
  • Hiring a gravedigger
  • Ordering memorial masonry or commemorative plaques
  • Ordering floral tributes
  • Ordering funeral stationery such as order of service booklets
  • Making choices about music, hymns, readings
  • Booking a venue for the wake
  • Posting an obituary in local or national newspapers