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Even if you are wanting to have a full traditional service, there are ways to save money and still have a full service. In this third part, the focus will be ideas on how to save throughout the funeral service process.
Before the Service
Take advantage of the funeral home obituary
Most funeral homes have a website that allows you to post an obituary along with a photo or video. These online obituaries allow for family and friends to post condolences and photos. The obituary can include a life story, service date, and even a memorial contribution suggestion. Some funeral homes are able to livestream a service through the obituary page which would enable loved ones who are unable to attend in person to still participate in the service.
Utilize social media
When deciding on how to send out invitations, consider an electronic invitation. This can allow you to send out invitations all at once, without the expense of a physical invitation. Additionally, if you are planning on livestreaming the service, the electronic invitation can include the link to the livestream.
During the Service
Use personal items to memorialize the deceased
While flowers are beautiful and can brighten a service, having items that represent the person who passed can bring their presence to the memorial. Having their photos, crafts and hobbies on display can spark memories, conversation and healing.
Sometimes it can be very healing to channel emotions into creation. The act of making a video to memorialize a loved one, making seed bombs to hand out, or putting together flower arrangements can save money as well as help facilitate healing. Another idea is to choose a casket that can be written on to draw or write goodbye messages on.
After the Service
Host a potluck
It is very healing to gather and share memories with friends and family. After the formal service is over, consider hosting a potluck for the reception. Everyone can bring a dish that reminds them of the person who passed and share in remembering the deceased.
Create an online memorial space
On social media, family members and friends can share memories, videos, and photos of the person who has passed away, that can be added to over the years. Online photo services such as Google Photos allows members to store photos online, with free unlimited high quality storage. If you create a shareable album that family and friends can add photos to, it can become a life story in photos. The platform will also allow for a print album to be ordered, if desired.
Make sure to read the other three articles in this series, covering funeral packages, alternative burial ideas, and money available to help cover the cost of a service.