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Alternative Funerals

Alternative Funerals

The term “alternative” funerals mean different things to different people.  We understand it to mean that you want to understand what is possible and then make your own choices.  The driving principle should be to have the time, information, and flexibility to make the choices that you believe best reflect the person who has died and are most helpful for the people for whom the funeral is important.  This should never be influenced by what is convenient to the funeral director, or what is in their professional comfort-zone.

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An event that one person might call an alternative funeral, might be called something different by someone else.  In fact, the labels themselves might not be helpful.  Many of us identify with some traditions, create our own “alternative” funeral traditions, and have some very alternative funeral preferences.  We believe that the key is for you to be given the right information and be supported in a way that is responsive to your needs – and then you can create something that is the alternative funeral you feel confident that you can be happy with.

We will first listen to you, and then tailor our support to meet your needs.  We recognise that some people want to be given clear guidance and direction whereas others would prefer to be informed about their options, and then feel empowered to make the choices that are right for them.  With the right support, you can create a funeral which really looks and feels right to you, and we can do as much or as little as you would like us to.  For some this may be a home funeral, for others direct cremation and the most important thing is that people have the opportunity to feel connected after bereavement.

Our funeral directors in GuiseleyBramley (Leeds), Altrincham and Harrogate will support you through the funeral arranging process at a pace and manner that works for you.  You will find some information about alternative funeral choices below, or you might find it helpful to look at our options and prices page for some more ideas.

We find that more people are keen to travel a little further to find a funeral director that they believe will best meet their needs, so we support families from across Yorkshire.  If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to answer any questions that you many have about alternative funeral choices (or anything else funeral related).

I was listened to and anything that I mentioned was treated respectfully. Suggestions were made which gave me ideas of where I wanted to go with arrangements. I was understood and my feelings were taken into consideration.

– P M Potter

Custom coffin with flowers on
Fabric coffin with a plane on
Eco hearse close up
Woman adding flowers onto a coffin
Custom coffin with fairies on
Custom coffin with cycling on
Flower seperator

Alternative funeral choices

Having a full understanding of the alternative funeral options that are available can be extremely helpful.  When you know what is possible the choices that feel right can seem much more obvious.

We would always suggest that you give yourself a little time and space before making your final choices and feel able to change your mind as your thoughts evolve.  Your funeral director will help you to put all your choices together and will do as much, or as little, as you want them to.

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Venues – you may wish to consider holding the service at an alternative venue. We have supported families to arrange funerals which have taken place in their own home, garden, a local community center and function rooms. Many places will allow the coffin to be present

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Committal – you could have a look at the local crematoria, local authority, and natural burial grounds before making your final decision. We have helped many families arrange funerals at their local Natural Burial Grounds, which are often beautiful locations to hold an alternative funeral

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Coffins – there are many different alterative coffins to choose from; wicker, wool, cardboard, and alternatives to the traditional wooden coffin are all available and examples of these can be seen in each of our services

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Flowers – using flowers from the garden or wildflower arrangements can be an alternative to traditional funeral flowers. There are a substantial number of possibilities – for example, we have supported families who have chosen potted plants (such as chilli plants) and have arranged for personal items such as a trowel, walking boots or vegetables from the allotment to be incorporated into the arrangements

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Celebrants – you may prefer to have a civil celebrant, Humanist celebrant or religious leader to conduct the service. Alternatively, you may wish to do so yourself – it is not a requirement for the service to be led by a “professional” and many families we have worked with have created beautiful formal and informal services themselves

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Transport – there are a variety of hearses that you can choose from, and our 100% electric eco-hearse is a popular choice for people wishing to make more alternative funeral choices. If you have a suitable vehicle then you could arrange to transport the coffin yourself (with some assistance, if you prefer)

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Other alternative choices – there are many options available for stationary, refreshments, musicians, dress codes, memory tables and personal tributes.  Please contacts us if you would like to know more (or you might find our funeral arranging podcast or funeral arranging guide helpful)

Rock with flowers on
Hole for coffin
Eco Hearse

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