Catering for a Funeral Reception or Wake

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Serving Refreshments at a Funeral Reception or Wake

Whilst it is not always necessary to offer refreshments at a funeral – the reason mourners are there is to pay their respects to a much-loved relative, friend or colleague – people may have travelled some distance, so it is nice to offer something before they leave.

Also, sharing food is an integral part of many societies, and the customs and rituals within them. At a funeral gathering, it can provide an opportunity for people to come together, talk, share memories and thoughts, and support each other in their loss.

How Many People Will be Attending the Funeral Reception?

First, think about the number of people attending. This may help you to decide what will be possible within the budget you have.

Where is the Funeral Reception Being Held?

Where the gathering is held may inform the type of refreshments you offer. If it is in a local pub or hotel, they will be able to provide food and drink. If it is at home or in a village hall you may want to get some help from family and friends, or find a local caterer or delivery service.

What Type of Food and Drink to Serve at a Funeral Reception or Wake?

The food and drink that you offer at a funeral reception or wake is a matter of personal choice. It may be that the person who has died made arrangements or made their wishes known, either in writing or during conversations with those closest to them.

There are no rules. It is always lovely to choose something that reminds you of them. It may be that the person had a favourite type of food or drink – a passion for bangers and mash, cakes and pastries, or they were a committed vegan. They may have loved beer or Champagne, or afternoon tea.

The main thing is not to let this be an added pressure or worry, at a time when you are grieving and may already feel overwhelmed with the many other things you have to organise.

If you can, find others who can help with this task.

Enlist the Help of Family and Friends

Family and friends are often only too pleased to help with the catering. This can take the pressure off you and also help to keep costs down. It may be that each person brings a plate of food for a buffet, or a friend is great at baking or making sandwiches and would love to be in charge of that. Don’t be afraid to ask and to allocate tasks.

Ordering In

There are hundreds of delivery services and companies from which you can order everything from sandwiches, fish and Chips, three course meals to canapes. This saves a great deal of time, stress and energy and there is something for most budgets.

There are also food vans that come and park at a venue and offer everything from pizzas to waffles.

Appointing a Caterer

It may be that planning and making food on top of everything else is too much to cope with, particularly if you are expecting a large number of mourners. Choosing a venue that can provide food is an option, or you could appoint a caterer or an event planner to assist you. Please visit Caterers Inspiration and Caterers & Planners Providers sections of whiteballoon.

How whiteballoon Can Help

Details of Providers, plus items and images from our Inspiration pages can be saved to a personalised Ideas Folder in our Planning Tools section. There is also an Attendees Form on which to record the names and details of those attending. This can help with keeping track of numbers.

All our Planning Tools are free to use. Just Register to securely save information to your folder.

They can be printed out and, if you wish, shared with family, friends, your celebrant or funeral director.

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