What do Funeral Directors do for Families? - Part 3

By: Nathan McKinlay
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

What do Funeral Directors do for Families?

3) Event Planner

Imagine your son or daughter coming to you, barely able to contain their good news. They are getting married! They have a 200 person guest list, were thinking about a rustic theme, and were back and forth between a red velvet and a white vanilla bean wedding cake. Oh, and when were these two souls hoping to merge into one? THIS SATURDAY!

While this timeline would prove very difficult for a wedding, being able to plan elaborate events in short order is something funeral directors do every day. To start, we need to secure the venue(s), the clergy or celebrant, the musicians, the caterers, the graphic design work and post the obituary in advance of the event. We would also have to plan the event around the disposition type – burial, cremation, or body donation (bequeathal). If someone is being cremated in advance of the service, we need to ensure that we ‘time’ the cremation accordingly, so that your loved one’s cremation would be complete prior to the event beginning. In the event of a body donation or bequeathal, the event usually takes place without your loved one’s physical remains. We may hold a service with a portrait in their absence.

Pre-Covid, it was always a guessing game as to how many people may attend at a funeral. Would there be 30 people or 300 people? It was the job of the funeral director to make an educated guess as to whether the particular funeral home, church or hall would be able to handle the anticipated numbers. We were, for the most part, pretty accurate. Some factors in our estimates would include the day of the week, time of day, size of family, how active the person was in the community, time of year, weather, and the age of the loved one who passed. Presently, within the pandemic, we are required to register guests in advance for funerals, which, if nothing else, allows us to be more accurate with our estimates.

Over time, ‘express event planning’ becomes an essential tool in any funeral director’s toolbox. However, it also can cause us to be a little impatient when planning other events in our own lives. That’s why, when Amanda and I decided to get married, we planned the whole thing in three weeks – from start to ‘I do’!

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

The Reach of a Small Town

The Reach of a Small town It amazes me how connected we all are throughout this beautiful country of ours. Families take root in one community and then branch off to other towns, cities, provinces...


Our position as a Funeral Director is nothing short of a privilege. Just as it is a privilege to have a driver’s licence, to vote in a provincial election, it is a privilege to care for families du...

Symbolism in the Wild

A butterfly flutters on by, a hummingbird stops to take a drink of water from a nearby feeder, a cardinal sits upon a snowy wintergreen overlooking the neighbourhood. The moment you see one, it bri...

Photo Reconstruction

It is not unusual for a family to bring a photo of their loved one, where their loved one looks great, but everything else seems to be getting in the way. Either a person has an arm around them, th...

How can my family and friends participate in my service?

How can my family and friends participate in my service? When planning a funeral event, there are various ways family and friends can participate. Here are a handful of ways. Eulogy – For those w...

What is a Companion Urn?

What is a companion urn? In recent years we have had more and more families asking about companion urns. A companion urn is an urn which is large enough to contain two separate sets of cremated re...

Do you have a will?

Do you have a will? This is a question that we ask at least one person every day. The answer we like to get is ‘yes’, however, we get a lot more ‘no’s than you’d think. Having an updated will ensu...

Acts of Kindness Around Christmas

There is never a good time of year to lose someone. It can be especially difficult around the holidays. Compound that stress with a savage winter storm and you are pushing people to their limit. Ho...

Christmas Season After A Loss

Christmas Season after a Loss It’s here again, the most wonderful time of the year!  Except maybe for some people out there, it’s not. For those that have lost a loved one this year this will...

The "Funeral Director Voice"

Straight Talk with Nathan McKinlay “The Funeral Director Voice” Does everybody know the ‘funeral director’ voice? I am sure you have all watched a movie where at one point the funeral director sp...