Funeral Experts

How To Arrange a Wake

Once the last song has been sung, the curtains have closed, the flowers have been seen, it’s hard to know what to do next. Here’s our guide on how to Arrange a Wake.


  1. Decide what you want from a ‘Wake’.

    A wake is an informal event that takes place after a ‘traditional’ funeral service. Where a funeral (typically combining the ‘Service’ and the ‘Committal’) is generally a more formal occasion, the Wake serves as a gathering of the deceased’s friends and relatives to come together, chat and reminisce.

    If you’re having a less-formal funeral for your person, where people are welcome to chat and mingle during the ‘service’ anyway, you may not feel the need for another gathering.

    If, however, you’re going down the ‘traditional’ route, a Wake can be a great way to let off steam. Given the more intimate, familiar nature of this event, it’s more likely that Uncle Dave will share that story about Dad that he promised to “tell you when you’re older”…!

  2. Where shall we meet?

    Pick a venue.

    You’ve got a few options. Naturally, there’s pros and cons to each.

    – Down the Local
    – In a hall
    – At home
    – Outdoors

  3. To Feed, or not To Feed…

    This will likely depend on the time of day the funeral is. Here’s a rough guide to etiquette, and things to take into consideration…:

    MORNING – 9am – 11am

    – Tea, coffee & pastries
    – ‘Proper’ lunch

    MIDDAY – 11am – 2pm

    – Light buffet lunch
    – Sit-down meal
    – Canapes

    AFTERNOON – 2pm – 4pm

    – Afternoon tea
    – Dinner/evening meal
    – Drinks

  4. Extra Touches

    Regardless of how the wake takes shape, perhaps you’d like to try the following:

    – A picture collage of your loved one – incorporate a “Guess The Year” game (from rocking the classic Farrah Fawcett ‘do, to carbon dating by the size of shoulder pads…?)

    – A playlist of all their favourite music

    – A Guestbook for people to sign with a memory of your loved one

    – A collection pot for your person’s charity

About helps you to compare funeral directors based on:

  • Their location
  • Their standardised fees 

We do not endorse or make recommendations about individual funeral directors, but we do offer you the tools to make those decisions yourself. 

We’ll guide you through the very first steps of any funeral arrangement, outlining the decisions you’ll have and the different options for each. We’ll help by:

  • By collecting yours and your loved ones’ details
  • Laying out the pros and cons between a burial or cremation
  • Offering the decisions you’ll make to help choose where you’d like the burial or cremation to happen
  • Working out what your preferred date and time for the funeral will be
  • Sharing the assessment tools you might use to choose which Funeral Director to entrust your funeral to

Our aim is to pair as many families as possible to the best funeral director for their individual needs. 

As much as we’re a funeral price comparison service, we also aim to educate the public on the funeral industry as a whole. When the time inevitably comes that the funeral industry is needed, our clients are well-equipped with the language and understanding they need to give their loved one the best funeral possible. 

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