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Organising a wake

When arranging a funeral for your loved one, you may want to consider holding a reception after the service. This useful guide will explain how to organise a wake.

What is a wake?

A wake often celebrates the life of the deceased and is typically less formal than the ceremony which precedes it. Our caring and dedicated Funeral Directors will be on hand to offer advice and support when organising a wake for a loved one.

How to organise a wake

These simple steps will help you organise a wake:

  1. 1. Decide who to invite to a wake

A wake can be either private or public, so you will need to consider who to invite when making any necessary arrangements.

Guests may choose to attend the wake if they couldn’t make it to the funeral service. If you decide to place a funeral announcement in a local newspaper, the same can be done to announce the date, time and place of the wake.

  1. 2. Choose where to hold a wake

The wake can be held anywhere you want, just keep in mind how many guests will be attending. Some of the more common wake venues are:

  • Your own home
  • Family home
  • Church halls
  • Pubs
  • Social clubs
  • Sports clubs
  • Hotels

Make sure you book the venue in advance and let guests know where it is being held and at what time. You may need to visit the venue beforehand if you wish to decorate it with flowers or photographs.

  1. 3. Prepare food and drink

Food is typically provided at a wake and if you wish to serve your loved one’s favourite food and drink, many venues will be flexible enough to cater for these kinds of requests.

Depending on the venue, catering may already be included in the booking cost. If it isn’t, you can provide your own food or even ask guests to bring something to share.

  1. 4. Share details of the wake with family and friends

Our Funeral Notices service is a simple and convenient way to share details of the wake with family and friends, via email, Facebook and Twitter.

How much does a wake cost?

It’s difficult to estimate exactly how much a wake will cost, as every service is different. If your budget is limited, we recommend holding the wake at home and providing the food yourself. Alternatively, families may choose to hold a smaller wake, inviting family members and close friends only.

Find out more about UK funeral costs.

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