Australian funeral trends have changed over the years. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common for families to opt for a memorial or a type of a funeral service that does not include a coffin. These services, often referred to as celebrations of life, are typically less formal. The focus of these services is on celebrating the life and cherished memories of the departed, rather than solely focusing on the death. To assist families and friends who wish to bid farewell in their own unique way, we have created a Memorial Service Planning Checklist.

This memorial service planning checklist explains how you might arrange alternatives to a traditional funeral, while still ensuring a meaningful and cost-effective tribute to your loved one.

How to use this Memorial Service Planning Checklist.

Contrary to common belief, it's important to know that a memorial service is not a mandatory requirement if it does not align with your or your loved one's wishes. However, if you choose to organise some form of farewell, Bare is available to provide assistance and support throughout the entire process.

At Bare, we offer a service where we separate the cremation service from any attended ceremony or known as Bare Cremation. Our team arranges the unattended direct cremation service to allow families and friends the time, budget and freedom to plan a send-off that can be as unique as the life being celebrated.

By having a separate cremation and ceremony, families have the freedom to personalise their goodbyes at their own pace. This approach allows families to take the time they need to reflect and decide on the type of tribute they truly prefer. It's important to mention that if a traditional ceremony is what you prefer, Bare is also able to provide support in organising this funeral service. Our main goal is to make sure that every family feels supported in their chosen way of farewell.

We’ve helped families arrange a wide range of memorials, from send-offs at the local RSL to unique celebrations like a Viking funeral! The options are almost limitless.

This memorial service planning checklist includes the elements commonly included in a memorial or ceremony. Use it as a guide through each step of the process. As you go along, consider how you might personalise the memorial to best pay tribute to your loved one.

Our 10-step DIY guide to planning a funeral or memorial can offer more tips on arranging a memorial without a traditional funeral director. You can also read more in our Ultimate Guide to Planning a Memorial.

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to planning a memorial. Just as each human is unique, so should be their final send-off.

A personalised lakeside picnic with family and friends was part of a Bare Memorial Service.
A themed lakeside picnic with family and friends was arranged for a Bare Memorial Service. Use our Memorial Service Checklist to personalise your memorial or celebration of life.

Our Memorial Service Planning Checklist.

If you haven’t yet considered the type of funeral (cremation or burial), you should do this before you start planning the memorial.

A memorial takes place separately from any cremation or burial, without the coffin present. Often memorials will be arranged after the ashes have come home, so the urn can be present. This allows for a scattering ceremony to be included if that is what the family wishes. 

Funeral Details Checklist

  • Funeral provider: did they have a prepaid funeral plan?
  • Cremation or burial?
  • Cremation: where will the ashes be kept/scattered
  • Burial: is there a burial plot? Preferred cemetery

Memorial Service Checklist

A memorial allows more freedom for customisation as it takes place after the cremation. That means the options are limitless when it comes to tailoring the service. 

Consider each of the below bullet points to help you decide how you might personalise each element to best pay tribute to your loved one’s unique life.

  • Date and time
  • Budget: Do they have funeral insurance or a prepaid funeral with a celebrant?
  • Religious or agnostic?
  • Location (church/chapel, private residence, public place, hired venue)
  • Celebrant/MC
  • Prayers/poems/readings (and who will read them)
  • Any rituals to include
  • Scattering/interment ceremony
  • Readings or poems
  • Who will read the eulogy and tributes
  • Slideshow and/or video
  • Photos to be displayed
  • Other personal effects or collectables for a memory table
  • Interactive elements (memorial book, message cards)
  • Catering
  • Seating (if applicable)
  • Music/songs/hymns/musicians
  • Flowers, or donations in lieu of flowers
  • Keepsakes for attendees, or tribute/prayer cards
  • Dress requests (black or a favourite colour)
  • Memorial notice (newspaper notice, social media event/post)
  • Any groups, clubs or organisations to invite (e.g RSL)

Note that you do not need to include every single thing on the list above. This is mearly a guide to help you in the right direction with planning a memorial. And remember that with a Bare Funeral Service, you will have a dedicated event manager for the service who is there to reduce the burden on you and help organise everything.

Final thoughts on planning a memorial.

We hope this memorial service planning checklist helps guide you when arranging a more personalised farewell. Remember, there are no rules when it comes to planning a funeral service.  You have the freedom to plan a farewell that honours your loved one in the best possible way.

At Bare, we have partnered with some of Australia’s best celebrants who can help you plan a memorial. We understand that farewells are deeply personal that’s why our Bare Funerals offer flexibility, catering to your unique preferences, be it a traditional funeral or a memorial following a direct cremation.

If you’re unsure about what’s right for you and your family, our team is only ever a phone call away. Visit Bare’s website here or chat with our dedicated funeral arrangers. Call 1800 202 901 for a prepaid funeral, or 1800 071 176 for an immediate need arrangement.