Planning A Winter Funeral

Graveyard in snow

A funeral is never a nice occasion; however, a winter funeral is arguably more difficult than one in the summer. With a higher probability of bad weather, colder temperatures, and the possibility of travel disruption winter funerals can be more fraught than those held in the summer months. Embracing the season, and planning for the weather is the best way to minimise stress and plan the perfect winter funeral. Keep reading for our top tips on planning a funeral during the winter months.

Considerations for a Winter Funeral

Whatever the time of year there are many things to consider when planning or attending a funeral. A funeral on a cold, crisp morning with ice on the ground can be a beautiful backdrop for a perfect service for your loved one. Taking the time to consider the logistics and comfort of the guests will ensure that the funeral pays tribute to the deceased in the best way possible. Some considerations, that we will discuss in more detail below include:

  • Winter Funeral Service
  • Seasonal Flowers
  • Winter Funeral Attire
  • Travel Conditions 
  • Wake 

Cold Weather Funeral Service 

Whether the deceased is buried or cremated is personal preference, and their request should be honoured no matter the weather. If burial is the chosen option, you may prefer to consider having a longer service with readings, music, and speeches inside a venue such as a church or chapel, having a much shorter internment service around the burial plot. A minister or celebrant, such as Steve, can help you to plan the perfect service with the right balance of indoor and outdoor time, he can be contacted directly to discuss the funeral of your loved one. 

Seasonal Flowers 

Of course, if your loved one had a favourite flower that you’d like to incorporate into the funeral that is perfectly acceptable. However, if you are unsure what flowers to choose, or would like to add others you should consider using winter flowers and greenery. Options for winter flowers include: 

  • Iris
  • Orchid
  • Amaryllis 
  • Holly
  • Protea

Traditional options such as roses and lilies are also available during the winter months and combined with other seasoal leaves, berries, and branches make a stunning funeral arrangement. Picking seasonal flowers ensures that you will be able to get a similar arrangement each year if you would like to mark the anniversary of the deceased’s death by taking a floral arrangement to their grave. 

Winter Funeral Clothing 

If you are attending a winter funeral, you may be wondering what to wear. For a service followed by an outdoor burial you will need an outfit for the indoor service, and outerwear to wrap up against the chill when outside. As per standard funeral tradition, unless you have been advised otherwise, most funeral attendees wear black, navy, grey, or other dark clothing. You can find out more about funeral attire in this recent blog article

For a burial, you may like to consider wearing sturdier shoes. You will likely be required to walk on grass to get to the plot, if it has been raining heavily, or recently snowed stiletto heels for ladies, or best dress shoes for men may not be the most sensible option. You will need a warm coat, and may like to bring hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid being cold. Wrapping up well will enable you to focus on paying your respects to your loved one. Some burial grounds or funeral directors can provide large umbrellas in the event of rain for the burial.

Travel Conditions

Another consideration for a funeral during the winter months is disruption to travel. Most people will travel as far as necessary in any conditions to be at the funeral of a loved one. However, snow and ice, reduced public transport, road accidents and other factors can be limiting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, due to limits on attendance numbers, it became commonplace for funerals to be live streamed enabling wider family to attend virtually. During the winter months it may be wise to choose for a funeral to be live streamed or recorded, allowing those that would need to travel longer distances the option to attend virtually instead, and to avoid disappointment for anyone that gets caught-up in last minute travel disruption. 


In the UK, it is traditional for there to be a wake after a funeral service. This is an opportunity for family to gather to share their memories of the deceased and offer support to one another during a difficult time. Wakes are held at all types of venues including the home of the deceased or a family member, a village hall or community centre, pub, restaurant, or other local venues. Food and drink are usually available, and often includes a traditional buffet. You may like to consider a winter buffet instead, offering hot drinks including tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, and even warm cider or mulled wine. Food can also be warming and include a hot buffet, you could serve soup, baked potatoes, or chilli and rice as easy winter favourites that accommodate most tastes. 

Winter Funeral Planning 

A service that reflects the personality of the deceased is the most important aspect of any funeral at any time of the year, and to achieve this you need to consider using an experienced officiant. Steve is a celebrant with many years of experience, he is passionate about ensuring that every funeral service is unique and crafted to perfectly represent the person that has died. He can help you to ensure that a winter funeral celebrates the life of the deceased, remembers their achievements, and the quirks of their personality. Look at some reviews and contact Steve directly to discuss your requirements. 

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