Study finds that alternative funerals are on the rise

Posted by AK Lander | On September 10, 2015 13:55

A new study has found that a traditional funeral is now being challenged by destination funerals.

A new study has found that a traditional funeral is now being challenged by destination funerals that are held at sports venues, beauty spots and other sites that are special to the deceased.

Research carried out by The Co-operative Funeralcare, which asked 2,500 funeral directors and 2,000 other adults, found that mourners are also just as likely to choose buses, motorbikes and horse-drawn carriages as they are to choose the more traditional hearse to carry the coffin.

Gravestones and other memorials are still a popular choice to commemorate loved ones, but the locations of funerals has changed. The research found that 49 per cent of the funeral directors that took part in the research had arranged a service in a location other than a church or crematorium over the course of the past year. Over a third of the adults that were polled revealed they would think about choosing an alternative location for a funeral.

Going into more detail, out of the 2,000 adults surveyed 25 per cent said they would consider a lake or a river as a location for a funeral service. Other locations that were popular included the countryside (20 per cent), the beach or out at sea (20 per cent) and at home or in a garden (17 per cent).

Funeral clothes are becoming brighter

Despite mourners traditionally being dressed in black clothing, the study revealed that a quarter of respondents would like their funeral guests to wear anything but black. 72 per cent of funeral directors also revealed that they had helped arrange services where mourners dressed in colourful clothing.

Just under half of funeral directors also revealed that mourners were told to wear clothes that related to the deceased, such as fancy dress or football shirts.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sam Kershaw, operations director for Co-operative Funeralcare, said, “It’s becoming ever more common to hear people refer to funerals as a celebration of life and that’s certainly a trend we are seeing even more frequently from the families that we support.”

Image Credit: Steven Lilley (