Funeral flower

What to take to a funeral

Posted by AK Lander | On April 24, 2014 14:20

Attending a funeral is never easy, make sure you plan what to take to a funeral so that you’re prepared. Find out what to bring in our guide.

Funerals are never easy; whether it is a friend, relative or loved one, attending a funeral can still be an upsetting and difficult time, even if you weren’t particularly close to the deceased. One of the few ways to make the experience of funeral planning easier, many people find, is by ensuring that they are as prepared as possible.

Making sure you have everything you need to make yourself and others feel more comfortable can help you to give the deceased the send-off they deserve whilst adhering to funeral etiquette.

Pack some memories


Taking items such as a small memento of the departed can help you feel closer to them, whether that be a piece of jewellery or even their favourite poem. Bringing these may bring forward happy memories at a time that is understandably difficult for all.

Many feel better attending a funeral with funeral flowers or sympathy messages jotted down in a card or a letter. Just the act of bringing something of meaning to the family can help alleviate some pain that the event can bring and mean a great deal to others in attendance. While the funeral headstone may not have been placed yet after the service, taking flowers along and placing them at the service itself can mean a lot to the family.

What to take in your bag

Contents of a bag

Bringing a bag filled with items that make you feel prepared can help take your mind off of the funeral plans and the service itself, but also can be a way of helping those around you. Many people say that when someone passes they feel helpless to those around them but packing a bag with certain items to help ensure that no one needs anything during or after the service can really help with these feelings. Read on to discover some of the items to pack in your bag when going to a funeral.


Funerals are an emotional occasion, so it’s completely normal for there to be plenty of tears. Pack some tissues or a handkerchief so that you’re prepared. Even if you feel you may not cry, your friends and family will appreciate a tissue or two during the day.

A sympathy card

If you haven’t already given the closest relatives of the deceased a condolence card, the funeral is a good opportunity to do so. Sympathy cards are a kind gesture that will let them know they have your support. If you’re struggling to find the words, use guides on how to write a condolence card to help you.

Some money for charity donations

Many families decide to raise money for their loved one’s favourite charity or one that is related to the cause of death, thereby raising awareness and creating something positive out of a sad situation. Make sure you’ve got a few spare coins in your bag as they may be sending around a collection at the funeral. Alternatively, the family may ask for donations to the church.


Remember to pack a bottle of water, especially if the funeral is happening in the summer. The last thing you’ll want is to have a coughing fit in the middle of a funeral, so having water close by is a sensible precaution.

A Pen

Although you can always borrow someone else’s pen, it’s more convenient to have your own at a funeral, as there may be a condolence book or something similar.

An umbrella

On an already sombre day, you don’t want to be sitting in damp clothing. Pack an umbrella in your bag just in case of any showers. If the one you’re attending is having an outdoor service, this is definitely a top item to take to the funeral.


Even if the forecast says otherwise, the sun in the UK is unpredictable and can sometimes peep from the clouds. Be prepared for any sunny spells by packing a pair of sunglasses into your bag.

Warm layers

Wear warm layers when you attend a funeral so that you’re ready for any change in weather. This is a good idea if you are walking from the funeral to the location of the wake. Even if you’re not feeling the chill, someone else at the funeral may appreciate a jumper offered to them if they’ve forgotten their own.

A light snack

Pack a cereal bar, piece of fruit, or some other small snack just in case you get hungry after the funeral. Many people forget to eat beforehand, so make sure you have something to eat as soon as you can.


Funerals can often be a stressful experience for many, which can cause a headache. Pack some painkillers in your bag just in case you feel a headache coming on, as you won’t want to have to leave early and miss the chance to offer your condolences.

Make-up wipes and a handheld mirror

No one will be judging what you look like at a funeral or wake, as everyone will understand what a difficult time it can be. However, it may help you feel more confident to be there for others if you can wipe away any make-up smudges from tears and have a quick check of your appearance in your compact mirror.

Just through packing these simple items and taking them with you, you can make the situation easier and dispel any stress that feeling underprepared can conjure. If you are driving to the service, you could take a couple of extra coats and things others may not have thought of, as well as umbrellas or a change of shoes for yourself to make sure you and others around you are as comfortable as possible at this difficult time.

While nothing can take away the pain of losing someone you have cared about or knew, rest assured there are things you can do to make funeral plans as simple and easy as possible. If you’re currently planning a funeral, get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you find the perfect headstone for your loved one.