Simple Ways to Personalize a Funeral Service on a Budget

The loss of a loved one is difficult for a number of reasons – grief, emptiness, and financial strain, just to start. We want to give our loved ones the memorials they deserve, but it can be difficult to afford the most extravagant funeral services. Honor your loved ones with a thoughtful, beautiful service – without breaking the bank! Here are 10 simple ways to personalize a funeral service on a budget.

Skip the Invitations

Go paperless and spread the word by calling, texting, and using social media. You can even create a Facebook event to invite your friends to the service instead of a general post that may be missed by some.

Make your own Programs

Instead of paying someone else to make the program, take it on yourself to save some cash! If you’re not technically savvy or skilled at graphic design, perhaps another family member is. There’s also a plethora of options available online; for example, Funeral Homes like Aria Cremations and Funerals offer online options.

Consider a Unique Venue

If you opt for cremation, you can have a beautiful service somewhere personal and meaningful. Perhaps your loved one enjoyed fishing; you could hold the service near his favorite lake. You could host a beautiful service at your home or a friend’s, a local church, or a garden. The service can be special without being expensive.

Forego the Flowers

It’s not necessary to have expensive flowers at a memorial service. You could choose to use personal effects, artificial flowers, or rose petals, instead of expensive floral arrangements. Get creative and choose to host a personal memorial service!

Embrace the Scent of Smell

If there was a particular scent that you associate with your loved one, place scented candles around the room. For example, my great grandmother has won numerous awards for her apple pies, so I will light apple pie scented candles around the room at her service. Don’t underestimate the power of scent – our associations with certain smells can bring back powerful memories and emotions.

Get Creative with the Music

Find opportunities to incorporate your loved one’s favorite songs into the service. Create a playlist for before and after the service that represents the deceased’s favorite music and brings back more of those memories of your loved one. Just like with scent, sound is also a powerful emotional trigger.

Opt for Unique Readings

You can easily personalize your funeral service by simply adding in more personal readings throughout. If there’s a writer in the family, a specialized poem or prose would add character to the service. Ask around and see if the deceased had any favorite readings – or if there are any texts that remind you of him/her.

Personalize the Food

Instead of paying a caterer which can cost a pretty penny, turn the funeral into a potluck and have everyone bring their favorite comfort food. Or, serve one of the deceased’s favorite homemade dishes. As with scent and sound, taste also has the power to trigger associations.

Have Fun with the Drinks

Is there a special drink your loved one consumed often? Add it in next to the water and tea for guests to drink at the funeral as a special reminder and tribute. Consider adding in that favorite beverage alongside the traditional servings; it’s a budget-friendly way to personalize.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they aren’t wrong! Add photos around the room of the deceased throughout his/her life. Allow loved ones to reminisce on the good times as they honor him/her.

For a funeral to be meaningful and special, it doesn’t have to be expensive. No amount of money can express memories the way you can. 



About Kristen Skiles 10 Articles
I'm Kristen from Frisco! I'm an Air Force wife and [step]mom to a beautiful 7-year-old, and I run on coffee, wine, and Amazon Prime, I blog at where I provide comfort and guidance for overwhelmed stepmoms, encouraging and helping them to write their own happily ever afters. You can find me on Instagram or Facebook. [Hover for links]