Posted on Leave a comment

A Guide on Funeral Etiquette: Tips for a Funeral Guest

Image of someone at a funeral

A Guide on Funeral Etiquette

When attending a funeral, it is important to be considerate towards the family members’ wishes. Understanding correct funeral etiquette will prepare you to enter a funeral service in a comfortable and respectful way. Important factors to consider before attending a funeral would be what to wear, where to sit, whether you should bring anything with you, and whether it would be appropriate for you to attend. We have put together a few tips within this guide to assist you with all the important fundamentals to remember before entering any funeral service.

What to Wear to a Funeral

Black is the traditional colour for funeral attire due to its representation of mourning and is a sign of respect and the general norm for funeral etiquette. Darker colours and something conservative is always a safe and respectful option to consider. Listen to what the family suggest, as some may request for guests to wear something bright to celebrate their loved one’s life or ask to wear a certain colour in memory of the deceased. Guests are generally required to dress in smart attire. We would suggest avoiding anything too casual, while also making sure you are comfortable and what you are wearing is weather appropriate – especially if you are attending a burial.

What to Bring

Deciding on what to bring to a funeral can be difficult. Whether you are a family member, friend or acquaintance, it’s helpful to know what the right things to bring would be, to avoid feeling uncomfortable throughout the day. Depending on the relationship you had with the deceased and family members, it is always a thoughtful gesture to bring flowers or a sympathy card to show your respects. If you were not particularly close with the family’s loved one, being present and showing that you’re thinking of them by supporting them on the day is just as appropriate and a thoughtful component of acceptable funeral etiquette.

Useful things to remember to bring with you can include:

  • Tissues/ Handkerchief 
  • Sympathy Card
  • Flowers or Charity donation 
  • A photograph/ Story/ Memory
  • Umbrella/ Sunglasses

Where to Sit

The first couple of rows are typically reserved for close family members. Being respectful by arriving slightly earlier and getting a seat at the back, allowing room for extended family and friends is an important factor to consider. Once seated, remain quiet and dutiful throughout the service until the end.

 What Happens After the Funeral?

 After the majority of most services, the family and funeral directors will have arranged a wake. This is an opportunity for the guests and family to get together and share fond memories over some light refreshments and drinks in either a private function or in the comfort of a family member’s home. This is the perfect opportunity to properly pay your respects or share a memory of the deceased. 


If you have any other questions regarding proper funeral etiquette, our team at Cope Memorials would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. For information on the other services we provide, please fill out an online form, or give us a call today on our landline 01773 602 187 or mobile 07817 187371. We provide our services across Derby, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Burton on Trent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *