In the United States, it is customary to hold a reception after a funeral or memorial service. This provides time for family, friends, and others paying their respects to gather, share memories, and offer support to one another. While the reception is not typically meant to be a party, food and beverages are usually served.

If you are planning an after-funeral or memorial reception, you may be wondering what you need to do. Here is a list of suggestions to consider:

  1. Determine the best location. There are many options to choose from when selecting a venue for the reception. Many people opt to host at the home of a friend or family member. You can also hold your reception at a restaurant, an event space, or the social hall of a religious place of worship. In some cases, you may want to hold the reception at a place that was special to the deceased, such as a favorite park.
  2. Decide what to serve. The time of day can dictate what is appropriate to serve. Many memorials and funerals are held in the morning, so serving lunch afterward is typically expected. But don’t feel that you have to put out a huge spread. Often, you can order some deli plates with salads and some dessert and then ask others to bring some additional side dishes to supplement the meal. Most people are very willing to contribute something to the day and make things easier for you.
  3. Ask for help. The last thing you want to do is spend your time playing host. The reception is a time for you to connect with others, not serve them. For this reason, you will want to recruit a few friends or neighbors to help in this capacity. If you hire a caterer, then you may also want to ask them to stay to help with serving and clean up.

Lastly, when planning your reception, you may want to have some photos of the deceased and perhaps some of their cherished mementos on display. If you have created a tribute video, you might also want to have it play on a continuous loop during the reception.

When you have questions or are looking for assistance with funeral planning, our compassionate staff at Mountain View Funeral Home is here to help. Contact us at (480) 832-2850.