Whether your loved one has passed or if they are unwell and you are getting ready, let me start by saying it is a really upsetting and difficult time no matter what the circumstances and I am sending you my love and sympathies.
Not only are you dealing with your loss or oncoming loss but it’s often a time when you have to make decisions and deal with multiple family members making decisions at a time of grief and high emotions.
Again, I am sorry, and I am also here to say it’s ok to display those emotions and I totally understand. I have helped many families put together all that is needed in this stressful time. Hopefully, this post will help you with some of the practicalities of putting materials together for the service.
STEP 1. Have a think about what you would like to do. Here are some commonly printed & displayed materials and their explanation – please take a read as this helps you work out what information you need to collate:
- A5 Order of Service Booklets (which the size of an A4 piece of paper folded in half 210X148mm).These range from being of just 1 sheet to multiple sheets of paper folded in the middle depending on how much information you wish to include. Generally, these include a photo on the front with your loved one’s name and date of birth and passing. Inside on either side is an itinerary or guide of how the service will flow usually provided by your minister or funeral service and then a verse, poem or paragraphs of text and then on the back are some perhaps other photos, details if there will be details if there is a meeting after the official service, quote – whatever you like. Many people use this to add a bit of humor, or something comical about the person’s life or marriage photo. There is generally also a thank you on this page for attending the service. These generally consist of a colour cover and black insideprinting for economy options but can include nicer paper or colour all over on request.
- Bookmarks – Bookmarks are a nice thing to give out to guests and to have a memory of your loved ones’ passing. These generally have a photo and the person’s name, DOB & date of passing on the front and printed with a verse, poem or something on the back. These are printed generally on 250gsm card with colour on the front and black printing on the back.
- Post Cards & Small Folded Cards These will have similar details to the above but need much less information than your Booklets as generally can be quite small and won’t fit alot of text. Postcards can be sized to fit into an envelope at A5 size and are printed double-sided, or the folded cards can be organised to be A6 ( 105X148mm) or A7 (74 X105mm) finished folded size.We have examples of all of these things available in our office we just can’t show these on our website out of respect to the families. Some other things to consider are a Slideshow & a framed photo for the coffin/service.
- Slideshow: Most memorial slideshows last for a song as required by the venue but can display more if you wish (music can be supplied digitally or on CD) & usually contain roughly around 40 photos for 1 song. Note they will not end directly at the end of a song they will just either end or be in loop.
- At least an 8X10″ (20X25cms) photo in a frame but can be larger but this size is so people can see it from a distance.
So they are all the things once you have decided what you will need then it comes to collating the information.
As a general checklist you will need to:
CHECKLIST IN PREPARING FOR A MEMORIAL
- PHOTOS – How many photos you need depends on what you are choosing in the above list. If you are printing you will need high-quality photos so these can be done via scanning, I can scan photos for the materials as required or I am happy to receive photos on email, USB or dropbox if you are having a slideshow.
- DETAILS: Name, DOB, Date of Passing any verses quotes or poems you would like to include. As it’s a difficult time I recommend you pop in and take a look at some of my past examples of memorial items or choose one from another memorial you have attended. I can send you some examples via email if need be. I have also collated below some websites of common poems and verses.
- I encourage you if your loved ones had special quotes, sayings, flowers, colours anything that was special to them to include that as a way of having a personal note saying goodbye, all of the designs for memorials are created from scratch there is no price difference in terms of the design unless you want a large photo collage made but that is not usually displayed on materials as there is little space.
Your text information does not have to be supplied in any particular format, an email or if you are computer savvy in a word document is fine.
If you are doing a slideshow and you would like your photos organised in a particular order and you are supplying your photos, I request that you name your photo files in sequential numbers ie. photo-01.jpg, photo-02.jpg.l also suggest that you don’t crop or manipulate your photos too much, I will adjust slightly all of your photos for the screen. If you are not overly concerned with the order you can just select a photo for the beginning and end of the slideshow. If you would like your photos scanned, there is a bit more time involved in this, so this is a different fee than if you supply them digitally. However, I will supply your photos to you on USB at the end so you have these on as a reference for the future.
- SPECIFICS – Have a rough idea of when the service is (if it’s pending), how many of your items you will need. If you are having a slideshow, you will need to find the music and all the photos and there is best to check with your venue about testing the slideshow on their system before the day (or what their requirements are to pass onto the person doing your slideshow)
TIMING: Once you have a bit of an idea a good thing to do is to check on timing. I usually will pull up all my resources to get memorial materials done within the timeframe. If you can let me know it’s coming up then that is good as I will not book in other tasks and clear my schedule. I can also provide a quote of course prices will depend on the quantities and things you need doing.
Once I have received all of the information from you, I generally will put together your materials based on your requirements and then send you a copy to view. Some customers prefer to pop in and see it in person others are happy to receive it via email. If it is a slideshow, I can send you a private link. You have the opportunity then to make minor corrections and share them with your other members of your family for approval if required. If it is a slideshow I recommend you can share this with your venue to avoid any technical glitches before the day.
Once you have approved your materials, they are either printed or finalised and ready for pickup/download/delivery after payment of your invoice.
Then i recommend you take some time out for yourselves as I said it’s a difficult time if I can help take some of the pressure off in times of bereavement then I am grateful.
Here are some resources that would help you with your materials, if you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact me via my page. and i will phone you back.
- Poems for memorials – https://elegantmemorials.com/in-loving-memory-poems
- Also, try Googling “Memorial Poems” a common one is “God’s Garden” which by Googling you can get a few different verses and copy and paste the one you are after.