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Funeral Etiquette; What To Wear To A Funeral

Category: Etiquette

The best rule of thumb in deciding what’s right to wear to a funeral is to ask the person’s who’s taken the lead role in liaising with the funeral director. They’ll have already shared the conversation on whether the service is more formal and traditional, or whether it’ll be more relaxed and a celebration of life, and they’ll be able to guide you.

Smart clothing in darker colours has been a funeral tradition that’s dated back to the ancient Romans, seen as a sign of respect and for the immediate family to show that they were mourning someone who’s died.

In recent years, the number of people choosing not to have a traditional funeral has continued to rise, with many opting for a non-religious cremation or burial and including music, readings and personal tributes from someone close to the person who’s died. In addition to not wearing dark clothing, these modern life celebrations can often be innovative and based on what the person who’s died had asked to be included.

A modern, personalised funeral can even see the funeral director and funeral service team wearing special clothing that pays tribute to the hobbies and passions of the person being celebrated, including their favourite sports team shirts, or featuring a favourite colour that the funeral team can include within their uniform, such as a hat ribbon, a pocket square or even colourful socks or shoelaces. We’ve even had our entire team dressed as characters from Star Wars, all at the request of the person who’s died or their family.

So, the best advice we can share is that you ask the close family and friends whether it’s a traditional or a modern service. If you’re not able to confirm that information before the day of the funeral, it’s usually best to err on the side of following a smart clothing option so you don’t become the unintended centrepiece of the service venue.