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Funeral Food Ideas

Category: Planning A Funeral

After the formalities of the funeral service are over, a more casual wake usually follows. Here guests can socialize and share stories of the departed loved one over food and drinks. But what would best fit the tone of the occasion and meet the needs of the guests?

The food at a wake is better left uncomplicated and flexible to allow people to mix and mingle. There are several options for this part of the day. You could choose to hold the wake at a restaurant, where all the cooking can be taken care of.

Alternatively, you could hire caterers to come to a venue of your choice or even ask some of the funeral guests to help you make some dishes. Whatever happens, it isn’t wise to do the catering alone. This can cause unwanted stress and hurt on an already emotional day.

If you don’t want to limit yourself to a sit-down dinner, here are a few ideas to help to make planning easier.

Afternoon Tea

A traditional afternoon tea is a great crowd-pleaser and can cater for all tastes. Platters and plate stands are eye-catching and allow your guests to circulate the room with small snacks. For this you could offer:

Hot Buffet

  • A selection of sandwiches such as smoked salmon and cream cheese, chicken mayonnaise, or hummus and pepper.

  • A selection of individual mini quiches

  • Homemade cakes

  • Scones with fresh cream and jam

  • Fruits such as grapes, berries or melon

  • Tea and coffee

If you’re holding the funeral in the colder months, you may want to offer a familiar selection of hot family favourites. Not only will your guests find the foods comforting and inviting, but you can also provide a personal touch by choosing dishes the deceased once loved.

One-pot dishes are an easy option as you can keep them warm easily once you arrive at the venue. Pasta dishes, casseroles, and other items that reheat well are popular and effective. They can also be frozen ahead of time to make the day run smoother.

Cold Finger Buffet

Choosing finger foods allows your guests to sit or stand anywhere in the venue whilst they socialize and reminisce about the good times. Many finger buffet foods can be bought in or prepared easily on the day. Simple options include:

Themed Buffett

  • Sausage rolls, cheese and herb rolls

  • Filo tarts with a selection of fillings

  • Bowls of mixed olives, crisps and nibbles

  • Selection of cheeses

If the person who has passed away loved to travel or had an affinity with a particular country or place, what better way to honour this than to theme the food around it. Some popular choices could be;

Final tips

  • An Italian buffet with pasta, pizza and bruschetta

  • A Thai buffet with spring rolls, satay sticks and Pad Thai

  • An Indian buffet with a selection of curries, rice and poppadoms

  • A Mediterranean buffet with a selection of meats, olives and salads

  • A Fish and Chip buffet to celebrate days spent on British beaches

  • Remember to include child-friendly items such as pizza, crudités and dips or sandwiches

  • You should also check your guest’s dietary requirements before you start planning the food options for the day. Check if anybody is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or has any food allergies.