You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

5 top tips to add a splash of colour at a funeral service

Last updated 18th March 2022
3 min read

When it comes to planning a funeral, why not forget black and opt for a splash of colour instead?

If your loved one had a vibrant personality, or if you're planning your own funeral as a celebration of life, a bright palette can make the day that bit more personal and positive.

If you're uncertain how to strike the right tone, or if the idea of adding colour to funeral arrangements sounds a bit tricky, here are our 5 top suggestions to help brighten up proceedings and strike the right note for the occasion.

1. What to wear at a funeral

Many people don't know what to wear to a funeral.

You can ask guests coming to the funeral to wear colours of their choice or stick to just one colour, such as your loved one's favourite. Go as colourful as you feel is appropriate.

Feel free to go to town or be more subtle. A lovely pop of colour can be achieved by guests adding one bright piece like a scarf, tie, hair accessory or piece of jewellery to their outfits.

But it's worth politely reminding attendees that wearing a colour funeral outfit is optional. Some older mourners may feel more comfortable dressed in traditional funeral colours.

2. Colourful funeral flowers

Traditionally, the types of funeral flowers we choose have been white and simple, but there's nothing to stop you from going brighter.

Add a hint of celebration with splashes of pink, red and yellow. Go one step further with bright floral tributes shaped to reflect a passion or hobby, like football.

Or keep the funeral simple, by giving each guest a single flower to wear at the funeral or lay on the coffin.

3. Funeral cars

Who said the funeral car has to be black or silver? There's no reason why you can't break from tradition and go for a brighter form of transport.

Hearses come in all sorts of colours these days. For reasons best known to his family, Roger Lloyd Pack, otherwise known as 'Trigger' from 'Only Fools and Horses' arrived at his funeral in a candy pink funeral car.

4. Coffins

The various types of coffins and prices on offer can be overwhelming at first.

As well as traditional wood, you can now choose coffins in all the colours of the rainbow. You can even arrange for family members or a specialist to paint a coffin with your own bespoke design as part of your funeral plans.

5. Balloon release

A balloon release is a touching way to bring friends and family together and add colour to funeral arrangements.

Give guests a bright balloon each and ask them to think of a happy memory or make a wish as you all release them together and watch as they float away. (Make sure you use latex balloons, which are 100% biodegradable.)

This could be done straight after the funeral, as a tribute at the end of the wake or at a special location at another time.

Adding colour to a funeral might go against tradition, but it's a wonderful way to reflect the personality of the person and bring a sense of hope and positivity to a sad occasion. Just adding some small splashes here and there can be enough to add a personal touch to the funeral without breaking too many conventions.

When it comes to your own funeral plans, don't forget – if no one knows what you have in mind, they won't be able to make the funeral arrangements in the way you wanted.

But it can be hard to talk about these things, which is why we created our My Perfect Send-Off planner to help you record your funeral arrangements and wishes, ready for when the time comes. It guides you through the options you may want to consider, then saves your choices for you to download and keep safe.

Or if you're thinking about how to get help with funeral costs, our latest Cost of Dying report has lots of helpful information and handy tips.

Related articles

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the page are those of the authors, intended to be informative, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SunLife. See our Terms of Use for more info.