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15 weird and wonderful funeral requests

Last updated 16th November 2023

2 min read

When it comes to attending a funeral, we usually know what to expect – or at least we thought we did. But our latest cost of dying research has uncovered some unusual send-off requests.

Bright colours are replacing black clothes

One of the most common requests from people who talk about their funeral plans is 'no black'.

Some people ask for their loved ones to wear their favourite sports team's kit. But many have more 'out there' requests, such as Hawaiian shirts.

A Glastonbury fan asked everyone who went to their funeral to wear wellies, to commemorate their love of the festival. Probably not a bad idea considering the British weather.

Unusual intro and outro ideas

Unconventional transport is also a popular request. Why have a hearse when you can arrive in an American rig lorry or an old-fashioned milk float?

Another growing trend is to do something 'different' with the person's ashes. Often people's ashes are made into jewellery, or sometimes they're put into a firework to 'go off with a bang!' Either way, they'll be remembered.

Whether the request is warm-hearted, wonderful, wacky or just downright weird, personalisation is a great way to turn a funeral into a celebration of life.

Here's our top 15 out-of-the-ordinary funeral requests

  1. Take the deceased on a tour of London
  2. Have everyone dress up as clowns for the service
  3. Arrive in an American rig lorry
  4. Have ashes in a firework (to go off with a bang)
  5. Star Wars theme with a Darth Vader funeral director
  6. Lead the congregation with the conga
  7. Attendees to wear wellies
  8. Pets at the funeral
  9. Being buried with a whistle (in case of waking up)
  10. Milk float as transport
  11. Plants and vegetables instead of flowers
  12. Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings dress code
  13. Motorbike procession
  14. Beach wear attire
  15. Have ashes made into jewellery

Make it personal

Most of us don't like talking about death. It's a conversation we'll put off, often until it's too late. But, if you want a funeral personal to you, you can make your wishes known with our My Perfect Send-Off planner. Or why not use our funeral planning guide to help you start thinking about your funeral arrangements.

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.