The tradition of giving guests a small gift or favour to take home with them as a reminder of the day has always been popular for weddings, but you might be surprised to know that funeral favours are becoming increasingly popular too.
Memorial keepsakes are not a new idea though and memento mori have been popular since the dawn of civilisation. During the Victorian era, a time when mourning was elevated almost to an art form, they often took the form of jewellery containing a lock of a loved one's hair woven into intricate designs.
These days, there are many ways in which you can create a lasting remember of a loved one to share with your guests at a funeral or celebration of life. Offering guests a small favour or keepsake gives them something tangible to remember your loved one by and helps to keep their memory alive. Below we've curated 10 creative ways to remember a loved one:
1. Seed Packet Funeral Favours
Seeds make wonderful funeral favours as they can be planted to grow into a living memorial. Forget-Me-Not Seed Favours are a popular choice, as are Wildflowers, Poppies or Sunflowers, or choose your loved one's favourite bloom. Seed packets can be fixed inside an order of service, placed on chairs, or displayed in a basket on a memory table. A cost effective option for large funerals, you can buy them ready-filled or empty for you to fill with your own choice of seeds.
2. Plantable Seed Paper Favours
Plantable seed paper is a fantastic innovation which works really well for funeral favours. The seeds are embedded in the handmade paper and when it is planted in soil the paper melts away leaving the seeds to grow into flowers in memory of your loved one. Our Plantable Wildflower Seed Paper Favours are individually wrapped and come in a heart or butterfly design.
3. Bubble Funeral Favours
Blowing a cloud of irridescent bubbles up into the air and watching them gently float away creates a beautifully peaceful and uplifting end to a funeral service. Not just for children (although children do love them!) these Bubble Mix Funeral Favours have a tag with the message 'I'll blow kisses to heaven from my heart to yours'. The bottles can be refilled and used year after year, for example on the anniversary of the passing of a loved one.
4. Votive Candle Favours
Giving your guests a votive remembrance candle to take home with them is a thoughtful idea. The candles could be lit as part of the service and then taken home for moments of quiet contemplation, or simply handed to guests as a thank you for attending the funeral. Our In Loving Memory Votive Candle comes in a luxury black fabric-handled gift bag, so it makes a beautiful gift.
5. Tissue Funeral Favours
Not so much a gift as a useful item that your guests will thank you for thinking of. Providing a pack of tissues gives guests permission to show their emotions and can be handed out at the beginning of a service, placed on chairs or even used as part of a 'comfort kit' to ensure your guests feel supported on the day. Our Remembrance Tissue Wraps have been designed to hold 4 pocket tissues and are available in white or kraft card.
6. Pewter Heart Charm Funeral Favour
Our Solid Pewter Heart Pocket Charm is a popular as sympathy gift, but it could also be used as a favour for guests to take home. The message inside the box reads 'This little heart is a reminder that memories live in our hearts forever' and the gift box comes with a luxury gift bag, which would make a lovely high-end funeral favour. Perfect for close family members or at a small, intimate gathering.
7. Jewellery Funeral Keepsakes
As in Victorian times, remembrance jewellery is still popular today. A piece of jewellery makes a thoughtful sympathy gift for anyone who has lost a loved one, but it could also be given to family or close friends who have attended a funeral as a favour. All of our Remembrance Jewellery comes beautifully gift boxed with a luxury gift bag and a card for a personal message.
8. Silver Remembrance Pen Favour
Our Memories Last Forever Silver Pen is often bought to accompany our memory books, but we think it makes a lovely favour too. It can be used for writing down memories, for journaling, or simply kept close by in a jacket pocket or handbag as an everyday reminder of a loved one.
8. Remembrance Balloon Favours
Just like the balloons you used to be given as a going-home present at children's parties with your name on a tag, you could do the same thing for a funeral. Often Remembrance Balloons are used to decorate a venue so rather than disposing of them afterwards, why not give a balloon to each guest with a message or memory on a tag to take home. Or ask them to write their own memories down and give them back to the family to take home and read afterwards. Our remembrance balloons are biodegradable and available in a choice of 10 colours to suit your theme.
9. Flower Funeral Favours
One of the simplest funeral favour ideas is to create a small posy of flowers for each guest. They can be taken home as a memento or used as part of the service - for example some families ask guests to lay a single rose on top of a coffin as a way of saying goodbye. You can add a message tag to the flowers or finish it off with a pretty ribbon such as our Forever In Our Hearts Cotton Ribbon.
10. DIY Funeral Favour Ideas
Of course, funeral favours don't have to be shop-bought. There are lots of favours you can make yourself, and we love the idea of gathering the family together around the table to create handmade items for a loved one's funeral.
Think about items that are individual to your loved one's life. A golf ball, a hand-written poem, home-baked cookies or a cake, a pack of their favourite sweets, a jar of home-made jam or a bottle of beer with a gift tag, little pots of herbs containing 'Rosemary for Remembrance', or a well-loved family recipe to be handed down to future generations.
Recently we read a lovely story (and we can't remember where so please let us know if it was yours!) about a plumber's family who gave guests radiator valve keys as favours at his funeral... and why not? A practical gift which is sure to bring back fond memories whenever it is used.
We hope this has given you a few ideas and suggestions. Do let us know in the comments below if you have any unusual or interesting funeral favour ideas. We love to hear how our customers have chosen to celebrate the life of their loved ones in interesting and creative ways.