Check list for the funeral – a handy reference for planning a funeral or for discussion with your local funeral director.

Care of your loved one’s body

The four main choices are:

  1. To keep your loved one’s body at home using ice packs and natural methods
  2. To use a cool room at the funeral director’s premises
  3. To request a temporary embalm (reduced use of chemicals)
  4. To request a full embalm


We have a wide range of casket options. Please click here for our casket gallery.

If you wish to make your own casket, please ask us or any funeral director before you do this to check on dimensions and suitable materials as some crematoriums are now refusing to accept home-made caskets.


Most cemeteries have a Chapel available for a funeral. If the funeral is a small, family one consider having the service at a family home. Community facilities such as boat clubs or the local hall can be ideal venues for a funeral. Consider finding a venue that is meaningful for the person who has died, and remember to take practical issues into account such as parking, ease of access and whether a venue is appropriate for having a cup of tea afterwards.


We recommend that you use a professionally trained celebrant. Ask us for a recommendation.

Cremation or burial

We have an eco burial area in Auckland at Waikumete Cemetery. For updates on other natural burial areas check

For cremation we feel that cremating an unembalmed body in an eco-casket is a good option.


We have trusted caterers who we are happy to recommend.  If you prefer, consider asking friends to bring a plate of special food to share after the service – not only does this cut down costs, it also gives people a chance to be involved and help in some way.


We recommend Titirangi Fairy Flowers, phone 09 817 3780 – they are our preferred florist.  Or you could ask friends and family to bring something from their own garden.  If you are having flowers or petals for people to place on the casket, consider using home-grown flowers, less expense and more personal.  Also, a basket of lavender or rosemary can be brought from your own garden.  Native ferns and other foliage can beautify a room as well.

Newspaper Notices

Keep the notice brief but loving and to the point as they can be very costly. Some newspapers also provide an online tribute option which enables people to place a tribute from anywhere in the world.


Our hearses are white. You can consider using your own private vehicle if you wish.

Memorial Book

We have books available.  However, you can visit your local bookstore and purchase a blank paper album or book then add some photos to personalise it.  There are some gorgeous books available at Trade Aid stores.

Service Sheets

Your Funeral Director has examples of service sheets that we can have compiled and printed for you.  They could be a booklet or a beautiful bookmark with photos or a verse, and often including a photocopy of a favourite family recipe in the person’s own handwriting.  Some of our families choose to create their own.


Think about some music to play for 20 minutes or so while people are arriving, a track to play during the reflection time in the ceremony, and something to play at the end of the service. You could also think about asking a musician to play.


A really lovely way for people to place the life of the deceased in context – make up a board of photos or a slideshow from throughout their life.

You can place a photoboard or laptop anywhere, but it is good to place it on the table near the memorial book so that people can look at the photos and then write their thoughts.


Ashes can be either kept, buried in a purchased plot at a cemetery, or scattered in a place significant to family. Any ashes being taken overseas require a cremation export certificate, so do ask your funeral director to ensure you get one with the ashes.