How Long Does It Take To Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service? (2024)


Event venues on Peerspace typically cost $100 — $240 per hour.

How long does it take to plan a funeral or memorial service? It’s a question no one wants to ask, even if death was expected. Losing a loved one is never easy. While you’re still reeling from the grief of losing someone you treasured, making arrangements for their memorial service can feel like a daunting task.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Peerspace is here with a brief guide to planning a funeral or memorial service that will help you celebrate your loved one’s legacy. 

One aspect of funeral and memorial services is selecting a place to gather with loved ones. When it comes time to find that venue, we hope you rely on Peerspace. As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, Peerspace makes it easy to discover and book a memorial venue that lets you celebrate the one you lost respectfully.

Ahead, we share a guide that provides you with everything it takes to plan a funeral or memorial service. We’ll also share a few Peerspace venues that you can rent to help streamline your planning process.

What’s the difference between a funeral and a memorial service? 

Historic Church in the Berkshires boston rental
Source: Peerspace

Before we tackle the question “how long does it take to plan a funeral or memorial service,” we need to address the difference between the two events. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between them. Knowing the difference between the two will affect your planning timeline. 

Funeral services typically occur around a week after your loved one has passed away. They usually have the deceased person’s body present and are followed by an interment at a graveyard or another final resting place.

On the other hand, memorial services don’t have to have a body present. This means that they can take place several months after your loved one has passed on. This can make memorial services a more ideal choice if you want to have a larger buffer between losing your loved one and hosting a service. Memorial services are also a popular choice for those who choose to have their loved ones cremated rather than buried. 

When choosing which service you’d prefer to host, try to keep the wishes of your loved one in mind. You also need to remember the scheduling needs of yourself and other relatives. You can also combine the two by hosting a private funeral service for family members and a public memorial service for friends and other members of the public later on.  

To give you a helping hand, here are a few things to take care of when planning for your loved one’s funeral or memorial service. 

The first step to planning a service: contact the funeral home

Beautiful building built in 1882 great for Events and Meetings san antonio rental
Source: Peerspace

While it’s possible to plan a funeral or memorial service on your own, most people choose to use a funeral home to plan services for their loved ones. You should contact the funeral home within 1-2 days of losing your loved one.

The funeral home can help you choose what kind of service you’d like to host and walk you through the planning process, letting you know how long it will take to plan the funeral or memorial service you have in mind. 

Consult the will to better understand the decedent’s preferences

suite and rooftop terrace seattle rental
Source: Peerspace

If your loved one left a will behind, this is the time to go over it. Many people have explicit requests on how they’d like their funeral or memorial services to be handled.

If your loved one didn’t communicate their wishes with you before their death, look over the will within a few days of their passing. This can give you a better idea of what they wanted for their ceremony. 

If your loved one was especially earth-conscious, host an eco funeral or a green burial. This can be a special way to honor their love for the environment. If your loved one detested gloomy black funeral wear, ask guests to come dressed in a rainbow of colors to celebrate their life instead. 

Our 10 special celebration of life ideas help you commemorate and celebrate your late loved one the way they deserve.

Find a funeral or memorial service gathering venue on Peerspace

converted warehouse and garden nyc new york city rental
Source: Peerspace

The venue you choose for your loved one’s memorial service should ideally reflect their wishes or honor the things they loved most.

For instance, if your loved one treasured spending time in the great outdoors, hosting a small memorial in an outdoor garden can be an excellent way to celebrate their life. If they valued their time spent with the local community, then your community center can be an ideal gathering place for a memorial service. 

Coming together in a welcoming atmosphere can be a tremendous comfort to you and everyone else who cherished your loved one. If you need help finding a venue where you can host your loved one’s memorial service, Peerspace is an excellent resource for finding event venues in cities all across the world, including memorial and funeral-appropriate spaces. We recommend booking at least a week in advance, if possible.

Peerspace venue rentals ideal for funerals and memorial services

Meeting Rooms Near BWI Airport
Source: Peerspace

Curious to see what types of venues you can rent for your loved one’s service or celebration? Ahead, we share a few venue ideas that may help you in your planning stages.

They include:

These are just a few examples of the types of venues you can book for a funeral or memorial service through Peerspace. Remember to keep in mind the types of venues that may be best for your guests, not just what the person you’re honoring would prefer. For instance, you may have guests who require ADA-accessible entrances. Luckily, Peerspace listings will include their access information so you can ensure you make the right venue choice.

Since all venues are owned by local hosts, you can contact yours to help with any assistance you may need as you plan your memorial or funeral service. Peerspace hosts are dedicated to ensuring their venues meet your expectations and are always happy to help you in any way they can.

Find a speaker to give the eulogy

elegant spacious studio 710
Source: Peerspace

Delivering a speech that honors your loved one’s life is one of the most important aspects of a memorial service. If you don’t feel comfortable taking the mic yourself, you can contact a family member, a close friend, or a preacher to deliver the eulogy a few days before the service. 

Instead of having a single speaker, another option is to pass the mic around to friends and family and have everyone share their best memories of your loved one. This can be a great way to reminisce about the good times you all shared with your loved one and even bring a bit of laughter to an otherwise somber day. 

Put together a slideshow to honor the decedent

Turn-key Event Screening Loft sf san francisco rental
Source: Peerspace

Playing a picture slideshow is one of the most common ways to celebrate a loved one’s life. Dig all your old photo albums out of the closet and go through them, looking for good snapshots of your loved one spending time in their favorite places, enjoying their favorite hobbies, and laughing with their favorite people. 

Going through photos can be a cathartic experience, especially when other family members and friends are there to share the memories with you. You can hire an editor to put the pictures together into a slideshow for you or make one yourself using a service like Smilebox. Just try to have it ready at least one day before the service. 

Choose a charity for donations

scientific museum historic mansion chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

Instead of spending money on floral arrangements, many people choose to ask friends and relatives to donate to a charitable organization on their loved one’s behalf. You could choose your loved one’s alma mater, church, favorite community program, or even a scientific research organization.

This can be a wonderful way to make a difference in the world and keep your loved one’s legacy alive. We recommend choosing a charity at least a day before inviting others to the service. 

Let others know the date

Nashville Birthday Ideas
Source: Peerspace

Once you’ve made all your crucial arrangements for your funeral or memorial service, it’s time to let others know about the date. Formal invitations aren’t necessary for funerals and memorial services due to their quick nature. You should try to let everyone know the date and time at least 3 days to a week before it occurs. 

Facebook posts are easy ways to get the word out to a large group of people at once. If you need to contact relatives who aren’t online, a quick call or text a few days ahead of time is enough to provide ample notice. 

Discover how much it costs to rent a community center room here.

Allow yourself to grieve

Blooming Flower Farm for DIY Events or Workshops
Source: Peerspace

Remember that while you’re in the process of making arrangements, it’s okay to be upset. This is the time to lean on the support of your family and friends while you process your emotions. It’s okay to give yourself the time you need to grieve.

We hope this has cleared up some of your questions about how long it takes to plan a funeral or memorial service.

How long does it take to plan a funeral: conclusion

Spectacular Serene Gardens in Scottsdale phoenix rental
Source: Peerspace

We hope this guide is helpful as you navigate this difficult time. There are a lot of things that go into planning a memorial or funeral service in a short time span, but hopefully, by following the steps we laid out above, it will be a bit easier for you.

Remember to use Peerspace to find and book the most suitable gathering venue and contact your venue’s host with any questions or requests. They will do what they can to ease your burden and ensure your service runs smoothly.

Find venues for funerals and memorial services on Peerspace

Get together somewhere better

Book thousands of unique spaces directly from local hosts.

Explore Spaces

Share your space and start earning

Join thousands of hosts renting their space for meetings, events, and photo shoots.

List Your Space