There are many aspects of a funeral that we can help make bespoke.
More and more people are deciding to add a personal touch that best reflects their loved one, from sports teams to hobbies and interests; we can encompass any personal touch as long as it does not compromise the basic principles and legality of the funeral.
If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us.
While some people like the comfort of tradition when it comes to funeral styles, others may prefer to add some quirky elements either to better reflect the personality and enthusiasms of their loved one or just to be a little bit different. As long as it’s legal, Tovey Bros will endeavour to meet any request you may have, or reach a happy compromise if we aren’t able to meet your exact requirements, so please don’t hesitate to talk to us.
Some of the special requests we’ve arranged previously include:
Specialist vehicles – e.g. vintage vehicles, lorries, motorcycle corteges, horse drawn hearses, tractor and trailer; Land Rover hearse; VW Hearse
Monumental masonry and memorials – Tovey Bros can advise you on what the proposed final resting site will permit in relation to headstones and other stone memorials and then help you source an appropriate supplier. Tovey Bros is able to provide interim wooden crosses to mark the grave during the period of settlement and while the permanent memorial is being made.
Personalised funeral stationery – with the agreement of the presiding officiator, we can arrange for personalised funeral stationery to be designed and printed e.g. Order of Service pamphlets, hymn and music sheets, to include photographs, poems, drawings or other tributes. We can also arrange to have some memorial token produced e.g. memorial bookmarks.
Bespoke designed flower arrangements – Interflora
Unusual coffins, caskets and urns – there are a wide range of coffins, caskets and urns available today to suit every kind of personal preference when it comes to an individual’s final repose as many people these days want something which is more in line with the personal beliefs and values the deceased held during their lifetime. It’s possible to have a coffin hand–painted in a particular design by an artist, or a body can be laid to rest in a traditional shroud or ecopod, or maybe you’d like your loved one’s ashes contained in a cask in the design of a pharoah’s burial mask. Tovey Bros will be pleased to advise you of your options and then procure whatever you decide on. See also our section on coffins under ‘Our services‘.
What to do with cremated remains – from burying a loved one’s ashes in the garden to scattering them at sea to launching them into space in a gloriously festive firework, Tovey Bros can advise you on your options and the legality of your proposed actions.
Burial at sea – Tovey Bros works with Britannia Shipping and will be happy to arrange this for you.
Music – many different types of music are now regularly played at funerals e.g. recordings, bells, bagpipes, jazz bands etc, but please do check that what you want is acceptable to your chosen funeral venue. If needed, Tovey Bros can help you find a suitable musician, singer or band to provide a fitting musical tribute to your loved one. Eureka Jazz or Richard Moulton – singer/actor/DJ.
Military and Emergency Service funerals – if the deceased was a member of the military or one of the emergency services, and the family is keen to have this part of their lives reflected in the funeral service, Tovey Bros can work with both the family and a representative of the relevant organisation to ensure that the funeral adheres to the correct protocol and that the deceased receives the final respects of the organisation as appropriate.
Eulogy – for help with writing a eulogy which really is a truly personal tribute to the deceased enter ‘writing a eulogy’ into Google and there is plenty of free help and advice to be had on this subject. Other points about eulogies are that it is best to keep them quite short – about five minutes or less is best – and to write them down and have a script with you. Don’t try and do them off the cuff. Also, in case emotion gets the better of the person tasked with delivering the eulogy, it is advisable to have a typed copy so that someone else can read it out if need be.
Online memorials – after a period of reflection, you may wish to create a special tribute to the life of your loved one which can be shared by family and friends and there are websites which enable you to do this, such as:
Other ways of remembering a loved one – there are a number of other ways to remember a loved one, many of which have the added benefit of contributing something positive back to the community. For example, it is possible to plant a tree in memory of your loved one (contact Trees to Show you Care on 01633 232819), or purchase a tile for St. Woolos Cathedral roof to support the Cathedral’s fund raising appeal and have your loved one’s name entered in the Cathedral’s Memorial Book.
Presentation of the deceased – Tovey Bros is able to dress the deceased in a favourite outfit or uniform as requested. If the family provides a photograph, the deceased’s hair and make–up as worn during their lifetime can be replicated as closely as possible taking into account practical limitations. Families often choose to have this done if the deceased is going to be in an open coffin in the time leading up to the funeral.
Attendance cards – Tovey Bros can arrange to have attendance cards distributed to mourners at the funeral to fill in so that the family has a complete record of who attended the funeral.
Family bearers – if the family wants one or more members to help carry the coffin, or indeed to carry the coffin themselves, Tovey Bros is happy to arrange this. However, we do ask that the proposed bearers are all in a good state of health and physically capable of carrying out this task. If there is any uncertainty at all about the capabilities of a proposed bearer then Tovey Bros strongly advises against this course of action. Alternatively Tovey Bros can arrange for the coffin to be wheeled on a wheelbier with family members walking in attendance.
Sound and vision relay – if a service is taking place in very small venue where people are going to have to stand outside, Tovey Bros can arrange for a sound and vision relay so that people can participate from outside. It’s also possible to have the funeral broadcast over the Internet and/or recorded if required.
Visual Tributes – some venues offer the option to create a visual tribute where photos of the loved one or family members are shown, often accompanied by music.
Videographer – we are able to recommend somebody to record the funeral either for people who cannot attend or as a lasting memorial.
Walking funerals – Tovey Bros can arrange for a walking funeral cortege, with a funeral director walking at the head of the cortege and family walking behind. We can also arrange for the cortege to take a specific route if required.
Doves – Tovey Bros can arrange for doves to be released at the close of the burial or cremation service at the family’s request in a final, symbolic act.
Mourners clothing – You may like to stipulate that people do not wear traditional mourning clothes or that they should wear colourful clothes, you may even like to ask for people to wear an item in a particular colour such as pink.
If you are not able to attend the funeral in person but wish to send flowers please do call us and we will be happy to advise on local florists who will deliver your tribute to the funeral home. Please ensure that floral tributes arrive at the funeral home at least two hours prior to the time of the funeral.
You can make a donation at the service or online. Please see our funeral details for more information. You can also send a cheque made payable to the specified charity to Tovey Bros. Let us know if you require a receipt and ensure that you provide us with your address details. Cheques are held by Tovey Bros until all the donations have been received and then forwarded to the charity. This can take some time, in some cases up to a couple of months, so if your cheque hasn’t cleared your bank account, then do bear with us. If after a few weeks your cheque still hasn’t cleared then please do call us for an update. Once all the cheques have been received the family is informed of the total amount donated to the charity in their loved one’s name and the identities of all contributors.
If you are a taxpayer click here to download a copy of the Gift Aid Declaration. Please print this off, complete it and return it with your cheque. This enables the charity to claim back the tax you have paid on your contribution and so increase the amount they receive.
Click here to go to our funeral list where you can find out if flowers or donations have been requested and if the family has specified a charity.