Products and Services

It's easy to leave something out or not get all of the information to make an informed decision when picking out funeral services or products. These explanations can help you, whether you're picking out a casket or choosing the right flowers.

Funerals are usually planned in parts with each event requiring adequate planning. From products to funeral services, you have to consider the costs and value of each to the entire funeral and burial. Funeral homes will offer “bundles” that will usually include multiple products and services, but it isn't necessary to get a bundle. If you can buy a cheaper casket and flower arrangements somewhere else, you can simply hire a funeral home to set up the viewing or burial.

You can also set all of the events yourself if you want the funeral to be held in a particular way or you need to cut down on the costs. For families with a strong cultural background, there may specific customs that will require more planning and don't necessarily fit into the bundles created by a funeral home. In addition, it can cost more to have the funeral home do small things that should be done by the family, such as writing a eulogy or obituary. By creating a list to coordinate each event, you can plan for all the different required products and services during the funeral period.

It's also important that you remember other small things, such as memorial cards and thank you notes. If you have a friend or close loved one to help you plan for these events, you can save yourself an incredible amount of time and stress. You also may need to consult other members of your family on the different costs and how the body should be buried, including in what condition and what location. For example, you may want the body embalmed but it isn't a necessary cost. All of this can be overwhelming during the funeral, so that's why having someone to help you prepare and share the burdens is a good idea.


Caskets can be very simple or elaborate and decorated. You also should consider the preferences of your loved ones, who may want to help you pick out the right casket. There are basically two different types of caskets. One is made of hardwood, such as birch, black walnut, mahogany and maple. These caskets are usually handcrafted and will each have a slightly different appearance in the showroom. There are also metal caskets made of stainless steel, bronze or copper. Metal caskets are often a good choice for durability, and even if made in metal, they can be different colors. In addition, the inside of the casket can be very elaborate. Orthodox caskets may also be required if you follow Judaism, which simply requires a plain casket.

Cremation Urns

There are various types of urns, from hardwood to ceramic to temporary containers. Cremation urns may be uniquely crafted for someone's specifications. Just like caskets, urns may be ornate fixtures in the home or simple containers that hold and protect something precious. Bronze urns are a popular choice for many, and these produce high quality ornate, almost jewelry box type of holder for ashes. They also come in several different patterns and styles.

Burial Vaults

A burial vault is often called a “burial container,” often being used in a traditional, full service funeral. The vault is placed in the ground before the burial and the casket is then lowered inside. The purpose is to prevent the ground from caving in as the casket will deteriorate over time. Most grave liners are made of concrete and satisfy any cemetery requirements. These will cover both the sides and top of the casket, but it is different from an actual burial vault. These surround the casket in concrete or another heavy duty material, usually which comes with a protect strength guarantee. State laws do not require a vault, so it is simply a preference. Grave liners are also not required by law, but cemeteries may require some type of protection.

Floral Selection

There are several different types of flowers to use for a funeral, and there aren't any rules about which flowers are appropriate. There are flowers that are more appropriate to different cultures, but they don't necessarily have to be used in the burial. In general, flowers will be required for several different aspects of the funeral, including to place on the casket, to offer at memorial and viewing services, and as decorative pieces.