Catering Ideas for Funerals

Posted: 06/11/2017

With everything that comes along with a person close to you or a family member passing away, the details of the funeral can slip your mind. Even important things like catering, seem not important at all in times of tragedy. To help you out and give you some inspiration for the catering for a funeral, we have put together a few ideas to help you along your way.

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A Classic Spread


An easy approach to catering for a funeral is a buffet style spread. This kind of spread does not require professional caters, so is perfect for those on more of a budget or for those who want to go for the more of a “do it yourself” approach.

You can order platters ready made from supermarkets, Marks and Spencer are highly recommended for this. The foods which are great for platters tend to be finger foods such as sandwiches (with varying fillings), mini sausage rolls, scotch eggs, quiche. Salads are also something to consider, traditional style salads or potato salads alike.

Desserts which are easy to sort out for a buffet-style spread could include things like a selection of cheeses and crackers or loaves of bread, a biscuit selection pre-sliced cakes, mini cakes and cupcakes.

You should also offer an array of wine, beer, juice, tea and coffees to suit everyone, of all ages and tastes.

Themed Catering


If you are wanting to inject a bit of personality into a funeral service, you could theme the catering around the person in a variety of ways.

For example, if the deceased was a lover of a certain colour, you could decorate certain foods with that colour.

If they loved dogs or cats, you could get the cakes (for example) to be decorated as such.

If the deceased was known for their love of a certain type of food, you could serve that in their honour. Take, for example, sushi – you could lay out a platter of all different types of sushi as the main feature. This may invoke a sense of nostalgia in those attending the wake.

It could also be considered to inject some humour into the catering by naming dishes after things that they loved or regularly ate or drank. For example, you could serve their favourite wine and label it “Sarah’s Saturday Night Companion” or their favourite chocolate selection box “Jonny’s Guilty Pleasure”.

Professionally Catered


If you want to leave it to the professionals, you should consider hiring a catering company. This is perfect for those who feel far too stressed to do the catering themselves and for those who have a slighter larger budget.

With professional caterers, you will still be able to specify which food and drink you want at the wake, which many worry they will not be able to do.

Having professional caterers also means that you can freely mingle with those who have attended the funeral from near, far and wide without having to offer out food as this will be passed around or the spread will be laid by the caterers.

Taking into Account Everyone

When deciding which foods and drinks to choose for a wake, you need to take a few groups into account

Vegetarians and Vegans

In whatever way you go about providing catering for those who are attending the funeral, you should always have a vegetarian option, and if possible, at least one vegan option. Obviously, it is important to cater to vegans and vegetarians, therefore you should have a meat-free option and a diary free option that also does not have meat in it, of course. Furthermore, even if you are confident that no vegetarians are attending, you should still privide the option as some religions prohibit the consumption of certain meats and/or meat that is not killed in a ritual manner, I.e Kosher or Halal. Because of this, some people of religious that teach as such prefer to stick to the vegetarian option when eating outside of their home or outside of a home or restaurant which is of the same culture as themselves.


Often forgotten when planning a funeral are the children. Make sure you have kid-friendly options, such as finger food, both sweet and savoury. You should also consider serving things like milk, juice and hot chocolate – all of which typically appeal to children.