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Why Choosing an Alternative Venue for a Funeral Can Totally Change the Feel of the Day

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Funeral ceremonies have for a long time taken place in traditional settings such as crematoriums or religious buildings. However, there is an emerging trend towards alternative funeral venues. As a funeral celebrant in Sussex, I have had the privilege of witnessing first hand how choosing a non-traditional venue can completely transform the atmosphere and overall experience of a funeral. In this blog post, I will explore the reasons why opting for an alternative venue can bring a unique and personal touch to honoring a loved one's memory.

Beth Kirkham Ceremonies sussex woodland celebrant funeral


One of the main advantages of selecting an alternative venue is the ability to create a personalised tribute that truly reflects the individual being remembered. Unlike traditional settings, alternative venues offer more flexibility in terms of decor, music, timings and ambience. Whether it's a beautiful garden, a serene beach, a charming barn, the local golf club or a cherished family home, the chosen location can evoke memories and provide a more intimate space for family and friends to connect and share their stories. This personal touch can help celebrate the unique life and personality of the departed, making the funeral a truly meaningful and heartfelt experience.

A Celebration of Life

Alternative venues also lend themselves well to creating a celebration of life rather than a strictly formal and mournful occasion. By choosing a location that holds positive associations, such as a favorite park, local pub or a beloved community hall, the atmosphere becomes more uplifting and joyous. This shift in tone allows mourners to focus on the happy moments shared with the departed, fostering a sense of closure and appreciation for a life well-lived. It offers an opportunity to remember the person as they were, full of vitality, and to honor their passions and accomplishments.

Alternative woodland funeral setting Sussex

Comfort and Inclusivity

Many alternative venues provide a more relaxed and comfortable environment for mourners. Outdoor locations, for example, can provide a sense of tranquility and connection to nature. Such settings often accommodate larger gatherings, ensuring that everyone who wishes to attend can do so without feeling cramped or excluded. This inclusivity brings with it a sense of community and support, allowing individuals to find solace in the company of others who are also mourning the loss.


When it comes to saying goodbye to a loved one, opting for an alternative venue for a funeral can have a profound impact on the experience. By personalising the ceremony, embracing a celebratory atmosphere, and providing comfort and inclusivity, these unique locations allow mourners to honor their loved ones in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. Whether it's a natural landscape, a cherished family home, or a community space, the choice of venue can help transform a somber occasion into a heartfelt celebration of life. We are lucky here in Sussex to have some wonderful options of alternative venues, so please do get in touch if you would like any ideas or recommendations.

Photo credits:

Photographer: @maxturnerweddings

Venue: @weddingsatwoodfords

Funeral Director: @fbsussex Florist: @blossomandbeefloristry Celebrant: @bethkirkhamceremonies Coordinator: @rhythmnsandribbons

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