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Funeral Wake Venues in London

Find and book a funeral wake reception venue in London

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We know planning a wake during such a difficult time is stressful enough without the added pressure of finding the perfect venue. So let us help. We have many tasteful venue suggestions on where to hold a wake that will also be able to take care of you catering needs too.

Organising a Wake Reception


Having to organise a funeral reception isn’t a task that anyone would wish to do. At a time of grief, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you suddenly have to plan an event. Everyone’s family has their own way of doing things, and the wishes of the deceased must also be respected. If you are unsure where to even begin when it comes to planning this, we hope that this guide can help you to get everything sorted in a quick and stress-free way.


What Type of Wake Reception Are You Having?


This is the most important question you have to ask yourself. You will need to take into consideration the wishes and traditions of family, as well as any wishes the deceased may have communicated previously. Wakes can be broadly split into two main types, private and public. A private wake is where only immediate family and friends attend, and people are usually personally invited. This is a small affair and can happen either in the family home or at an outside venue. It might be immediately after the funeral or a few hours later. A public wake is open to anyone who attended the funeral and gives them a chance to talk to the family, give their condolences, and also celebrate the person’s life. If you are having a public wake reception, it’s important that you print where it will be in the death notice. There may be some that can’t make the funeral service, or for whatever reason choose to only go to the wake. Notices can be put out in local newspapers but are also increasingly found online so that people who live further away have easy access to all the relevant information.


Where Are you Having the Reception?


Venue will be the next thing that you will need to consider. Depending on how many people you are expecting, you may need to hire out a sizable venue to accommodate everyone. Many wakes happen in church halls, but they aren’t to everyone’s liking and so hotels and even pubs are also popular choices of venue. While numbers will help you to decide, knowing whether you are going to serve food or have any entertainment can also affect your venue choice. Wake receptions are now much more common as a way to celebrate a person’s life rather than mourning them. Depending on your needs, you are sure to be able to find a wake reception venue for hire in London that will suit the type of event you wish to hold.


Are You Serving Food?


This will all depend on preferences and family traditions. At some wake receptions, everyone provides food themselves, with attendees bringing plates of sandwiches and deserts for everyone to share. There are venues who won’t allow this however so it’s not as common if you are hosting outside of the home. Other wakes will provide food in a buffet style for people to grab and snack on while talking to the people they know. Still others organise a sit-down meal at the hotel they are hosting from. This is a more formal affair but also allows members of the family to say a few words and thank everyone for attending. If you are looking to serve food of any type, talk first with your venue. They may cater in-house which means that there’s one less thing for you to worry about. This is the best course of action if you require food. When looking for venues, enquire if they can also cater so you can go down this route.


Can You Have Entertainment at a Wake Reception?


The answer is yes. You can have anything that you feel is appropriate to have. This may be musicians, a slideshow of pictures, or even people taking to a mic and telling their favourite stories of the deceased. Anything is permitted. Many people now wish for their funeral to be a celebration of life, and so encourage entertainment and laughter. Depending on your culture, having a drink at a wake reception will also be part of this as a toast to the memory of the deceased. Wakes no longer need to be a sombre affair, and so if you feel that you would like songs to be played and stories shared, then you should go ahead and organise this entertainment. There may be some who are surprised, but everyone will soon get into the spirit of the event.


Other Ideas to Remember the Deceased


If you are looking to do something to memorialise the deceased at the funeral reception, then there are lots of ideas out there that allow the guests to get involved. These include having a memory jar, tree, or book where people can write down their favourite moments and things that they learnt from the person. This is a great memento for the family to have and seeing how loved their family member was can greatly help with the grieving process. If you are playing music, have a list of the deceased favourite songs as well. You can also decorate the venue with photographs of the person and items of special significance to them. This all can help to lift the mood and make the event once that is more focused on remembrance than on sorrow.


No matter what type of reception you go for, be it private or public, in a sports hall or in a hotel, it’s always going to be a difficult thing to have to organise. The main things to remember is to consider not what other people expect, but what you and other family members want from the day. Perhaps you’ve been left instructions from the deceased to follow? If this is the case, then honour them by following their final wishes and giving them the wake reception that they envisioned.

FAQs Funeral Wake Venues in London


What is a wake reception?

A wake reception is a celebration of life, where close friends and family of the deceased gather to pay their respects to their loved one. It is usually held after a funeral service and can be hosted in a wide range of venues. Ultimately it is the decision of the deceased’s loved ones to decide where they hold a wake. London has a whole host of venues that are able to host a wake reception.



How can I organise a wake reception?

The death of a loved one can be incredibly distressing. However, many people find great comfort in planning a wake in honour of their loved one. Although the planning process can be incredibly emotional, you should follow these steps when planning a wake reception: • Decide who to invite • Is the wake going to be private or public? • Choose a venue to host your wake • Organise food and drink • Share details of the wake with family and friends



What is the difference between a wake and a memorial?

Many people don’t realise that there is a distinct difference between a wake and a memorial. A wake is known as a funeral reception where close friends and family of the deceased gather together to pay their respects. On the other hand, a memorial is a service or statue dedicated to someone who died. Memorials also celebrate the life of the deceased, however this can be held at any time and at any location.



Do you provide food at a wake?

When organising a funeral wake, it's tradition to cater for the people attending the wake. This doesn’t mean that you need to cater for three course meals. Many people opt for a simple buffet that can be enjoy whilst people mingle with family and friends.



How do you know how many people to cater for at a wake?

When it comes to catering for a funeral wake, it is important that you know how many people you are catering for. Before the wake, make sure you find out who is attending. This will not only allow you to cater for the correct number of people, but it will also ensure that you are able to find a suitable venue to hire.



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