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Tips For Hosting an After-Funeral Reception


While an after-funeral reception is not a required event, many families choose to host a gathering following a memorial or funeral service honoring a loved one. It offers friends and family members a chance to continue to support each other, to share memories of the deceased in a less formal environment, and to have more time to celebrate the life of their loved one.

"When planning a luncheon or after-funeral reception, keeping it simple is usually better," said John Adolf, Director of Adolf Funeral Services. "Rely on the professional advice of a restaurant or banquet manager if you have an unpredictable number of guests attending."

When hosting a reception, be sure to ask for assistance. A small, simple affair still requires planning and coordination. With the trend toward funeral services becoming more unique and personalized, receptions are following suit. You may choose to have a casual potluck event at a family home, or you might prefer a sit-down meal at a restaurant or banquet hall. Don't feel obligated to provide alcohol or a full course meal.

"Another tip is to consider the distance between the location of the conclusion of the funeral service and where the reception will be held," added Adolf. "There is no wrong or right with having a luncheon or reception following a service. People shouldn't feel obligated to host a reception at all, if it's not appropriate for their family or their financial circumstances."

If you do host a reception, consider creating a photo wall or memory table to honor the life of your loved one. You can serve their favorite food, play meaningful and significant background music, and offer an open microphone so guests can share their favorite memory or story of the deceased. You can also provide a keepsake for guests to take home. For more tips for hosting an after-funeral reception, please contact:

Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services

John R. Adolf, Director

7000 South Madison Street

Willowbrook, IL 60527


2921 South Harlem Avenue

Berwyn, IL 60402