Choose the funeral date, time, and venue

Organize a Funeral

When planning the date, time, and location of a funeral service and additional events, a number of items should be considered simultaneously.

Planning a Funeral Service First, speak with the funeral home or final disposition provider about their availability. Planning around their schedule is required in order to facilitate the service.

Additionally, there are many other questions to consider, such as:

  • Would any particular day make it easier for friends and family to attend?
  • Do any religious rules, conflicts, or considerations need to be evaluated?
  • Will a visitation, viewing, or wake be held?
  • Did the deceased or surviving family request an open casket?

Once a schedule has been agreed to with the funeral home or other providers, choose what's best suited for the surviving family and any logistical and religious considerations.

Planning Additional Events The events, often known as memorial services, are held after the funeral to further commemorate the life of the deceased.

Because they may not be directly connected to the funeral, you may have more flexibility when planning a memorial service.

They can be religious or non-denominational, take place wherever the surviving family chooses, and be held right after the funeral, or days, weeks, or months later.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Though post-funeral events may not be religiously oriented, some cultures have very specific rules for post-funeral memorial services. If religious practices are to be kept, be sure to review traditions before making plans.

Similar to the funeral service, here too, choose a date and time that balances what's best for the surviving family and maximizes the attendance of friends and family.

But because a memorial service can be held anywhere, choose a venue that's most appropriate for the deceased and attendees. Many memorials are held at the homes of surviving family, an event hall, or even at a bar.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know When choosing the size of venue, a helpful rule of thumb is that each person will require between six to 10 square feet. Therefore, an event with 100 attendees will require a venue with at least 600 square feet.

No matter where the funeral or memorial service is held, contact the venue's management to discuss reserving a day and time.

Possible venues include a person's home, catering hall, or local business that may be meaningful to the deceased or the bereaved.

Once the venue is found, reserve it for the appropriate date and time.

See links below for local event spaces for rent.

Helpful Tips


For religious funerals officiated by a religious leader, you will want to avoid days that conflict with religious services and holidays. In general, you will want to avoid scheduling a funeral on a religious holiday as well.

See the list below for when it may be inappropriate to schedule certain religious funerals:

  • Buddhist: Depends on the family's wishes
  • Catholic: Not on Sunday
  • Christian: Usually not on Sunday, will depend on the church
  • Hindu: Hold funeral within 24 hours of the death
  • Jehovah's Witness: Any day
  • Jewish: Hold funeral within 24 hours, but not on Saturday
  • Latter-Day Saints (Mormon): Not on Sunday
  • Muslim: Within 24 hours
  • Orthodox Christian: Not on Sunday

Typically, if many people are expected at the service, try to choose a time that works well with people’s work schedules. Late afternoons, weekday evenings, and weekend events are easier for people to coordinate and attend.

Saturdays are the most popular days for funerals in the United States because most people do not work and it’s easier for out-of-town relatives to travel the night before the day of the funeral service.

Late morning to early afternoon hours are popular for a funeral service. Many people choose these times because they allow for a meal gathering afterwards, either at a family member’s house or another location.

Personal Considerations


Will the memorial service and final disposition happen at the same event/day?


Consider traditions and customs in selecting a location and day. A place of worship, for example, might not allow memorials to be held on certain days or times based on when regular religious services are held.

Contact the venue to learn more about how to schedule your funeral or memorial service.


There is more flexibility in scheduling and planning the memorial service.

Communicate with service providers like the funeral home director or church office manager to discuss coordination of these events, as well as transportation of the body between them, if applicable.


If the memorial service and final disposition will happen at the same event/day:

Consider traditions and customs in selecting a location and day. A place of worship, for example, might not allow memorials to be held on certain days or times based on when regular religious services are held.

Contact the venue to learn more about how to schedule your funeral or memorial service.

If the memorial service and final disposition will not happen at the same event/day:

There is more flexibility in scheduling and planning the memorial service.

Communicate with service providers like the funeral home director or church office manager to discuss coordination of these events, as well as transportation of the body between them, if applicable.

Providers to Contact


Funeral Homes with Event Spaces Near You

A funeral home is a business that helps people plan and execute funerals. They can provide a place to hold the funeral, assist with the arrangements, and help plan the service.

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Organize a Funeral