Planning a funeral reception to honour a loved one who just passed away can be a taxing thing to do. Still, it is ultimately necessary so friends and family can gather and celebrate the life of the departed. No one expects you to just know how to organise a reception, especially if you’ve never been to a funeral before. But if you ever need to learn how to plan one, here’s a simple planning guide you can follow.

1. Choose the Date and Time of the Funeral Reception

Funeral receptions are in no way a requirement after the death of a loved one. But it’s a great way to commemorate the life of the one who passed away. To organise one, you must first choose the date and time of the reception. More often than not, receptions are held immediately following the funeral or memorial service. While this isn’t a rule, it’s definitely more convenient to do this rather than setting a different time and date for the reception. People in mourning are already gathered, so you might as well bring them to a place where they can meet other people who also treasure the departed.

2. Consider Your Budget

Of course, like any gathering, a funeral reception does have a cost. Although it doesn’t have to be grand and entertaining, you’ll still need to host and feed a couple of people. There’s also the location. If you’re hosting a great number of people that may or may not fit your house, then you may need to look for a different venue. This should be considered in your budget. When it comes to the food, it’s all up to you how much food and what kind will be served. Will it be a fully catered meal, maybe a potluck, or just a couple of snacks? Whatever the case may be, make sure to include it in your budget.

3. Choose a Funeral Venue

Normally, funeral receptions are held in the house of the departed’s family or even a friend of the departed. However, if you don’t have a place for the funeral reception, you may need to look for a venue for hire in Brisbane. There are many event and community centres or function rooms you can hire for the reception. You can have the funeral reception in any location of your choosing. It could be someplace special for the departed or just a simple outdoor gathering.

4. Send Out Invitations

This isn’t a requirement, but sending out invitations will make the event much more meaningful. An email blast, sending a group text or social media announcement is also an option. The whole point is, that you need to inform the people who’ll be attending if there will be a funeral reception and where or when it will take place.

5. Select Close Friends To Share

Begin by considering close family members and friends. They often have unique insights into the person’s life and can share personal anecdotes that highlight different facets of their character. Aim for a diverse selection of speakers to provide a well-rounded view of the deceased. Include individuals from different stages of their life, such as childhood friends, colleagues, and family members. Consider the emotional strength of potential speakers. While it’s normal for emotions to run high at a funeral, individuals who can express themselves clearly and handle their emotions may be better suited for speaking roles.

Reach out to potential speakers well in advance of the funeral. This gives them time to reflect on their memories and prepare a heartfelt tribute. Remember, the goal is to create a collective tribute that honours the life of the deceased from various angles. Each speaker contributes to a mosaic of memories that paints a fuller picture of the person and the impact they had on those around them.

6. Plan a Thank-You Speech

At the reception itself, saying a thank-you speech to all the people who attended and sent their regards is a welcomed tradition. It’s an excellent way to give thanks to everyone, especially those people who helped you put the reception together. Be sure to thank the funeral director and their staff, as well as the pastor or clergy member who officiated.


Planning and organising a funeral reception is a noble and touching way of memorialising someone who recently passed away. It’s the perfect time and place for the people to share stories and give their condolences to the family, and to comfort each other in this difficult time.

Unidus Community & Conference Centre is a multi-purpose venue that can host a variety of events, including funeral receptions. If you need a flexible Brisbane funeral venue, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team to discuss how we can assist you.