Flowers and Mementos
Flowers are a wonderful expression of affection and sympathy, and a specially shaped bouquet for the top of the casket is popular.
All of our local florists make beautiful casket sprays, and they are usually able to incorporate your flower and colour choices. We are happy to let them know your preferences.
Many florists will also incorporate flowers from your own garden, or other items of particular significance such as vegetables, sports equipment or other favourite things.
Whether you choose a casket spray, a single flower, or a simple bunch of flowers, feel free to let us know your favourite florist or pay them a visit to discuss your requirements in more detail.
It is common these days for mourners to be offered a flower to place on the casket as a final gesture of farewell. We can order a basket of petals, flower heads, lavender or rosemary on your behalf, if you wish. Commonly known as "committal flowers", we also encourage you to use items from your own garden, or any other items of significance to the person who has died.
Although the tradition has been for friends to send flowers, some families prefer to invite them to make a donation to a particular charity or community service in memory of the person who has died. If you choose this option we will ensure that any donations are passed on to the organisation after the funeral.
Using carefully chosen symbols in a funeral service can enhance the significant aspects of a person’s life, and help create a very personal atmosphere for the service.
• Candles are a symbol of love, light and hope. Candle lighting during the service is always a poignant ritual.
• A flag draped over a coffin, the playing of the Last Post, and the red poppies used in the Returned Services tribute speak to us of a person’s contribution to his or her country.
• A flag may be symbolic of the person’s country of birth.
• Academic, sporting or community achievement awards tell us of other achievements in a person’s life.
• Art, craft, other artefacts and hobbies show additional dimensions of the person whose life is being honoured.
Most funeral services today are accompanied by a printed service sheet outlining details such as words to hymns, readings, tributes and messages of thanks. A photo on the cover of the sheet provides a lasting memorial. We can design and print personalised service sheets to meet your wishes.
Your funeral director will advise you as to how soon we need the details so that everything is ready in time for the funeral.
Music and Slideshows
Music can often express our emotions and feelings in a way that our own words cannot. Music speaks to our hearts – especially in a funeral service. The music selected and the way it is used usually set the emotional tone of the service.
There are many opportunities for music, both to listen and reflect to, and to sing along with. Music can be played from a CD or iPod, or we can arrange an organist or piper for you.
You may like to choose 20-30 minutes of favourite music to play softly in the background as people arrive at the service. Think about favourite music to walk in and out to. Whatever your choice, your funeral director will able to help you with suggestions.
Most people agree that photos are a wonderful way to recall a life well lived.
A collection of photos on DVD accompanied by a piece of music can be a lovely visual tribute during the funeral service.
Our funeral directors are experienced in creating funeral tributes on DVD. We recommend choosing around 35 photographs and a special piece of music for an in-service tribute. It is meaningful to remember a life's journey, so giving some thought to the order the images will appear is important.
If you have lots of photos you wish to share, it can be nice to have them rolling over as people arrive at the service, with your choice of soft music in the background.
For the best possible experience, aim to have both photos and music to us 24 hours before the funeral service.
If you wish to create the tribute yourselves, we recommend using slideshow software, such as Moviemaker or ProShow, which is capable of publishing direct to DVD. To ensure your show works as it should, we appreciate having the DVD to test the day before the service.
If you are using pall bearers, it is best that you approach these people prior to the funeral service. Many friends will be honoured to assist you by helping carry the casket at the funeral. Asking for this kind of assistance may also be a useful way to incorporate service clubs that the person was a member of, or to involve cousins, nephews and nieces.
The usual way to carry the casket in New Zealand is at ‘arms length’. The method of carrying it up on the shoulder, although common in some other countries, tends to be reserved for full military or VIP funerals. However, there is no reason why it cannot be done in this way if that is what the family chooses.
Regardless of which method is used, it is preferable for six people to be available as pall bearers.
Your funeral director will wish to assemble all of the bearers outside before the start of the service, to brief them on how to carry the casket, and when to come forward.
EX SERVICE PERSONNEL
The local RSA is happy to attend and conduct a Returned Services tribute for any service person who has died. A bugler will play the Last Post if you would like these traditions to be part of the ceremony.
A flag may be draped over the casket and medals may be displayed on a cushion. In addition, poppies can be supplied to those wishing to come forward and place them on top of the casket during this ceremony.
Service personnel and their spouses are entitled to be buried in a subsidised plot in most cemeteries. The plaque or headstone on these graves is also subsidised by the New Zealand Government, and we are happy to order this on your behalf.
If you do not know the service details of the person who has died, we are able to obtain these details from Personnel Archives at the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the family.
Tributes and Memorial Books
We provide a tribute book free of charge, for mourners to sign at the service.
We can also create an online memorial for your loved ones through
We can help you write and place newspaper notices locally and nationally.