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The Arrangement Conference

Couple meeting with funeral director

The Arrangement Conference

The arrangement conference is your family’s opportunity to meet with a licensed funeral director (or funeral arranger) and discuss how you wish to honor your loved one’s life. Your family’s funeral director will take the time to answer your questions, learn more about your loved one’s life and share the choices available for memorialization.

Whether your family decides to plan a traditional funeral service or a more informal gathering, the funeral director will guide your family through the planning process. Items discussed will include the venue, merchandise, music, published tribute and/or final resting place and any financial concerns. During the arrangement conference the funeral director will also collect personal information about your loved one, which is needed to complete legal documents.

The arrangement conference may occur at the funeral home or the funeral director may come to your home. While it is nice to have an in-person discussion and tour the funeral home, especially if that is where the service will be held, you can also make arrangements by phone or email. Some funeral homes offer online arrangement conferencing.

An arrangement conference can be as brief as a half hour or as long as several hours. The length depends on a variety of factors, including your level of emotion and grief, the number of details involved in the service and the decisions you are prepared to make at the time. It is perfectly acceptable to request a break during the meeting or reschedule for another day. It is important to take care of yourself during periods of loss and ensure you get plenty of rest. Remember to stay hydrated in addition to eating regular meals and snacks. Your funeral director will likely offer you refreshments during the arrangement conference.

A death can be an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. Your funeral director works with grieving family members and friends on a daily basis and recognizes the arrangement conference may be a very difficult process. He or she understands that you may need to take your time and that tears – sometimes even anger - are common. Expressing grief as well as other emotions is a natural part of the process and your funeral director is prepared to lend a caring and sympathetic ear.