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Looking for Affordable Monuments?

Memorials are usually permanent fixtures like large headstones or statues used to memorialize the deceased. However, there are other kinds of monuments that are just as special but more affordable. Many people want to set up a monument to their lost loved one after a service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA, but can’t afford the more traditional structures. This list of ideas for affordable monuments can help you memorialize your lost loved one while staying on budget.

To begin, you can use your memories. Your memories of your loved one are always with you and are also completely free. Use your memories as a monument to the deceased by telling stories about them to younger generations and by asking friends, family and other loved ones to share their stories as well.

Make these memories more permanent by asking people to write them down in a journey or, for more the more tech-savvy, making a video compilation of them telling their memories. What about pictures? Everyone has many pictures of loved ones, so it’s easy to use photographs as a monument when someone you love passes away. Simple framed photos and scrapbooks are equally meaningful and help you remember them. You can also write a memorial or repurpose belongings. Even if you’re not a gifted writer, it can still be meaningful to write some kind of memorial for your lost loved one.

Try writing a poem, memoir, short story, or even just an essay about how you feel about their life and loss. You can repurpose almost any of your lost loved one’s belongings as memorial. For example, you can turn a shirt or blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal. What about making a mixtape? Music is very powerful and can help us work through difficult emotions. Make a playlist or a mixtape that reminds you of your lost loved one so you can listen whenever you’re thinking about them or you miss them.

Don’t forget to share it with family and friends. You can also give to charity. One of the best ways to honor the deceased is to help their good legacy live on through charitable giving. Even a small donation will go a long way towards helping a cause that your lost loved one believed in or cared about. Or plant a memorial garden. Flowers, trees, bushes and other living things are always a beautiful reminder that life goes on and there can be beauty in the wake of loss. Plant a memorial garden for your lost loved one at home in your yard or work with your local authorities to plant a garden or even a tree in a public place. Finally, there’s cremation jewelry. Cremation jewelry takes part of the deceased’s cremains and turns it into jewelry that you can wear or carry with you at all times.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more tips on memorialization or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. After all, these are just a few of the many ways you can memorialize your lost loved one without spending a large amount of money.

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Tips for Picking Caterers

If you don’t choose an event center with catering for a memorial after your loved one’s cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA, you will have to choose an outside caterer.

This might be overwhelming, but these tips are here to help. The first step in choosing a caterer is deciding what kind of catering you want. There are three main categories: full service, drop and go, and drop off with service. Full-service catering is the highest tier of catering options as the caterer will take care of every step of the food service, leaving you free to simply remember your lost loved one in the company of your guests. Full-service catering takes care of everything including dinnerware rentals, staffing, setting the tables, serving, bussing the tables, and organizing the food.

Full-service catering can be plated or buffet service, but no matter which kind the caterer will take care of the food whether that means staging the plates for plated or keeping the buffet trays stocked during service. Some buffet full-service caterers will also staff the buffet line to keep people moving, help with serving, and control portions. Drop and go catering is the exact opposite of full-service. Much more affordable, this kind of catering is perfect for those looking to save some money on their lost loved one’s service. Restaurants and caterers will do drop and go service as all it requires on their part is to make the food and then drop it off at the venue.

That means that everything else, from set up and tear down to utensils, service, and stocking is up to you. While you will save money on this type of catering, there are some issues to be on the lookout for. For example, it’s important to make sure that the food is delivered early enough for you to have time to set it out before service. Many people also forget how much stuff it takes to serve food: serving platters, trays, serving forks, serving spoons, hot boxes, refrigeration, and more.

If you choose to go with drop and go catering, just be prepared. Give yourself enough time to set up, make a list of everything you will need, and maybe nominate a friend or two to help you keep the buffet stocked and clean up. The final option is drop off with service. Most catering companies and restaurants that offer drop off catering will also have service additions you can add on to their basic plans. These additions could include things you will need for serving like trays and utensils, or it could even be staffers to help set up, serve and tear down. Think about what kind of help you want from your caterer and ask them to give you a quote with those specific tasks added on.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more. We are honored to offer whatever assistance we can. Use these tips and our Washington Crossing, PA cremation services to help make your time of loss and grief a little easier.

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Food for Wakes

If you’re planning a wake after a service at a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA, you might want to consider having a few healthy options on your menu. After all, many people are starting to enjoy staying healthy even in times of grief.

Remember, healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or bland. There are tons of food options out there that are just as lean as they are flavorful. Many of them are Mediterranean. Mediterranean food is known for bold flavors with plenty of nutritious benefits. Recipes from Spain, Italy, Greece and other similar locations are great options for healthy but still delicious food. Mediterranean food is most made of lighter meats like seafood and poultry as well as plenty of fresh vegetables, brown rice and whole grains. These particular blends help give the body essential nutrients as well as healthy fats that provide lasting energy.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these Mediterranean wake service food ideas, like Orzo Salad. Pasta salad is an event favorite, but orzo salad takes it to new levels of flavor while keeping things light. Orzo salad often has herbs, olives and vibrant cherry tomatoes with plenty of flavorful olive oil and maybe vinegar.

What about Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki? This Greek dish is bold in taste but light in fat thanks to skewered and grilled lean pieces of chicken and a dip made from zesty green yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and savory herbs. Serve with pita bread for dipping. Finally, Kolokithokeftedes, hard to say but easy to eat, these zucchini fritters contain olive oil feta cheese and dill. They are crispy and light but are super simple to make and serve.

Having good food at your lost loved one’s service is essential for success, but it can be hard to satisfy the array of preferences, dietary needs and tastes that your guests will have. So, be sure to provide both vegetarian and vegan options as these diets are very popular these days. You need to make sure that your vegan and vegetarian guests will be just as happy and satiated as your more carnivorous guests.

Don’t forget about cleanup. Try and keep some of the food to handheld and easily consumed to prevent spilling and extra dishes. Also, remember, pasta sauce can quickly ruin a dress and an evening. Also, take some time to think about how the drinks will pair with the food. For example, don’t serve fish and only red wine, or sweet sangria with super sweet cake. Offer a range of items. After all, not everyone likes the same things so you need to be sure that there will be something everyone can enjoy.

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Are you looking for more tips or information on what to do in your time of loss? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. We’re a Washington Crossing, PA funeral home and are here to do whatever we can to assist you and your loved ones in your time of loss. Give us a call or visit us today.

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Writing Thank You Cards After a Memorial

The end of your loved one’s cremation service in Newtown, PA isn’t the end of your funeral to-do list. You still have to send out thank you cards. How do you actually go about sending thank you cards? It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t that bad – especially if you follow these tips:

  • Who should you send thank you cards to? – Besides the guests and anyone who sent a gift or made a donation, you should also thank vendors, officiants or speakers, attendants, your parents or whoever helped you organize the funeral. Some people also send thank you cards to the funeral director or cremation provider staff.
  • Don’t Wait Too Long – Try to send out thank you cards as soon as you can after the funeral, but don’t stress yourself out too much. The proper window of time for thank you cards is one to two months after the service.
  • Start Tracking Early – It will be so hard to try and remember or determine who gave what or who brought what after the funeral. The sooner you start keeping track of flowers, food, or donations the better off you will be. If people send gifts early you can also be sneaky and write some thank you cards before the funeral itself. Just don’t send them till afterwards.
  • Stay Organized – Make a list and stick to it! Keep track of who gave what and when so you can just follow your list when it’s time to say, “thank you.”
  • Stationary – If you have it in your budget to buy personalized or custom stationary for the thank you cards, go for it. However, if you don’t have the extra cash, clean, pretty and simple cards or paper will do the trick.
  • Get Some Help – Similarly, you don’t have to write the thank you cards all on your own. Get some help, whether it’s from a colleague, friend, or family member.
  • Go Slow – You don’t have to write all the cards in one sitting. In fact, it’s better to write a few every day so you don’t get overwhelmed, make mistakes, or loose personalization.
  • Keep it Personal – Try to make every card as personalized as you can. Write a tidbit about where their donation is going or how their thoughtful food was delicious. These personalized touches will make your guests feel appreciated.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Newtown, PA cremation service provider, is here to help with any other questions you may have about thank you notes, funeral services, or any other aspect of at-needs or pre-needs planning. We’re honored to do what we can to help in your time of loss. After all, sending out thank you cards might seem a bit outdated or unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s absolutely vital to thank the people that brought flowers, food, or otherwise supported you in your time of loss. giving gifts. Plus, thank you cards allow you to stay connected with people even after the funeral is over.

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Tips for Choosing Florists for Wakes

Choosing a florist is a big part of planning a service, and it can be a tricky thing to do as there are a lot of things you have to consider when looking for florists sure that you’re happy with the flowers you get to honor your lost loved one. As most wakes held after funeral home services in Newtown, PA could benefit from some lovely fresh flowers, you should use these tips to make sure you choose a good florist for your loved one’s service.

Look online at Pinterest, check out photos of other services, and talk with funeral directors to come up with a general idea of what you want your flowers to look like. This way you can show potential florists your inspiration photos to see if they will be able to give you what you want.

You also need to start looking as soon as you can. It’s never too early to start checking out florists. The more time you give yourself for your search the less frantic your search will be. Plus, these days, florists can book up very early. Start early to make sure you have plenty of time to do research, get inspiration, interview different options, and make sure the one you pick is still available.

You can’t choose a florist until you know what you want. Take some time to research the different florists in your area. Look at websites, check out Instagram pages, and read as many reviews as you can get your hands on. Don’t forget to check out pricing, too. This way you can quickly check options off your list if they don’t immediately gel with your budget or if they have lots of negative reviews.

Don’t forget to think about budget or to do some research. Flowers don’t come cheap, so it’s important that you have a good idea of your budget before you begin talking with florists. This way you can eliminate options quickly if they are out of your price range, so you don’t get you heart broken by loving flowers that are too expensive. You can also ask your funeral home and other vendors about different florists as many vendors work with one another often and can offer valuable insight into who is reliable, who does good work and who will be a good fit. Finally, make some calls. While research is important, it’s not the only way you should decide on a florist.

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to chat with various options or, better yet, get in the car and go visit them and their shop to see some work in person. Your florist will be a big part of your lost loved one’s service, so you want to make sure you have complementing personalities and work types. That can only be determined with an interview.

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Use these tips to find a great florist for your lost loved one’s service, but, most of all, take your time and don’t feel like you have to go with the first florist you meet. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you need more guidance on florists or Newtown, PA funeral homes or florists. We’re happy to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss.

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Tips for Choosing a Venue for a Memorial

Even though planning the service aspect of the memorial, writing a eulogy, and even deciding on the flowers are all very important, one of the most important aspects of planning a memorial after a cremation service in Langhorne, PA is choosing the right venue. Unfortunately, choosing a venue can be stressful.

Rather than get overwhelmed, use this list of things to think about when choosing an event center in which to host your lost loved one’s memorial.

Start with ambiance. The existing décor or ambiance in the space is key. Think about the architecture, décor, and interior style. Do you want a more intimate feel? Then look for a venue that is already more intimate and cozier. Do you want lots of greenery and plants? Look at event spaces with pre-existing greenery. The less the existing ambiance matches the feel you want for the memorial, the more work you will have to do once you begin planning. There’s also accessibility. You need to be sure that any venue you choose is accessible to everyone who wants to attend the memorial no matter their physical abilities. Are there wheelchair ramps? Handicap bathrooms? If there will be children at the memorial, you also need to think about access to children’s amenities. You need be aware of being welcoming to any and all capabilities.

Don’t forget about acoustics. You don’t want your memorial to be too loud to too quiet, so you need to think about acoustics when looking at venues. A low ceiling may make a space feel cozy, but it might also make sounds too loud during eulogies or speeches. The reverse can also be true if a ceiling is too high. Acoustics can almost always be fixed with sound systems, but those do get pricey. Being flexible on open dates is another great way to narrow down venues. Some venues book up years in advance, while others keep open dates on their calendars for more last-minute bookings. Be sure to check if a venue has your desired date open before you spend a lot of time researching it. You should also look into insurance. Depending on the venue, you might need insurance. Check with potential venues to see what their insurance policies are, and if they include event insurance in their packages.

Want more information? You can also check out local online reviews, consumer’s bureaus and other websites for more information to narrow down your options. If you take the time to do your research, you’ll find a great venue for your lost loved one’s memorial in no time.

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Finding the right event space for your lost loved one can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true if you enlist J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Langhorne, PA cremation service provider, to help. We have years of experience in the industry and would be happy to make venue recommendations. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Indoor Vs. Outdoor Funerals

One of the biggest choices that must be made when planning a memorial or a funeral at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA is choosing a venue for the service. There are a lot of venue options, each with great pros and cons.

Some are indoors, and some are outdoors. Which is better, indoors or outdoors? Both indoor and outdoor memorial and funeral venues options offer both pros and cons, positives and negatives. Keep reading for helpful information that can guide you in making the right decision in your time of loss.

Indoor venues and event centers are traditional and reliable for memorial and funerals. They offer great benefits such as intimate settings. Indoor event centers make great memorial or funeral venues as they make for more intimate settings. You’ll have all of your loved ones in one room, and everyone will have an opportunity to share in grief over the loss and celebration over a life well-lived. You can find indoor venues in a wide range of sizes so no service will feel too cramped in a small space or too spread out a large space.

Don’t forget about weather protection. Weather can be erratic. From smoldering hot to cold, rainy to sunny, you can never know what to expect when it comes to the great outdoors. Choosing an indoor venue for your lost loved one’s service means you don’t have to worry about the weather. You won’t have to obsess over checking the forecast, as you and your guests will automatically be comfortable no matter if its rain or shine outside. There’s also customization. You can make an indoor memorial or funeral venue almost anything you want. There are tons of ways to customize an indoor space with flowers, streamers, candles, fabric drapes and more. You can even make an indoor space feel like an outdoor space with the right amount of greenery.

But what about outdoor venues? Outdoor venues also offer great benefits. Many people feel closer to God or another higher power when they’re outside, which can be comforting in times of loss. Finally, you can save on greenery. The outdoors has plants and flowers already included, which can save you money on greenery and flowers for your lost loved one’s service. The scenery is also great. There is nothing quite like the great outdoors. From fountains and creeks to trees, bushes, and expansive night sky views, hosting a memorial or funeral outside is almost always beautiful and respectful of the deceased.

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At the end of the day, choosing between and indoor and an outdoor venue is very personal. It’s all about what matters to you, your family, and your lost loved one. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about venue options for your lost loved one’s funeral or memorial service. As a Langhorne, PA funeral home, we can offer helpful advice and guidance for your time of loss. Please pay us a visit or give us a call today.

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How Do You Plan a Green Memorial?

Everyone wants to do their part when it comes to the environment, and this includes hosting an eco-friendly funeral or memorial service for a lost loved one. Eco-friendly memorials and funerals have been on the rise, whether they’re at churches, halls or after cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA. These tips and tricks can offer guidance and inspiration if you want to plan an eco-friendly service for your lost loved one.

First, be mindful of paper. Funerals and memorials use a lot of paper. From invitations to programs, menus and even fans, a lot of this paper goes into the garbage after the service of over. Make sure the paper products you use are recycled after the event or save on paper items by choosing creative substitutes. Do a chalkboard sign as opposed to programs or send out invitations via email as opposed to on postcards. Also, be aware of what you’re burying with the deceased so you’re not releasing harmful or non-biodegradable materials into the environment.

You can also recycle and repurpose. Try using repurposed or recycled items for any decoration you may want for the service or wake. You can easily put together beautiful and meaningful decorations while being considerate of the materials and their sources. Try using clean materials like jute and cotton or make the flower arrangements from fabrics to cut back on flower use. You can also choose to use recycled or organic fabrics instead of synthetic ones.

What about lighting? If you’re having the service at night or in a dark venue, it can go through tons of energy. Try and use more eco-friendly LED lights to use less energy or invest in candles that you can re-sell or hold onto as keepsakes after the event. You can also host a daytime funeral or memorial and skip the lights altogether.

Don’t forget to shop seasonal. If the wake or memorial service will have food, make seasonal produce a priority when planning the menu. Seasonal produce is dramatically less harmful for the environment than out of season food and is also easier to get fresh and in bulk. This is because seasonal produce uses less preservatives and fertilizers and doesn’t require lots of refrigeration or greenhouse heating. Plus, in-season fruits and veggies are almost always more delicious and flavorful than other options. Also, shop local. There are a lot of emissions involved when it comes to transporting goods long distances. If you choose local supplies and vendors for the funeral or memorial, you can greatly reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Not to mention that supporting local vendors is great for the local economy and can also save you some money.

Finally, think about the guest lists. The more guests you have, the bigger the funeral’s carbon footprint will be. If being eco-friendly is important to you, try and cut down the guest list to smaller number. Plus, the smaller the guest list the more intimate and respectful of the deceased it will be.

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Do you want to learn more about eco-friendly services or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

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How to Make a Funeral Budget

If you’re planning a lost loved one’s funeral service at a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA, one of the first and most essential tasks you must complete is creating a budget. While its always important to have a budget for any kind of event, its especially true when planning a memorial or funeral service because you will most likely be distracted with grief after losing a loved one. Making a budget might seem daunting, it’s not that bad once you get going one step at a time.

The first step in creating a budget is to build an organizational tool that works for your needs. A spreadsheet is the most commonly used tool for planners to stay on top of budgetary needs. You should create a spreadsheet that has a line for everything you are going to spend money on for your lost loved one’s service. While you might not know every single thing right now, you can build the format and fill it out as you move along. Start your budget spreadsheet by creating a few different columns.

The first one is for items. What is the item you are budgeting for? Be as specific as possible, and don’t group different items together. For example, don’t make a line for food and drink. Instead, make one line for food and a different line for drink. The more detailed you are the easier it will be to make changes down the line if needed. You also need a column for the number of items needed. The quantity of an item is very important for a budget. There is a big difference in cost between 50 candles and 100 candles, or food for 75 people versus food for 200 people. This also goes the other way, as eliminating unnecessary numbers of items can give you more wiggle room in a budget that you can use for other things.

Don’t forget about the estimated cost and the description. The cost of different items might change from venue to venue, so having an estimated cost can give you a clearer idea of how your budget is doing before you make final decisions. Also, you need to describe the item you are budgeting for. Descriptions are absolutely necessary, especially if you plan on having other people help you plan the memorial or need to have an executor or other family member approve a budget.

You can also include information about whether the item is essential or not in the description. Finally, mark down final quotes as soon as you have them to make your budget accurate and up to date. Writing down the actual cost of items can help you plan for future events and give you a good idea as to how you are staying on your budget.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more memorial or funeral service planning tips or information on Washington Crossing, PA funeral homes. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you. After all, once you make a budget spreadsheet for your lost loved one’s service, the rest of the planning will feel a lot less stressful and painful.

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How to Stay on Budget

Tons of families have to have a memorial after a cremation service in Newtown, PA without spending lots of money. How can you make your lost loved one’s memorial one to remember but you’re working with a smaller budget? There are definitely ways to accomplish this goal, like being your own DJ. You don’t need to hire a professional if you have a music-streaming account such as Spotify or Pandora and you can make a playlist yourself for free. Just make sure to add enough music—about 100 songs should do it.

You can also let people help. Much too often, our guests ask, “What can I bring?” and we say, “Oh, nothing! I have it under control.” As a host, this is very easy to do—but this time, instead of saying “nothing”, take your guests up on their offers. This is especially helpful as you are going through a loss and could use the extra assistance. One of the simplest budget-friendly memorial ideas is to consider having a potluck. Ask your guests to bring a dish to share with everyone. This way, everyone pitches in to the cost of the food, and you can allocate some of your budget to other areas of the part.

What about electronic invitations? Depending on how many guests you have; postage can get expensive. Instead of spending money on paper, envelopes, ink, and postage, a smart money-saving memorial idea is to utilize e-invites. Instead of buying elaborate decorations, a great budget-friendly memorial service idea is to consider taking the time to make them yourself. This is where planning ahead will come in handy. You’d be surprised what you can do with a quick trip to your local crafts store or flea market.

You also need to find the right venue. If you’re throwing a memorial service and you want to host the event outside of your home, you’ll want to find the right event venue. A great budget-friendly memorial service idea is to go with an all-inclusive event venue to help save money. Finding a space with in-house catering, tables, chairs, décor, linens, and a good sound system for music is the smartest, since you won’t have to pay for outside catering or rent furniture. Also, bonus: someone else will have to do the cleanup. Ideally, you’ll want a location with a friendly staff that can comfortably accommodate the number of guests you have. And, finally, keep the guest list small. This might be difficult to do, depending on how you want to organize your memorial but keeping your guests at a minimum is a budget-friendly memorial service idea that can go a long way.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel a Newtown, PA cremation service provider, is here to help if you want more tips on how you can make your lost loved one’s memorial one to remember without breaking the bank. After all, you can definitely still make your lost loved one’s memorial or funeral to be the best it can be even if you don’t have a lot of money. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.