Where we stand with Life-Cycle Ceremonies

Where we stand with Life-Cycle Ceremonies

Things can move very quickly – it is fair to say that this has so far been an unprecedented year globally. However, since lockdown, speed of change seems to have slowed considerably. Some business owners – notably, in the food and drink and the leisure industries – must feel that change can’t come soon enough.

My own field – life-cycle ceremonies, especially weddings and funerals – is still surrounded by uncertainty.


There is no longer any obligation to have direct cremation, although the option remains. So there is at least the opportunity for a ceremony and a degree of closure for families. However, social distancing restrictions mean families cannot attend, if they number more than 30. Those that do often can’t sit together or share a hug for consolation.

There is still the option, of course, for memorial services, scattering of ashes ceremonies, or celebration of life events later – but who knows when these will be permissible?!


As of 22nd June, in Wales weddings may take place once more. That means that registrars will conduct ceremonies, with two witnesses present. However, no big celebrations will be allowed. So marriages and receptions will presumably be separate as well as small. (At least, there is the possibility of live-streaming to a wider audience.)

Currently, similar developments will be happening in England from 4th July, so there is a little light at the end of the tunnel.

The 30-people (plus social distancing) limit will apply. There will probably be restrictions on locations too.

The same will apply to namings and vow renewals (which don’t need registrars).

Well, let’s hope things can soon progress and that it will become easier to plan life-cycle events.

I’m happy to chat things over with you, if you are considering such a ceremony.

What’s happening?

More of a newsletter than a blog this week, but I thought I’d update you with what’s happening in the world of life-cycle ceremonies under Coronavirus. It’ll probably all be out of date by next week!


Very little to report here, I’m afraid. Some people are going for Zoom weddings, or the like. That way, depending on the package you have, you can include up to 100 “guests”, so it’s a viable alternative.

Most of my couples have deferred their booking till the autumn (although who knows if that is far enough on?!).

I am still receiving enquiries, but far fewer than I’d normally expect at this time.


There is still inconsistency all over the sector. Some cemeteries are re-opening for visits. My local crematorium is talking about re-opening for ceremonies, but has offered no date. Another crematorium I work with (which continues to offer ceremonies) has just announced that the maximum number of mourners allowed is increasing from 10 to 15. Some crematoria offer web-cam or streamed services, so at least other mourners have a chance to be included somehow.

The bottom line is that nobody really seems to know what is happening!


Many people are not satisfied with direct cremation or services with limited attendees. They are planning for the end of lock-down (whenever that may be) and considering any of Celebration of Life ceremonies, Memorial Services or Scattering of Ashes.

On the whole, you can hold these wherever you choose, and, if you’re organising a spread, you can probably have that in the same place as the ceremony.

I would be happy to discuss these possibilities, if I can be of help.