The use of stationery for funerals can be an important way for many families to personalise a standard service. As well as stationery that serves a functional purpose such as an order of service or thank you card, there are plenty of ways which stationery can be used to provide cherished keepsakes for guests.
In this guide, we take a look at the range of stationery that is available for funerals. We cover everything from funeral announcement cards and condolence books through to some unique and memorable mementoes for friends and family to treasure after the event.
Funeral Announcement Cards
Once the details for a funeral have been arranged, it is important to announce this to family and friends. Whilst modern etiquette may now extend to include other forms of announcements such as those made via electronic mail and social media, it is traditional to personally inform expected mourners with an announcement card.
There is a huge range of cards that can be personalised with a message of your choosing along with the date, time and details of the funeral plus any wake that may have been arranged. Many companies also offer the option for you to include a photograph of the deceased of suitable image. Some are plainer and conform to a more sombre and traditional style with simple text surrounded by a black border.
The choice of design for an announcement card can be an important way to set the tone for the funeral itself and you should include any information about dress code, floral tributes and donations to charity here.
An announcement card is usually sent from the deceased’s family.
Prices vary depending on your choice of design, the weight of card used for printing and how many cards you have produced. You can expect to pay around £0.25 - £1.00 per card, including envelopes. Remember that you will also need to factor in the cost of postage.
Funeral Attendance Cards
Used by some families, funeral attendance cards are one way to keep a record of who comes to a funeral. Either handed out individually upon arrival or left on seats within the congregation area, attendance cards are usually quite simple in design and merely include space for guests to include their name, address and whether they are representing somebody else who could not attend the funeral in person.
Most attendance cards are approximately 105 x 148mm (A6) in size and do not require envelopes.
The choice of design can be single or double sided if you would like to either request additional information from mourners (such as a brief message) or include extra personalisation (such as an image or quote).
The price of attendance cards varies depending on weight of card, colour or black and white printing plus the quantity of your order. However, most funeral stationers charge between £0.25 and £1.00 per card.
A funeral donation box is used both to collect any charitable donations that have been requested by the family in lieu of floral tributes but also to serve as a collection point for sympathy and attendance cards.
Shaped like a small postal box, they are made from rigid card and come flat packed for easy assembly.
Most funeral post boxes are white as standard but you can find some suppliers who can have these printed in an alternative colour.
Personalisation can be made to the box so that it displays a message and image on the front.
Most funerals only require a single donation box which can be taken from the service to the wake but with larger congregations, it can be practical to have more than one.
A personalised donation box costs between £10 and £20.
Funeral Order of Service
The order of service is perhaps the most common form of funeral stationery that families will order. As well as allowing mourners to follow the service itself, they are also treasured as a precious keepsake by many.
Traditionally A5 in size (148 x 210mm) when folded, the cover usually has either a simple message ‘In loving memory’ with the dates of both the birth and death of the deceased along with the place and time of the funeral. Some people opt to include a photo of the deceased on the cover or this can appear on the reverse.
The details of any readings, hymns, prayers and eulogies can be provide in the content of the booklet. Some people may choose to include a copy of some of the text used in the service within this keepsake.
There are many ways to personalise an order of service from the colour of the card used to the style of fonts, use of images and even extending the number of inner pages to include more photographs of the deceased.
An order of service is a lovely way to add a personal touch to any funeral and provides something meaningful to send to those who were unable to attend the ceremony itself.
The price of printing order of service cards varies quite a lot depending on how many pages you are including, whether you wish to have photos printed in colour and how many cards you order. The weight of card you choose will also affect the price.
Typical costs start from around £1.50 to £2.00 for a simple 4-page booklet.
Funeral memorial cards are usually presented to mourners on the day as a keepsake or can be enclosed with a thank you card (see below) after the service.
They are usually a similar size to credit cards so that they may easily be kept in wallets and purses.
The style can be fully personalised around a theme and include images to match or a photo of the deceased. Along with the date of birth and death of the deceased, it is popular to include a quote, poem, prayer, song lyrics or suitable message on the reverse of these cards.
Larger sizes are also available and many suppliers also offer the option to have these cards laminated. The larger sizes can also be printed in bi-fold or tri-fold
Depending on the size, style and quantity ordered, memorial cards cost between £0.50 and £1.00 each.
Similar to a memorial card, a funeral bookmark is another form of keepsake that can be presented to, or sent to, mourners. Perhaps more useful than a memorial card itself, bookmarks are seen by some to be a more present reminder.
For a deceased loved one who was an avid reader, this may be the perfect way to remember them. They are quite common for catholic funerals and often include religious symbolism and a prayer for the deceased.
Available with a range of ways to personalise them, funeral bookmarks can include a photograph of the deceased along with other imagery, text and colours.
Again, cost will be dependent on how many you order but are typically priced at around £0.75 to £1.00 each.
Also known as a guest book or memorial book, a condolence book is used to collect memories of the deceased from the mourners and/or messages of sympathy for the family.
They are usually placed in the chapel of rest, passed to the congregation or taken to the wake for guests to add to. It is therefore important that you ensure a good working pen is provided with the book.
However you choose to ask funeral guests to contribute to this book, it can be a very precious keepsake for close relatives to treasure. It also serves a similar purpose to the attendance cards allowing you to keep track of who attended the service so you can send appropriate thank you notes after the funeral.
Condolence books can be designed at the same time as your order of service and share a similar style or you can opt for a simple and plain guest book.
It is not common to personalise the exterior of these books but you can have embossed writing, front pages, photo covers or inserts and other extras.
Due to their having blank pages, it is possible for you to add your own photographs to really personalise a condolence book.
Costs for a basic memorial book start at around £10 with more elaborate designs including front pieces costing upwards of £25.
Funeral Thank You Cards
Lastly, thank you cards to be sent to mourners after a funeral to acknowledge their attendance is still very much part of the etiquette for British funerals.
They are usually A6 in size (105 x 148mm) and are sent with matching envelopes.
Thank you cards can be pre-printed with a message from the family or can be personalised by leaving space for a hand written note.
The design and style of your thank you cards can be fully personalised to suit your needs and can include images, photos and text as appropriate. The colour of these cards (and matching envelopes) is also varied.
Traditionally, thank you cards have less of a sombre feel and, where announcement cards would usually have a black border and very simple detail, it is common to have more of an uplifting design. The use of flower motifs is common as are birds and, for religious families, symbols of faith.
As with all funeral stationery, the thank you cards can either be matched to other items used for the services or can be stand alone in design.
Thank you cards vary in price but are similar in cost to announcement cards and you should expect to pay between £0.25 and £1.00 per card, including envelopes.
All prices quoted are given as approximate costs only and are correct as of February 2019. Most suppliers offer discounts when you order larger quantities.