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Organizing a Residential
Gathering/Ceremony – Checklist

This checklist was created to give you a step by step plan to help you understand and cover all the responsibilities that one can expect to encounter when planning a ceremony/reception at your home.

☐ Decide on a suitable location and time for your celebration.

☐ Decide on the format for the day (e.g. Is there a formal service? Sharing of memories? Is it a come and go? Is food being provided?) In other words, how will the day unfold?

☐ If needed, contact and confirm Celebrant/Clergy and musical details.

☐ If no outside officiant is involved, who is organizing the spoken portion of the event, contacting people who are speaking/sharing remembrances, as well as designing and producing the bulletin / order of service?

☐ Publicize the event, including all the details that your visitors will need to know prior to their arrival (e.g. location, timeframe, items for them to bring etc.)

☐ Contact and confirm Caterer (discuss availability, fees, menu, delivery and expected attendance)

☐ Discuss, and pay fees, with all participants (e.g. caterer, musicians, celebrant/clergy, etc.)

☐ Order floral arrangements and arrange for payment, pick up or delivery

☐ Arrange a back-up plan for inclement weather (including wind!) Is a tent needed? If so, arrange for rental, delivery and/or pick up. Choose a tent that works on your surface – pavement, grass, sand etc.

☐ Is a sound system needed (i.e. microphone, speakers, podium/lectern) for the event? If so, who is obtaining it, setting it up, and running it?

☐ If playing audio music, who will create or obtain the music, provide the player as well as press “play” at the appropriate time(s) during the ceremony/service/event?

☐ Arrange for table, chair, dish, cup and/or utensils. Do you need to rent these items? If so, arrange delivery and pickup

☐ Are there sufficient washrooms? If not, arrange for portable toilet rental, delivery, and pick up

☐ Will the event go into the evening? If so, do you need to arrange for lighting or heaters?

☐ Arrange parking detail– space available, signage, etc.

☐ Garbage collection?

☐ Arrange for the creation, delivery, and set up of a memorial video, including TV

☐ How do you want to display flowers, memorabilia, photos? Are picture frames or picture boards needed?

☐ Are the cremated remains to be present?

☐ Is a register book, memorial cards or personalized memorial give away needed?

☐ Who will collect/receive, document, and send charitable memorial donations for the family?

☐ Who will help give direction (e.g. usher) to guests, reserve seating or handout bulletins?

☐ Who will give instructions to participants and direct family when beginning the ceremony?

☐ Who gives direction at the end of the ceremony?

☐ Maintain a list of people to be thanked (i.e. for floral tributes, meals, memorial donations, kind deeds)

☐ Disassemble ceremony site (e.g. cremated remains, flowers, pictures, etc.)

Other things to consider….
Please think about the need for pens, extension cords, tape, scissors, matches (candles), envelopes and most importantly people to help ease your duties on the day.
Please contact us if you have questions (519) 363-2525 or [email protected].
We are always here to help!

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