Key Considerations For Funeral Wake Food

There are numerous different elements that you need to consider if you're planning on providing food for a funeral wake. 

More than you might think, such as...

Untitled design (35)

Guest Count

How many guests are you expecting? Send invitations to get a better idea, but it is usually better to plan for more people as anybody is free to attend a funeral.

Untitled design (36)-1

Dietary Restrictions

Check if there are any dietary requirements or allergies that you need to make allowances for.

Untitled design (38)


Do you need to opt for a more budget-friendly option, or do you have enough left aside to provide extra food?

Untitled design (37)

Food Choices

Those who are grieving could benefit from comfort food and finger foods that are easier to consume.

Untitled design (41)

Serving, Storage & Transportation

What serving equipment or cutlery do you need, is there enough to serve as well as transport your food? Can you transport it safely? Are there enough cutlery, plates and napkins for everyone you are expecting, and spares?

Untitled design (40)


Where is the wake being held, how far is it from the funeral service and how will the food be taken there? It is also worth checking what facilities are available at the venue – can they heat or cook food or does everything need to be prepared in advance?

Untitled design (39)


Do you have the time to plan and arrange a whole DIY menu, and is there time on the day to prepare and set up your own food in between the funeral events?

Untitled design (42)

Space & Equipment

Is there room for you to prepare your food, and can it be cooked in the venue? Do you have the equipment to prepare food? If you are planning to serve hot food, do you have the space at the venue to cook and serve everything at the same time?

Untitled design (43)

Clean up

Who will stay behind to help you clean up? Using ordinary cutlery means you will need to either clean it at the venue after the wake or take them home with you to wash. If you are using disposable equipment, do you have somewhere to dispose of everything?

Do It Yourself - DIY

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to doing the catering yourself. You will need to consider:

Time & Energy

A funeral is an emotionally draining occasion, so you need to be kind towards yourself during this difficult time. It can be very time-consuming to plan, prepare and cook for a big group, especially when you're grieving. Make sure to only take on this task if you're sure you have the time and energy to do so, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Menu Planning

You will need to plan the menu in advance to make sure you can cater to everybody’s dietary requirements and have time to make everything. Make a shopping list of all the ingredients required for each dish to be sure that you don’t forget anything.

Preparation & Cooking

It's important to do as much as you can ahead of the wake, especially when it comes to food preparation. This can be a time-consuming task, so make sure to consider the equipment and time it takes in advance. Be sure you have the correct utensils for everyone to enjoy the dishes too.

Serving & Clean Up

Where are you going to serve the food? Make sure you have plates, cutlery, serving utensils, and napkins. You also need to plan and check who can help you with the tidying up, especially on such a busy and emotional day.

Benefits Of Doing It Yourself

Of course, these considerations don't mean there aren't some benefits to DIY catering:

More Cost-Effective

If you are working to a budget, self-catering is usually the most cost-effective option. You are likely to spend between £3 and £5 per person when catering your own event.

Bespoke Menu

Doing everything yourself means you can make all the decisions about what food you want to serve. If there are specific foods that your loved one enjoyed, you could choose these to honour them and enjoy memories of them. This is a benefit since not all caterers offer bespoke packages!

Untitled design (45)
Ebook Cover Guide Farewell Feast-1

Get Your Free Copy

Our comprehensive guide has been designed to give you the clarity and peace of mind you need at this difficult time.

Inside, you'll discover:

Key considerations when planning food for a wake.

The benefits and challenges of organising the catering yourself.

Insights into hiring professional caterers in the hopes of a more seamless experience.

Professional Funeral Caterers

If you are considering opting for funeral caterers, there are some things you should consider, including:


You are likely to spend anywhere from £5 to £10 per person when hiring a caterer, however, this depends on the caterer and the options you are looking for. Get in touch with the caterer to discuss if there are bespoke options and what can be done on your budget.

Menu Options

A caterer is likely to offer a range of set menu options that you can choose from to best suit the taste of you and the loved one who has passed. You may be able to request bespoke options from some caterers.


Professionalism & Service

Look for caterers with experience and a positive reputation. Reviews can help with this.

Serving & Cleaning Up

Caterers usually set up serving stations, provide the necessary equipment, and handle the clean up after the event. It is worth checking that this service will be provided.

Benefits Of Hiring Professional Caterers

Sadlergates Team-1

Expertise & Experience

Professional caterers can ensure the day runs smoothly due to their experience with such services.

Untitled design (39)

Time & Convenience

Outsourcing the food preparation saves you time and stress.

Sadlergates Team (1)


A caterer should be able to work around you and your schedule for your ease.

Sadlergates Team (2)


Your food can be served and set up in a visually appealing way, ready for you when you arrive.

Sadlergates Team (3)


Knowledge and experience give an individual the professionalism to handle an emotional and tough time. Expert caterers can offer support with serving and preparing food professionally to relieve stress and difficulty.

Alternative Options

It isn’t just a choice between doing everything yourself or opting for caterers, however. A few of the other options you could choose include:

Sadlergates Team (4)

Go Out For A Meal

Choosing a restaurant or other establishment to celebrate the end of your loved one's life takes the pressure off you to organise food. However, this may be a less viable option depending on how many people are included.

Sadlergates Team (5)


Ask individuals to bring a food item of their choice so you have a buffet selection. This means no one person has to shoulder all the responsibility and may be a nice way for guests to honour your loved one.

Who Can Help?

Here at Sadlergates, we can help ease the pressure during a difficult time. It couldn’t be simpler to order our sandwich buffet and select from our huge range of options.

If you have specific requirements to help send off your loved one, we also offer bespoke menu options and arrangements. So, be sure to get in touch today to order a buffet or make an enquiry about a more personalised arrangement.

Sadlergates Team (6)