What To Serve At A Funeral Reception

What To Serve At A Funeral Reception: Resolved

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

During a funeral reception, people may struggle to handle various decisions and coordinate diverse details. One significant element to consider is the choice of food selections for the reception.

This is a question that often comes up during this time of sadness. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on what to serve at a funeral reception.

Top 7 Menu Ideas At A Funeral Reception

1. Appetizers

italian bruschetta drizzled with sauce

Hors d’oeuvres are small bite-sized foods that are served before a meal. They can be hot or cold and are usually simple to prepare. 

Popular appetizers include mini quiches, canapés, and bruschetta [1]. For a more substantial appetizer, you could serve soup or salad.

2. Sandwich Platter

When it comes to menu ideas for a funeral reception, sandwich platters are always a good option. They’re easy to prepare in advance and can be easily transported to the venue. Plus, they’re always a hit with guests. 

A typical sandwich platter usually includes various sandwich types, such as ham and cheese, turkey and Swiss, or roast beef and cheddar. If you want to get creative, you could include some unusual sandwich fillings like peanut butter and jelly or sunflower seed butter and honey. 

3. Salads

Salads are a perfect option for a funeral reception menu. They are light and refreshing but can also be filling and satisfying. Plus, salads can be made ahead of time, which means that guests can spend more time talking and less time standing in line for food.

4. Finger Foods

Finger foods are often a good choice, as they can be easily eaten while standing and do not require utensils. Popular finger food options include sandwiches, fruit and vegetable platters, cheese and crackers, and finger sandwiches.

5. Entrees

The main course is the heart of the funeral reception menu. Grieving families often opt for a buffet so guests can choose from various options. Popular main courses include roast beef, chicken, pasta, and casseroles. 

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you might consider serving a dish from the deceased’s culture or heritage.

6. Desserts

Dessert is often the most anticipated part of any meal. Funeral receptions are no different. While you might be tempted to serve something heavy and comforting like chocolate cake or apple pie, it’s also worth considering lighter options. 

After all, many mourners will be eating funeral food all day long. Some good dessert options include cookies, fruit salad, and ice cream. 

7. Drinks

Drinks are often the first thing people think of when planning a funeral reception, but they are also one of the most important elements. There should be a variety of drinks available, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. 

Coffee, tea, and water should be available for those who do not wish to drink alcohol. For those who want something stronger, consider offering a selection of beer, wine, and spirits. 

It is also important to ensure plenty of drinks, as funeral receptions can sometimes go on for hours.

Some Things To Consider

Hire A Caterer

While some people choose to host the reception at their homes, others prefer to hire a caterer. There are many benefits to hiring a caterer for a funeral reception. 

First, it takes the pressure off the family, who may already feel overwhelmed. 

Second, it ensures that there will be enough food for everyone and that it will be of good quality. 

Third, it gives the family more time to spend with guests instead of being busy in the kitchen. 

Prepare A Buffet Service

Catering buffet set up

Buffet service offers several advantages for a funeral reception. 

First, it allows guests to serve themselves, which can be helpful if people arrive at different times or have different dietary needs. 

Second, a buffet can be less formal than a sit-down meal, which can be appropriate for a gathering where people share memories and support one another. 

Finally, buffet service is often less expensive than sit-down service, which can be important when the budget is a consideration. But what’s the party after a funeral called?

Include Your Loved One’s Favorites

After a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to know how to honor their memory. One way to do this is to include their favorite food in the funeral reception. 

This will give guests a chance to raise a toast to the deceased and enjoy a meal they enjoyed while alive. It’s also a nice way to keep their memory alive. 

If you’re not sure what their favorite food was, you can ask family and friends for suggestions.

Read: How Long Will A Memorial Service Last?


Should food be served at a memorial service?

It depends on personal preferences and the type of memorial service being held. Some people may feel that food is a distraction from the solemnity of the occasion, while others may find it comforting to have something to eat during a time of mourning.

Check out these tips to decorate a memorial service here.

Who pays for the meal after a funeral?

The family of the deceased typically pays for the funeral meal.

Find out the appropriate amount to give at a memorial service here.

Why is food served after a funeral?

The custom of serving food after a funeral began as an act of hospitality to ensure that the guests of the deceased would have something to eat. It was also a way of showing respect for the dead and comforting the living. 

These days, it’s more about providing convenience for the mourners than anything else. Most people are too busy grieving to want to worry about cooking or getting food from a restaurant. So by having food served at the funeral, it takes care of that for them.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many different options for food to serve at a funeral reception. It’s important to consider the preferences of the deceased and the mourners when making your selections.


Kimberlee Johnson
Follow me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *