Planning a funeral reception in such a short amount of time can be a daunting task. Our staff wants to make sure that your reception goes as smoothly and effortlessly as possible. To that end, we have compiled answers to common questions to help assist you in your planning.
Details to Consider:
► Where should the reception take place?
There are a number of different options from which you can choose. Our three funeral homes have reception centres available for your reception, or, you may prefer a small gathering in your home or at a nearby community hall. If you are members of a congregation, you might also consider using your church’s reception centre. Wherever you choose to hold your reception, we can assist by providing catering and hostess service for most venues.
► How do I determine the number of guests to expect?
Gauging how many guests to expect can be difficult, but begin by considering immediate family members and how many of them will likely be attending. Then look at your loved one’s extended family and friends. Was the deceased employed, and will any former colleagues or associates be attending? Did the deceased belong to any service clubs, unions, associations, general interest groups, sports teams or a faith community? You can expect people from these groups to also attend, as well as people who may not have known the deceased but will be there to support you or other family members.
If you think you may end up having more guests than you initially estimated and are worried there may not be enough food, just call us and let us know. You have until 11:00 am the day before your reception to increase or even decrease the amount of food you have ordered.
► How do I decide on which menu selection to choose?
When making the decision about which menu to select you must consider the time of day the meal will be consumed and whether your guests will have had a chance to eat lunch/dinner prior to attending the service. For instance if you have the interment right after the service and before the reception, your guests will most likely come back to the reception centre very hungry, especially if they have not eaten before the start of the service. Also consider if you want a light meal or a very hearty one. You may only require coffee and sweets to delight your guests if you are having an evening reception.
Note: We have a policy that allows for only commercially prepared foods to be served in our reception centres.
► What if I have a guest or guests with special dietary requirements?
All of our menus include vegetarian items and we can accommodate other special dietary requests as well. Just let our staff know what your party requires and we will make it happen.
► Who is responsible for the setting up and cleaning up of the reception centre?
Our hostess will take care of all the details such as setting up the room, placing linens on the tables, receiving the catering, setting the buffet table and preparing the beverage stations . During the reception, she will keep the buffet table and beverage stations replenished and collect discarded plates and cups. Once the reception is over the hostess will package up all leftover food and clean up the reception centre.
► We have decided to have the interment right after the service. Will guests who are not attending the interment be able to use the reception room until we return?
It will be our pleasure to offer your guests a cup of coffee, tea or juice in the reception room while they await your return. If you would like us to open the buffet before you arrive from the site of interment, just let us know.
► What will happen to any leftover food?
It will be our pleasure to wrap up any leftover food for you to take home. If you wish, you can also donate the leftovers to a charity or non-profit organization. Our staff can organize such a donation on your behalf to one that accepts food.
► I would like to have a wine toast in honour of my loved one: is that possible?
You may have a wine toast at any of our receptions centres; however our facilities do not hold a liquor license. You can obtain an “Event Liquor License”
- You can apply online using the AGLC Special Event Liquor Licence online application
The cost of the license is currently $10.00. You will then purchase the wine and bring it to our reception centre on the day of your event. While we recommend that you purchase disposable wine glasses, we can also order glass wine goblets for you if you prefer. Having alcohol at your reception means you will be fully responsible for your guests and compliance with all laws related to the consumption of alcohol, including but not limited to underage drinking and over-serving.
► How do I create a memory table?
A memory table celebrates your loved one’s life. Bring in items that you feel tell their story – such as artwork, favourite tools, team logo memorabilia, sports equipment, photographs, newspaper clippings, and awards or trophies – to be placed on the table. Our receptions centres all have tables available to display memorabilia, and we will be happy to place flowers from the funeral service onto the memory table after the service.
► When can I bring in the items for placement on the memory table?
The reception room will be available to you one hour prior to the service. If you would prefer to drop off your items earlier, simply make arrangements with the Funeral Director overseeing the service. We can also provide display items such as picture frames and easels should you require them. Please feel free to ask one of our staff members for ideas or information on how to display your memorabilia.
► Do you have a DVD player in the reception centres?
All of our reception centres are equipped with large TVs or screens and a DVD player so that you may play a DVD tribute during the reception.
► Is it possible to play a favourite CD at the reception?
It would be our pleasure to play your favourite CD for you during the reception.
Our goal is to help you create a successful and memorable reception.
Just let us take care of the details!