Imagine the possibilities

Funerals are about honouring lives – and just as every life is unique, so too can every farewell be unique.

Gone are the days of every funeral service fitting a standard mould. There’s no one size fits all. You can be as true to tradition or cutting edge and contemporary as you like when making arrangements. You don’t even need to call it a funeral. Call it a gathering, tribute, ceremony, farewell or something else you feel is fitting.

Our local community is remarkable in its religious and cultural diversity, and the team at Walter Carter Funerals provides service and care of the highest quality in a way that meets the full spectrum of needs. Whether it’s a traditional religious service or a celebration with a modern, quirky twist that you’re after, our team is on hand to craft the most fitting of farewells.

Here are some ideas to spark inspiration and help you make the choices and decisions that are right for you and your family.

We look forward to working with you to bring your vision to life to honour your loved one.

A musical celebration

“One of the most memorable services I’ve been involved in was for an internationally well-known musician. Even though it was a traditional Catholic requiem mass, we were still able to bring elements
of creativity to the service. Keepsake guitar picks were attached to each order of service. The priceless guitar on which he wrote many chart-topping songs was positioned at the front of the church. A full-scale bagpipes’ band led the funeral cortege down a busy city street in a salute to his Scottish heritage. It was the perfect farewell to a man beloved across the world.” – Christopher Anson (Funeral Consultant at Walter Carter Funerals)


Choose the type of service that resonates

The type of service you choose is a very personal decision and will be influenced by religious and cultural traditions, as well as personal preferences. While some people prefer a more traditional service, others look for different ways to say goodbye.

  • Hold a traditional service in a church or chapel to farewell your loved one.
  • Have a burial service at the cemetery as a fitting farewell.
  • Choose to hold a service at a church, chapel or other venue followed by a private cremation.
  • Plan a memorial service in the days or weeks following the burial or cremation.
  • Opt to not hold a service at all.

There’s no one size fits all. You can be as true to tradition or cutting edge and contemporary as you like when making arrangements.



Select a place of personal significance

A funeral service doesn’t necessarily need to be held in a church or a chapel, or at a cemetery or crematorium. You may choose to have the service at a non-traditional location that has special meaning or evokes memories.

  • The local beach provides a great backdrop to celebrate the life of a keen surfer.
  • A theatre or arts centre may suit if your loved one was artistically inclined.
  • Nearby bushland or a national park might be a fitting backdrop for an avid bushwalker.
  • The local RSL is a great place to honour the life of a returned service person.
  • A sporting oval or club is the perfect backdrop for a sports fan.
In each case, the right permissions and approvals will need to be obtained (for example, from the local council or the venue itself).Walter Carter Funerals can organise these approvals and work with you to determine what is and what is not possible (for example, some locations and venues will allow for the presence of a coffin and others will not).
Arrive in style at the service

Funeral transport isn’t limited to traditional black cars – you have many other options. More and more, people are deciding to transport the coffin to and from the funeral service in something other than a hearse.

  • Add a touch of grandeur with a beautiful horse-drawn carriage.
  • For a motorcycle enthusiast, a custom-built sidecar can be used to carry the coffin.
  • If black isn’t your preference, think about using a white, grey or champagne coloured vehicle.
  • A tractor pulling a flatbed trailer carrying the coffin pays tribute to a farmer’s love of the land.
  • Use a vintage vehicle. A funky 1960s VW combi or a classic 1950s Holden Chevy – the options are endless.

Order of service

Funerals are about honouring lives – and just as every life is unique, so too can every farewell be unique.

Order of service

The order of service booklet sets out what will happen at the service – such as music and readings – but it can be so much more. It’s something you can hold on to and keep for years to come.

  • Think beyond the cover and sprinkle special photos throughout the booklet.
  • Add a timeline of your loved one’s life to highlight key dates and important events.
  • Include short stories and anecdotes to evoke memories.
  • Use colour to brighten what can be a very sad occasion.
  • Embrace your loved one’s personality, so guests smile when they read it.

A local tribute

“Living homeless on the streets of Sydney for 39 years doesn’t normally bring celebrity status. But it was different for one special man. When he died, even Sydney’s Lord Mayor paid tribute. We were honoured to be asked to conduct his funeral, which was an open air service in a local square. The service featured a plain coffin and people were invited to write messages on it with textas in a tribute to his well-known penchant for expressing himself by writing one-word graffiti. And with lots of other personalised touches, the service was truly a fitting way to farewell a much-loved local identity.” – Steven Widdop (Funeral Consultant at Walter Carter Funerals)



Remember special occasions and significant moments

Funerals and photos go hand in hand. Why? Because funerals are all about memories. We remember our loved one. We share important memories. We tell stories about time spent together. This is what we do at funerals – and it’s also what photos do best.

  • Display a large portrait on an easel at the front of the venue or alongside the coffin.
  • Fill a memory board with photos, leaving space for family and friends to write personal messages.
  • Custom print photos and images on the coffin to reflect the deceased’s interests and passions.
  • Evoke memories, highlight special times and even elicit a few laughs with a photo slideshow.
  • Create a photo album with photos chronicling the life of your loved one.
Capture the significance of the occasion

Video not only provides a momento that can be watched time and time again, it’s also a way to involve those who are unable to attend the funeral service. It will help keep memories of your loved one alive.

  • Film everything from beginning to end – the viewing, funeral service, interment and the wake.
  • Record only certain special moments of the service, such as the eulogies.
  • Ask guests to share a memory or story about your loved one on camera.
  • Share the video with family and friends unable to attend.
  • Incorporate family photos and videos into the final video to tell a full life story.

Professional photos and video

Professional photography and videography captures the emotion of the moment and provides a visual record of how you chose to honour your loved one. We recommend working with team at Funeral Video Australia –


Play meaningful and personal songs

Free your mind. It’s easy to think “you can’t play that at a funeral”, but you’d be surprised. From classical to modern and happy to sad, you’re not limited in your choices.

  • Play your loved one’s favourite song during the service.
  • Feature a performance by a live band or solo artist.
  • Create a playlist that evokes memories and give guests access to it as an ongoing momento.
  • Ask attendees to join in a group rendition of a meaningful song.
  • Include music as the backing track to a tribute slideshow.
It’s important to be aware that some churches don’t allow secular music to be played during a funeral service. Also, certain faiths have particular traditions when it comes to music. The Walter Carter Funerals team can provide guidance in this area. Walter Carter Funerals has permission to use copyrighted music for funeral purposes in most instances.Talk to us about the full range of music choices available.

Arranging a funeral is a complex task. Our team will step you through your choices and explain the decisions you need to make.

A fitting farewell

“I had the honour of working closely with a wonderful lady as she put plans in place for her final farewell. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew she was unlikely to live beyond the end of 2018. Knowing this she decided to put plans in place. To say she had a strong vision for her service is an understatement. From the stunning location and classical music to a horse-drawn carriage and the release of doves, our team left no stone unturned to ensure her vision became a reality.” – Richard Gosling (Funeral Consultant at Walter Carter Funerals)



Create an atmosphere with individuality

Floral arrangements are a striking touch to any service, but you’re not limited in your decorating choices to only flowers. There are many other decorations you can choose to reflect the personality and life of your loved one.

  • Feature your loved one’s favourite flowers in arrangements.
  • For the musically inclined, display their much-loved guitar or drum kit.
  • Lay out significant items like special books, medals or pieces of clothing.
  • Showcase a love of sports by incorporating club logos, colours, jerseys and more into the service.
  • Display plants and flowers from the garden to honour your loved one’s green thumb.
Ask guests to take part in the service

Involvement doesn’t have to be limited to reading a eulogy or being a pallbearer. There are lots of ways to encourage people to participate in the service and they’ll appreciate having an outlet to express their grief and make a final gesture.

  • Provide coloured post-it notes for people to write messages and place them on the coffin.
  • Ask guests to wear your loved one’s favourite colour.
  • Invite everyone to form an honour guard to say a final farewell.
  • Encourage guests to join in a rousing rendition of a special song.
  • If your loved one was known for their mismatched socks or quirky ties, ask people to follow suit.

Donations in lieu of flowers

Did your loved one support a particular charity or cause? You may consider requesting that no flowers be sent, instead opting to encourage guests to make donations.



Give a token to keep memories alive

Offering guests a small keepsake to take away with them after the funeral service is a wonderful way to make a service special. They’ll appreciate the reminder of your loved one and treasure it for years to come.

  • Remember a guitar playing music lover with a custom guitar pick.
  • A sachet of a favourite blend of tea leaves will bring back memories of your tea lover.
  • Give guests personalised bookmarks to remember an avid bookworm.
  • Hand out packets of seeds to plant as an ongoing, growing reminder of special memories.
  • A personalised pen is a special way to remember a loved one who enjoyed writing.
Bring family and friends together to share memories

Less formal than the funeral service itself, a wake provides a more relaxed and social atmosphere for people to remember the person who has died.

  • Cook your loved one’s favourite recipe to serve to guests.
  • Play a tribute slideshow featuring photos of important times and significant events.
  • Serve a signature drink or cocktail and ask guests to raise a glass in farewell.
  • Encourage people to share stories and memories with everyone gathered.
  • Play favourite board games or participate in much-loved hobbies.

Talk to the team at Walter Carter Funerals about how we can bring your vision to lie to honour your loved one.

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