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Order Funeral Programs

If you have recently lost a friend, family member or loved one, you may have been tasked with ordering funeral programs and stationery for the upcoming funeral or memorial service. This job can initally feel daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. You can easily order funeral programs and other printed materials and keepsakes from many different sources. The key is to first, understand your time, budget and design needs. Then, pick a solution that fits your needs. Here are some quick tips to help you determine which direction you should go for ordering programs.

Factors to consider:

How much time do you have?

The time you have will greatly affect how you order funeral programs. Generally speaking, you will have about a week or two from the time your loved one is deceased until his or her services are held. This is not a lot of time, considering how many things have to be done. If you are planning a memorial, celebration or life or cremation service later, after the burial, you may have more time to plan.

What is your budget?

There are a wide range of printed memorial options to choose from, ranging from basic, single page funeral programs, programs with multiple pages, folds and many different graphic elements, as well as other keepsakes including bookmarks, prayer cards, thank you cards and funeral announcements. These items can add up pretty quickly. You will need to set a budget, then figure out what items you want. DIY funeral program options can be very inexpensive, but will require your time and expertise, while professional design and print service may be less hassle, but may cost more.

What are your funeral stationery design needs?

As mentioned earier, there are many different printed items you can purchase. There are also many, many design options, ranging from specialty and custom designs with many different graphics and photos of the deceased. You may also want unique, one of kind design design, you may have to work closely with a designer to ensure that they capture all of your requirements. Professionally designed and custom printed funeral materials can be expensive, depending on how many programs you need and how much professional design work you are having done.

Funeral Program Ordering Options:

DIY Funeral Programs

If you are relatively comfortable using a Word Processor of Graphic design software, you may want to consider making your own program at home and printing from your home computer. You can design your own custom program, or you can use a template. There are many, many different funeral program template companies online, and there is a wide range of program design, paper size and layout options to choose from. These templates also have a wide range in pricing. See our articles on DIY Funeral Programs and  "selecting a funeral program template design" for more information. You will also have to account for the time and money it will take to print and fold these programs. You can print them at your home computer, or you can take your finished file to a print and copy shop and print them out.  See our articles on "Printing Funeral Programs at home" and  "How to print your programs at a print or copy shop" for more information.

How to Order:

You can usually get DIY programs automatically from the internet. Simply select a design and layout, checkout and automatically download. You can be working on your program within minutes.

Hire a company to enter information in a template for you

There are some companies that will use pre-designed templates (which will save time and money), but will enter the information for you. This is a good option if you are not very computer savvy. This will definitely cut down on stress and frustration, but you will still have to send the information to the company, which still requires time on your part. You will also have to account for time going "back and forth" with different edits to make sure the information is the way that you want it. You can either have the company print and ship the programs to you, or you can have them send you a finished copy of the program, and you can print it yourself. 

How to Order:

You can often order this template customization online as well. During the ordering process you will may have to submit a form letting them know what information you want entered and you will have to submit all the photos that you want to be in your template. You may have to call or email the company if you have specific requirements or information.

Get a custom designed and printed program

This option can be the most expensive and time consuming. A unique custom cover can be developed specifically for your loved one. Photos can be retouched and edited, and special layouts can be used. Since these programs aren't usually made from a pre-formatted template, you may have to pay for design fees as well as printing costs. If you have a specific "vision" for the design of your program, then this process may be a bit time-consuming.

How to Order:

There are some companies that may have custom options available to order online, but you may have to visit a designer or printer in person for a detailed meeting about your program requirements. The best course of action is to contact the company to determine what they will need (a deposit or contract) to get started on work.

Use Funeral Home Services

Some funeral home will offer funeral printing services.  These services can be included in the overall price of the funeral services, or you can purchase them separately.  Often, the programs are very standard and conservative, and are made from a pre-formatted template.  They will usually use a standard paper size and layout (Typically a one page program that folds down the middle), and often will not vary from that layout.  Using the funeral home printing services can be a time saver, but you may not save much money.   Contact your funeral director to order programs.

Church Resources

If the deceased was a member of a church, you may be able to utilize church resources to order funeral programs.  A church secretary may be in charge of making the programs, and may even have a good selection of templates to choose from.  The church might charge for programs, or they could be free of charge.  One thing's for sure, it's worth asking about.

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