Funerals &
memorial services

We can help you honour the life of your loved one

AltarNatives celebrants know how heart-breakingly difficult it can be to lose someone you love. In our experience a ceremony that honours the life of your loved one and allows you to say goodbye is important to the grieving process. 

​We listen carefully with respect and understanding to you and your family. We try hard to understand the essence of your loved one and how you would like them to be remembered.

Funeral Services

Like all other AltarNatives ceremonies, we want to make sure that celebrating the life of someone we love is as personal, as individual and as special as that person was to you.

We will meet with you and your family* to hear about your loved one and create a ceremony together that truly reflects the person that they were, celebrates the life they lived and recognises the lives they touched.

*Because we feel it is important to meet with you as a family face to face before the ceremony we usually only conduct Funeral Ceremonies close to our home bases. In the UK we work in Herts, Beds, Bucks, Cambs and Milton Keynes. In France we normally only work in the Orne and Mayenne areas. 

Memorial Services

Whilst there are some similarities between funerals and memorials, the key differences are that memorials can be held without the body being present and can be held wherever and whenever you wish. 

Whatever the reasons for choosing to hold a memorial, AltarNatives celebrants will work closely with you to prepare and deliver a ceremony which gives all those who knew your loved one an opportunity to express their feelings for them, to celebrate their life and honour the difference that their life made.

Dying in France

Losing someone you love is the most difficult, heartbreaking and often frightening times of your life. To do so in a country that has a different culture and customs can make that even harder.

AltarNatives provide a full celebrancy package and funeral planning service but if you just need to talk through your options please just call us. You are not alone.

If the death occurs in hospital or in circumstances requiring the police, the removal of the body of your loved one will be handled by others and they will do all they can to guide you through the process. If death occurs at home however you need to contact your family doctor who will issue the death certificate and help you contact a funeral director. It is currently an option in France to care for the body at home, but this is likely to change in the near future. If you would like the body repatriated you will need to contact the British Consulate. More details are available on the UK Government Website that can be found HERE

IMPORTANT: You need to inform your local Mairie within 24 hours of the official declaration of death. It does not need to be done by you but whoever attends on your behalf will need to have the correct documents. These include the medical certificate, ID of the deceased and ID of the person registering the death.

If you choose to have the ceremony in France you can choose a burial or cremation and the time between death and the funeral tends to be very short in comparison to UK funerals. AltarNatives are here to support you to understand your options and to help ensure that the ceremony honours the life of your loved one in the way that you wish.

It is not legal to scatter ashes in France in the same way as the UK or other counties.


Celebrancy Plus

Just as with our wedding planning service we know that logistics can be so difficult. Especially if you are having to do everything yourself with family and friends arriving from the UK.

Our Celebrancy Plus service lets us take up some of the strain, organising floral tributes, getting accommodation and venues and organising catering.  You can use us as little or as much as you need and as experienced events organisers we know what needs to be done to make the celebration of your loved one something that will honour their memory.


Please feel free to share this site with bereaved English speaking families – We perform funeral ceremonies in English in areas 61 and 53 (and surrounds) but are happy for you to share the information with your clients wherever they live.

We like to keep our information up to date so if you have anything you think should be added to the guide please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We look forward to working with you.

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