There are those in life who will pass away, and maybe one or two people will make it to the ceremony. Then there are those with so many admirers, friends, and family that there is just not enough room to seat everyone at the wake. If you are in charge of planning a funeral where you expect an enormous number of guests and fellow mourners to be in attendance, here is what you need to do next.
Alert the Funeral Home That You Are Going to Need Double the Space for the Wake
Funeral homes are able to accommodate large groups of people, but only if you let them know ahead of time. They have rooms that are often divided by accordion curtains on a track system, so all they would have to do really is open an accordion curtain that separates two rooms and turn it into one large viewing room. Placing the casket with the deceased at the head of the elongated and doubled room allows everyone to come, view the body, say their goodbyes, and have a seat for the services.
Place as Many Rows of Chairs as You Can Perpendicular to the Doors
When you have a lot of mourners coming, you need a lot of chairs. The easiest way to do this is to place row after row of chairs perpendicular to the doors. That way, everyone files into the room and down the rows of chairs to find a seat. Everyone can easily file out the same way when the services are complete. Ask your funeral home if they can manage this arrangement, as it will be easier on crowd control for this big of a wake.
Request That Flowers Not Be Sent
Flowers are a lovely sentiment, but people tend to overdo it. There will not be enough room for mourners and guests if all of the flowers are placed on display near the casket. Ask that everyone refrain from sending flowers and instead contribute to the costs of the deceased's final expenses. You will be killing two birds with one stone; there will be more room for guests with the lack of flowers and more money to pay for the final expenses.
Reserve the Funeral Home's Double Room for Just a Couple of Hours
While a great many guests will probably want to say some parting words, you probably just want to make this short and sweet. If that is the case, reserve the double viewing room for the wake and reserve it only for a few hours. This allows people to file in, say their goodbyes to the deceased, hear the funeral service, and then allow close family members and a few friends to speak before the wake service is complete.