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How Much Does a Graveside Funeral Really Cost?

As bitter as the truth can be, death is inevitable. Today, it may be your loved one, or tomorrow, it could be you. No one can tell when our life will come to an end. Hence, it’s only essential to have an idea about funeral costs.

Advance funeral planning, whether for you or a loved one, is an excellent way to cut expenses. As you know, funerals are pretty costly. As per NFDA (National Funeral Directors Association), the average cost of a burial and funeral in the United States is $7,848.

So, planning in advance will save time and remove the financial burden at a challenging time. A funeral entails different forms of services, such as graveside and memorial services.

Funeral homes offer these services that are better alternatives to a traditional funeral service. They are economical and flexible. Let’s understand this form of services and expenses incurred.

Graveside Service: Meaning & Cost Breakdown

kid on the funerals

A graveside service is an additional ceremony held after a funeral service. Many think it’s the same as a funeral but a separate entity. You can also forego the ceremony as a simple funeral service or conduct both.

Even a friend or family can conduct this service. Generally, it’s by a clergy member, but any of the close ones to the deceased soul can do it. They read a short eulogy or an obituary while giving others time to speak briefly.

Before you arrive, the funeral director places the urn or casket to make it easy for you. The graveside ceremony is optional and can be done by anyone. Various religious and ethnic groups hold this service to say goodbye and honor their beloved for one last time.

How Much Does A Graveside Funeral Cost?


Funerals are expensive. Many people worry about the burial and funeral costs for the right reasons. Everyone wants the best for their loved ones in the final hour of their life, but the funeral expenses may sometimes offset your budget. Even basic services fee can come up to $2,300.

However, the good news is that a graveside funeral is cheaper than other funeral services. So, this will be a good option if you’re on a limited budget. Take a look at the cost breakdown of this service:

  • You have to spend around $3,000 for the funeral director’s service. It covers cemetery services, transportation, and embalming (optional). Note that the cost may vary depending on burial or cremation.
  • A casket price ranges between $2,000 to $10,000. The average cost is $2,500.In addition, a burial vault cost up to $1,572.
  • A cremation process will cost up to $1,000, mainly depending on the urn’s quality.
  • You also need to look for a cemetery plot, which will likely cost between $1,000 and $4,000.
  • A grave marker or a headstone may cost $200 to $10,000, depending on how intricate you want.

  There are also miscellaneous fees such as pamphlets, obituaries, and cosmetics, in which the cost will vary.

These are some approximate funeral costs of a graveside ceremony. You can tailor the expenses depending on the budget. For instance, opting for a cremation will cost less than a traditional casket burial. Moreover, if you have a final expense life insurance, it will cover some of the funeral costs. More on this is discussed below.

List Of Funeral Cost To Consider

A Funeral cost can go as high as $10,000. At the same time, the average funeral expenses come to around $8,000. It involves a list of items from casket to funeral director’s services, which adds to the exuberant amount.

However, a list of items significantly adds to the funeral cost. Check below:

  • Grave markers and headstones: These items are custom orders, and the price can range from $199 to $5,000. Depending on the details, it can go as high as $10,000.
  • Burial plot: A burial site or plot can cost you between $1,000 to $4,000. The price may vary depending on the city and the site’s location.
  • Obituary: Publishing an obituary on a website or a newspaper will also cost you some amount. The price will vary depending on the sites and publishers.
  • Flowers: In a funeral, flowers are essential items to adorn the ceremony and the casket. The cost may vary depending on the flower types. Some of them are pretty expensive.

How To Plan A Graveside Funeral?


If you plan to do a graveside funeral, we can give you a guide to the process. Many may not be familiar with the funeral arrangements of this ceremony. Hence, it’s only fair that we provide the necessary steps. 

  1. Finding a location: The first task is to find a burial site or a cemetery. Some factors to consider while choosing a site are pricing, cemetery rules, general maintenance, location, and upkeep. 

  2. Selecting an urn or a casket: Choosing the best casket or urn is up to the individual. It’s one of the major funeral costs requiring proper research before getting one. You can buy offline through a funeral home but online is much cheaper.

  3. Leading the service: A religious leader usually leads this ceremony, but it’s not mandatory. You can bestow the task to a family member or a friend. Whoever you choose, ensure that they are reliable and responsible.

  4. Getting acquainted with the funeral director or burial site staff: Have proper communication with the cemetery director or the staff to be clear on the rules and regulations. Find out logistics to ensure that everything is in order. In addition, it's important to know the funeral rule.

  5. Itinerary planning: Although it’s not necessary for a graveside funeral, it would be great if you included it. Notify the attendees beforehand if...

Difference Between A Graveside And Funeral Service

people grieve on funerals

A graveside and funeral ceremony are not the same, to be precise. Both are separate entities, which people often get confused with. In short, a funeral event leans more toward a formal ceremony. The community, friends, and family gather to bid the final goodbye.

The body is present in this kind of service, and the casket may be closed or open. It’s up to the family wishes of the deceased. A funeral service often takes in a church or a funeral home.

The ceremony proceeds as per the cultural or religious customs. A funeral service includes special readings, prayers, eulogy, pallbearers, and songs.

In comparison, a graveside ceremony usually takes place after the funeral service. It’s optional and doesn’t necessarily have to follow the suit. Compared to the funeral event, it’s more intimate, and the attendees are mainly family members and close ones.

In short, it’s the final act after the main service. If budget is an issue, you can do the graveside ceremony as a standalone event. A traditional funeral is costlier compared to this one.

Is It Okay To Hold Both Graveside And Funeral Ceremony?

graveside stoun

There is no problem conducting both graveside and funeral events. It’s up to the individual. If you’re okay with the funeral expenses, you can carry forward with both services.

A graveside funeral will be good if you prefer an intimate ceremony with only close ones. You can choose a cemetery plot and notify the attendees beforehand. Get in touch with a reputed funeral provider to conduct the service.

Benefits Of Graveside Funeral

Some of the benefits of a graveside funeral are as follows:

  • The funeral cost is relatively cheaper and incur less expenses. Depending on the city or area, burial costs may vary.
  • It allows you to have more personal time with close ones. Family members get up close to the deceased soul before the final farewell.
  • You can bid an intimate final goodbye to your loved one.
  • It’s less stressful as the funeral provider does all the necessary tasks.

Funeral Or Memorial Service: What’s The Difference?

flowers on top of the casket 

A funeral or memorial service may have similar elements but vary a bit. If you’re new, it may get quite confusing. Nevertheless, we’re here to clarify all the doubts regarding these events.

Funeral Service

funeral viewing

A funeral ceremony is the main event where family members, the community, and well-wishers attend it. It often takes place in funeral homes or a place of worship.

The funeral costs can go up to $9,420 or more, depending on the elements you include. Many funeral homes provide a package deal that may help cut some expenses.

Memorial Service

red rose

A memorial service is often held after some weeks or months after the passing. Unlike a formal funeral ceremony, here, the body is not present. It’s a small gathering event comprising friends and family members of the deceased. 

Elements like scattering ashes of the cremated remains happen in memorial service. Some funeral costs to expect from this event are burial or cremation, venue, food& beverages, and traveling expenses.

Getting Final Expense Life Insurance

A funeral cost can wreck your budget if there is no prior planning. No one knows when death will come knocking at our door. Hence, it’s only necessary to prepare for the final expense of life. It will remove the funeral burden and also save money.

You can opt for a life insurance policy where your beneficiaries can cover the funeral costs. There is also a specific life insurance for final expenses that will pay for burial, funeral home expenses, and unpaid medical costs.

This kind of insurance is marketed to the age group over 65 years. The amount is not huge and can range from $5,000 to $25,000. Plus, it doesn’t require a medical examination.

Advantages Of Getting A Life Insurance

Many people are pretty skeptical about investing in life insurance. However, not many are aware of how it can ease your financial burden, especially in cases like funeral cost, which is pretty expensive.

Life on earth is not permanent, so it would be wise to spare some savings for burial insurance. So that later, there won’t be any financial issues for end-of-life costs if something unfortunate happens. It’s not a bad thing to prepare for the final expense. Ultimately, it will help you cover funeral costs.

Prepaying Options For Funeral Costs

Besides a life insurance policy, there is also the option of prepaying for a funeral. In this case, you can get preneed insurance from a funeral home. You can arrange the amount of your choice.

It allows you to choose a plot for burial. Some people opt for the entire plan, like the burial site and the ceremony. The policy may vary based on the funeral home you choose. Some funeral homes allow a payment plan mainly comprising a 3-, 5- or 10-year plan. Either that or you can do a lump sum payment.


Concluding the article, you can opt for both formal and graveside funerals. It’s up to the individual’s choice. Based on your budget, you can choose whichever is convenient. One can apply for a life insurance policy or choose prepaying options to ease financial constraints.

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