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Direct Cremation

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

When a loved one passes away, it can be hard to decide on what type of funeral we want to arrange for them. These choices can depend on costs involved, the wishes of our loved one and conversations with family and friends. There are so many options to choose from, do we go for the traditional type of funeral with limousines, flowers and orders of service? Do we choose a burial or cremation? Do we want a traditional hearse or maybe a horse drawn carriage? Do we want a natural burial or do we want a much cheaper option called direct cremation?


Research from the University of Bath released in 2022 indicates that “demand has risen for direct cremations”, but what’s driving this change and are the lower costs of direct cremation a factor?

What is direct cremation?

Direct cremation, sometimes known as cremation without ceremony or unattended cremation, refers to a simple, no-frills cremation without a formal service, and often with no mourners present. If you want no service at the crematorium, your loved one cremated and the cremated remains scattered or returned to you, this may be the option for you.

What happens with a direct cremation?

At Vines Funerals, the direct cremation process is straightforward. When you loved one has passed away, they are taken safely into our care. Your loved one will be washed, dressed in their own clothes or gown and placed into a simple coffin. If you wish to view your loved one in the chapel of rest, this can be arranged for you at a small additional cost.

The cremation will be booked at our local crematorium on a day and time of our choosing and all the necessary paperwork required for the cremation will be completed and submitted. You will of course be notified when the cremation will be taking place.


On the day of the cremation your loved one will be transported to the crematorium in either a private vehicle or a traditional Hearse, whichever one you have selected at the time of making the arrangements. We will also place a silk coffin spray on top of the coffin for the journey to the crematorium.

Upon entry to the crematorium chapel, a piece of music will be played as your loved one’s coffin is escorted in. This piece of music can be selected by you.

Following the cremation, we will collect your loved ones cremated remains and arrange for them to be returned to you if this is your wishes. If you would like your loved ones remains scattered in the garden of remembrance or an interment arranged in a new or existing grave, we can assist with this. We can also discuss with you options for jewellery, caskets, urns and other forms of memorialisation.

Why choose a direct cremation?

  • Its not as expensive as a traditional funeral – while you will pay for some services to be carried out by the funeral professional, direct cremations usually carry lower Funeral Director and crematorium charges.

  • Personal Wish –Your loved one simply didn’t wish to have a traditional funeral.

  • Simplicity – large funerals can be a logistical challenge, whereas a direct cremation can save your family time and energy during the mourning process.

  • A different way of grieving – traditional funerals can be emotionally challenging, but with a direct cremation you always have the option of hosting a more celebratory memorial at a later date.

  • A desire to scatter ashes – as with any cremation service, there is the opportunity to focus on scattering your loved ones cremated remains in a place of significance, which may take precedence over a formal service or burial.

The difference between cremation and direct cremation

In a traditional cremation, there is a service of remembrance – usually at the crematorium, where family and friends gather to remember their loved one on the day.

In a direct cremation, your loved one is taken to the crematorium and cremated without a service, unless an attended service has been paid for.

What does a direct cremation not include?

With a direct cremation, there is no formal ceremony. There is no celebrant or minister. There are no limousines, orders of service, family flowers, or expensive coffins.

How much is a direct cremation?

The cost of a direct cremation with Vines Funerals is either £1250.00 or £1350.00, plus an additional fee of £50 for viewing your loved one in the chapel of rest if required.

Floral Tribute

This figure includes the crematorium fee, funeral director charges including a simple coffin and silk floral tribute and any doctors’ fees required for completion of the cremation paperwork.

You have the option of taking your loved one to the crematorium in a private vehicle or a traditional hearse.

The cost also includes the return of your loved ones cremated remains back to you.

For a more detailed description of the direct cremation package, please look at our website.

Direct cremations and the cost-of-living crisis

It’s no secret that people in Britain (and around the world) have been impacted by a cost of living crisis, affecting everything from the price of petrol at the pump to the amount we spend on buying groceries or heating our homes. With the average weighted cost of a burial funeral now £5,241 (almost four times as much as a direct cremation), many industry experts are reporting that people are opting for low-cost options. This chimes with a wider trend of changing attitudes towards ‘cremation only’ services. According to YouGov, just 15% of UK citizens would like to be buried, and almost half (45%) want to be cremated.

Common misconceptions about direct cremation

While direct cremation is a cost-effective option, it’s not just for those on a budget. Ziggy Stardust himself, David Bowie, opted for a direct cremation rather than a funeral and had his ashes scattered on the island of Bali.

There is also a misconception that direct cremation is a cold or uncaring way of saying goodbye to a loved one. In fact, many direct cremations are often carried out under the expressed wishes of the deceased and reflect their beliefs.

Also, some people think direct cremations give you a lack of control. But in reality, you still have the opportunity to celebrate the departed’s life in a fitting way, such as scattering their cremated remains in their favourite place, or by hosting a memorial with friends and family in attendance.

Is a direct cremation better than a traditional funeral?

There is no right or wrong answer on what type of funeral is the best option. Do you have to have a traditional funeral service? Ultimately, the answer is no, but every individual is entitled to be remembered in their own preferred way.

The costs of funerals have been rising in recent years, and can put a strain on any family budget, so the lower cost of a direct cremation may be a consideration for many.

Is a direct cremation less stressful?

We all grieve in our own personal way, but it’s fair to say that a standard funeral service comes with its own emotional strains, which some people find difficult and emotionally draining. Indeed, the planning and paperwork associated with traditional funerals can put such a strain on the immediate family straight after the passing of their loved one, and sometimes the service and wake itself can seem like a blur. So one argument in favour of direct cremations is that it lessens the importance of the funeral itself, perhaps helping the bereaved to remember the departed in their own time.

In the end, whether you choose a burial, cremation or direct cremation is a personal decision to be made in consultation with your loved ones. Hopefully you will have plenty of time to consider the options and make the decision that’s right for you.


If you would like to know more about organising a direct cremation, please contact us at Vines Funerals, 70 Summerhill Road, Coseley, Bilston, West Midlands, WV14 8RE, 01902 494778 we would love to hear from you.

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