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Over a Third of British Funerals Ban Black Clothing

The rise of the rainbow funeral

A survey by a UK supplier of funeral plans has revealed the rise of the rainbow funeral, as over a third of those arranging funerals are now asking attendees to wear bright colours on the day. The main reason given to explain this growing trend is the desire to celebrate the deceased person’s life, rather than mourn their passing.

A supplier of funeral plans in the UK has conducted a survey to find out how many families ask funeral attendees to dress in brightly coloured clothing rather than traditional black attire, following an increase in the trend of the ‘rainbow funeral’. 2,249 UK citizens took part in the study, all of whom were aged 18 or older and had assisted in arranging a funeral in the past 12 months.

The survey, conducted by, initially asked the respondents ‘Did you or other people helping to plan the funeral ask guests to dress in bright clothing?’ Over a third of respondents (36%) indicated that they had arranged a funeral at which attendees were asked to wear bright clothing. The remaining 64% stated that the funeral featured the traditional dress code of black or dark clothing.

In order to investigate the trend further, respondents who stated that attendees were asked to wear bright clothing to the funeral were then asked to give the main reason behind their decision to forgo the traditional black dress code. Respondents indicated that they wanted ‘to celebrate my loved one’s life, rather than mourn their passing’ as the most popular reason, with 42% of the vote, whilst a further 24% of respondents indicated that they felt bright colours ‘would make it a less sombre occasion.’ Almost one in five, 18%, chose to implement a colourful dress code because the chosen colour was ‘representative of the loved one’.

Respondents were then asked to indicate whether the choice to have a colourful funeral was the request of the family or the deceased. Only a third of respondents (33%) said that it was their loved one’s wish to have a colourful funeral, whilst the remaining 67% stated that it had been the family’s decision.

The respondents who had requested colourful attire at the funeral were then split according to the gender of their deceased loved one and asked to reveal what the chosen colour theme was. The top 5 most popular colours were revealed as follows:

Top 5 Bright Colours Worn to Male Funerals

  1. Blue
  2. Red
  3. Multi Coloured
  4. Green
  5. Orange

Top 5 Bright Colours Worn to Female Funerals

  1. Pink
  2. Multi Coloured
  3. Purple
  4. Blue
  5. Red

Ian Hazel from Ian Hazel Funerals Ltd, a local independent funeral director based in Sutton Coldfield said: “A funeral is a very personal thing and families are free to remember their loved ones in the way that they want. Implementing a colour theme at a funeral is just one of the ways a family can celebrate a loved one’s life. Whilst not for everyone, it can certainly mark the occasion as a celebration of life and also a portrayal of the loved one’s personality and memory. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to dealing with loss; we pride ourselves on having a wide and flexible range of funeral plans which means that all needs and wishes can be met.


About Perfect Choice Funeral Plans
Perfect Choice Funeral Plans are provided by NAFD Services Limited which was set-up by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) whose member firms carry out over 80% of all funerals in the UK. NAFD Services Limited is a founding member of the Funeral Planning Authority, the official body that oversees the operation of companies offering funeral plans.

Perfect Choice Funeral Plan funds are held securely in a guaranteed whole of life assurance policy. For maximum security NAFD Services only works with UK-based life assurance companies that are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the PRA and Financial Conduct Authority. A key difference with Perfect Choice Funeral Plans is that the pre-payment monies cannot be used for anything other than the client’s funeral for total peace of mind.

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