Five weird and wonderful funerals

Have you planned yours?

The cowboys and Indians funeral

These days, funerals aren't necessarily gloomy affairs, with more and more of us seeing them as a celebration of life.

And as a result, says David Collingwood, head of funeral operations at Co-op Funeralcare, they are often quite eccentric.

"We are increasingly seeing this trend of personalisation within funerals, to reflect the passions and interests that our loved ones had while they were alive, rather than being a strictly sombre occasion," he says.

"If a request is possible to do, our funeral directors and arrangers will do their utmost to make it happen."

Funeral company reveal unusual burial requests

One recent funeral, for example, saw the team dressing up as cowboys and Indians for a 54-year-old gentleman with Down Syndrome, and a police escort for the hearse.

"It has never been more important that we plan ahead, having conversations with our friends and family about our wishes," says Collingwood.

"Not only so that we take our final journey in the way we would've wanted, but also to alleviate some of the pain for our grieving families by removing those important decisions which can cause distress."

Here are the Co-Op's five most individual funerals from the last two years.

1. Halloween

The Halloween funeral

A funeral director dressed as Darth Vader isn't something you see every day, but was perfect for this Halloween-themed funeral. Beetlejuice and the Tasmanian Devil were amongst almost 100 guests in fancy dress.

2. Superheroes

The superheroes funeral

With Superman, Batman and Robin in attendance, this funeral gave the best send-off possible to a movie and comic book fan. With the Funeral Director dressed as She-Ra, guests included She-Hulk, Captain America and Buzz Lightyear.

You might want to sit down: funeral debts hit astonishing highs

3. Leopard-print

The leopard print funeral

This funeral was carefully planned, right down to the last leopard print tie. Everyone in attendance was asked to wear a touch of the popular animal print to match the leopard print coffin, and the deceased was dressed in a Zelda costume to celebrate her love of gaming.

4. Only Fools and Horses funeral

The Only Fools and Horses funeral

In true Del Boy style, this coffin arrived on three wheels in a Yellow Reliant Robin. There was also a unique order of service, which featured characters from a mix of popular TV shows.

£576m in payday loans to pay for funerals

5. Spiderman

The Spiderman funeral

This ceremony took place for a huge fan of Marvel superhero Spiderman, and was tailored to the blue and red character. The funeral director wore full Spiderman attire, with the rest of the crew in Marvel ties. The casket was dressed with Marvel stickers and Spiderman-style blue and red balloons were attached to each coffin handle. As a finishing touch, the hearse was topped with a giant Spiderman balloon.

Highest-earning dead celebrities

Highest-earning dead celebrities