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Joan Rivers

Joan River's NYT Article

Joan Rivers imagined her own funeral in her book, I Hate Everyone… Starting with Me. According to her writings, she wanted “a huge showbiz affair.” 


In the so-called ‘directive’, Joan described a viewing with a casket that accommodated a wind machine. She wrote that she wanted to be serenaded by Bobby Vinton. She specified the designers she wanted involved to create her burial clothing. She even outlined her ‘No-go’s by stating that she didn’t want a eulogy or a rabbi. 


Ultimately, at her 2014 funeral, none of these hypotheticals were actualized. This is because the paragraph from her book which media outlets have described as a ‘funeral directive’ was a comical misdirect. In actuality, Joan “had planned everything out,” and developed a pre-need plan prior to her death. The actual service was hosted in a Jewish Temple after she had been cremated. The proceedings were directed by a rabbi and featured a program that was full of music and eulogies. 


The intention and creativity put into this production highlights beautifully how we might involve the artistic talents of the individuals and communities who will uphold our legacy after our death.

The floral design was remarkably personal. 

Joan Rivers had a personal and professional relationship with her ‘friendor’ florist Preston Bailey. Preston decorated the room where Joan received visitors in her last days and he spearheaded the floral design for her funeral.

“Friendor” = a vendor who is a friend of the host.

The relationship varies from very close friends to just acquaintances. The piece of advice I have for anyone thinking of using a friend as a vendor is always create a service agreement and have both parties sign it.

Bailey describes Rivers as a friend, mentor, and “Fairy Godmother”.

She officiated the globally recognized wedding professional’s own wedding! 

Preston Bailey & Joan Rivers

Do you have an established ‘friendor’ relationship with a vendor who you would like to have involved in creating the design for your funeral?

While developing your pre-need plan, ask them for their event pricing and allocate sufficient funds to ensure those who survive you can purchase their services.

To respect the sacred nature of these private spaces, the designs will remain forever unseen by the public. Strangely, sources contradict one another when reporting on the funeral’s floral design.


Use this space to tell people more about what you do or a featured service.



Use this space to tell people more about what you do or a featured service.



Use this space to tell people more about what you do or a featured service.

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