If you are planning for a funeral, one of the first questions is whether cremation or burial. According to the 2020 NFDA Cremation & Burial, the predicted cremation rate for 2020 was 56%. More people are choosing cremation, and that may be related to its price tag. But how much does cremation cost?

Learn what a typical cremation service costs and what it includes. Let’s break down the associated costs, what is necessary, and what is not.

Average Cost

According to National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral and burial cost in America is $9,135, while the average funeral with cremation is just $5,150. The price tag can significantly vary depending on what you choose to include. Just having a cremation with no funeral service in North Carolina can run $1,000 to $4,000, but there are almost always additional services that you will require. Your total price depends on which other services you need. 

Costs of Funeral with Cremation


North Carolina law does not mandate embalming, but it is necessary to preserve a body depending on how long the family waits after death to plan a viewing, wake, and funeral. Some funeral homes will include this cost in a cremation package. Embalming averages around $500-$1,000. 

Cosmetic Services

These are not strictly necessary but are often chosen for viewings at a wake or funeral so that the deceased looks peaceful and doesn’t offend the sensibilities of the loved ones who come to say their goodbyes. Cosmetic services often start around $250 and include professional styling for makeup and hair. The cost often includes dressing the deceased in the clothing and jewelry that you have chosen.

A Viewing or Visitation

Often, a viewing or visitation is at a funeral home or cemetery chapel. It is a custom in North Carolina to have a particular time to view the body and visit with family and friends before the funeral or memorial service. The body rests in a casket in the front area. Loved ones or the funeral director arranges flowers around the body. The immediate family often stands in a receiving line and speaks with each guest as they go through the line and see the body. Often, families choose to have this at the funeral home.

Funeral or Memorial Service 

A funeral or memorial service is a more formal time to sit as loved ones eulogize the deceased. Often there is an inspiring message by a Pastor or spiritual leader in the religion of the deceased’s family. Someone may sing a particularly poignant song. You may also choose to pay musicians. Renting a building for a service can cost several hundred, depending on where you want the service to take place. With an all-inclusive funeral home that has a chapel, the total cost of the package they offer often includes the service.


Transportation of the body involves a hearse, limousine, or another vehicle to bring the body from the funeral or memorial service to the cremation center. If you choose a funeral home that offers cremation on-site, this is not a necessary cost. 

A Casket

A casket is where the body rests during the viewing and funeral. A casket is unnecessary if you have the cremation before the funeral and do not have a wake or viewing. Caskets can run from around $1,000 to $40,000 or more for gold accents and plating.

An Urn

You can choose to buy an inexpensive container or purchase a precious stone urn or antique vases ranging in many thousands of dollars. This cost is up to you. Some companies can make jewelry from the ashes of the deceased. You can also choose to take the ashes and scatter them somewhere meaningful.

Funeral Expense Planning

When planning a funeral and cremation, it is possible to choose only the services that the deceased desired. You can cut costs from that of a traditional funeral with burial. Without paying for a casket, grave plot, vault, and headstone, you do save money.

Be careful that you do not skimp on what is essential, though. Grief is a time when loved ones need each other. Make sure to plan meaningful times for family and friends to gather and share the pain of loss. 

Cremation Packages

At Renaissance Funeral Home, we understand the need to comfort each other during a season of loss. That is why we have an on-site crematorium and tribute center. We cut costs by doing our cremations on-site. We pass the savings to you by including everything you need for funeral and cremation services in one place for one price. 

Our packages start at $2,925 and include all professional services, our memorial chapel for a funeral service, a basic urn, and on-site cremation. We also transfer the deceased if needed and include live streaming for the funeral.

We Can Help

If you feel overwhelmed with the funeral planning, contact us, and we will walk you through your options while staying mindful of your budget. We would love to help you finish the planning process so that you can rest and grieve your loss.