Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Alternative Containers: If you haven't yet selected an urn or if you need some time to decide on one, most crematories will return the cremated remains in a basic container, often referred to as a "temporary container." This container is typically made of plastic, cardboard, or a simple wooden box.
2. Specifications: If you decide to purchase or provide your own urn, make sure it is appropriately sized to hold all of the cremated remains. On average, the volume of cremated remains from an adult is about 200 cubic inches, but this can vary. It's a good idea to communicate with the funeral home or crematorium about the expected volume of ashes and the size of the urn you're considering.
3. Transportation: If you are providing your own urn and plan to transport the cremated remains, either domestically or internationally, ensure that the urn is suitable for travel. Some urn materials, like thick metal, might not be x-ray transparent, which can be an issue at airport security.
4. Customization: One advantage of sourcing your own urn is the wide variety of options available outside of traditional funeral home selections. You can find urns made of various materials, styles, and personalization options.
5. Price: Funeral homes and crematoriums often have large markups on urns. By purchasing elsewhere, you might find a more affordable or a more unique option that better suits your budget or personal preferences.
6. Consumer Rights: In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule ensures consumers' rights when dealing with funeral homes. This rule prevents funeral homes from charging a handling fee if you choose to provide your own urn.
Always communicate with the funeral home or crematorium about your intentions and ask any questions to ensure smooth handling of the cremated remains.