When it comes to funeral costs, most people think of the
casket and tombstone when they’re figuring out a budget. However, funeral
flowers are another expense that should be considered. While people will often
bring flowers, you’ll want to plan for some basic arrangements if you’re
planning the funeral.
Funeral Flower Etiquette
For many, sending a flower arrangement to the deceased’s
family is a way to honour the person who has passed on. However, it’s not
always appropriate. If you’re confused about funeral flower etiquette, you’re
not alone. Here’s a brief look at how, when, and where to send flowers.
Certain cultures do not see flowers as a way to honour the
dead, so you should be aware of this beforehand. Talk to the funeral home if
you’re not sure. For example, you should not send flowers to a Jewish funeral.
Your relationship to the deceased, as well as you
relationship with the living family members will determine what is appropriate
to send. Sprays and wreaths are only sent by immediate family members. Anyone
in the immediate family may choose any arrangement they like. If you are
extended family, you can choose an informal arrangement or standing spray. Friends who were close, as well as business
associates, can send simpler arrangements, bouquets in vases and even live
Keep in mind that only close family members should send the
flowers to the family or funeral home. If the family requests that no flowers be sent,
do be sure to honour this request.
Any arrangement you choose should have a sympathy card
attached. Be very careful not to select anything that might offend or is too
Religion and Funeral Flowers
Selecting the right flowers is another thing to consider.
The appropriate flowers will depend on the local culture and the family’s
– Nearly anything is fine.
– Nearly anything is fine.
– Nearly anything is fine.
Eastern and Greek Orthodox
– Most flowers are fine, but
white ones are considered best.
– Garlands are usually used in Hindu funerals, rather
– Do not send flowers to a Jewish funeral. You may
send them to the family, however.
– In most cases, a charitable donation is preferred.
Ask before sending flowers.
– Nearly anything is fine.
If you are in doubt, call the funeral home and they can
advise you on what is appropriate for the person’s religion and culture.
The Meanings of Flowers
are more acceptable for funerals
and while most people will accept just about anything , you should consider
these traditional options before making a selection. The majority of florists
will offer sympathy arrangements, which use traditional mourning flowers.
Flowers have specific meanings and at one time, they were
even used to send love letters and messages in secret code. While that
tradition has died out, there’s still something about choosing meaningful
flowers that helps you say goodbye to a loved one.
These beautiful flowers are found at nearly every funeral.
They are some of the most common flowers associated with death and for good
reason. Lilies symbolize innocence, which has been returned to the deceased
person’s soul. White lilies show purity and majesty. Stargazer lilies stand for
sympathy and should always be white or light colours.
You’ll find carnations at many funerals. It’s said that
their tight circular configuration represents the life cycle. Red carnations
mean admiration, pink means remembrance, and white stands for innocence and
love that is pure.
Another round flower that represents the cycle of birth,
life, and death, these flowers are often found in funeral arrangements. They
represent death in many European countries and are specifically for funerals.
In some Asian countries, they represent grief.
These multi-flowered stalks are often part of funeral
sprays. They stand for moral integrity and sincerity. You’ll find them in a
range of hues, so it’s not uncommon for the family to select the colour based
on the deceased loved one’s preferences.
One of the most meaningful of flowers, roses have a big part
to play in funeral arrangements. They may be white for a young person or
someone who is considered innocent. Red roses show courage and love and tend to
be used in funerals for cancer victims and couples. Pink roses show love,
appreciation, and grace, while dark red wine roses show sorrow and grief.
Yellow roses symbolise friendship. Adding one lone rose to a full arrangement
shows that there is ongoing love for the one who has passed on.
You will often find tulips in funerals. They are meant to
symbolize hope and a new start, so they are often given to the family of the
deceased. Choose red for perfect love, yellow for cheerfulness, and white to
Orchids are usually given as a living plant, as they die
rather swiftly once cut. Pink and white orchids represent sympathy and are most
appropriate to send for a funeral. Since they are living, the family will
likely take the plant home and keep it as a memory of their loved one.
When in doubt, ask the florist for recommendations. They
will have a good idea as to what would be appropriate and are usually
well-versed in funeral etiquette. You may also want to include the deceased
person’s favourite flower in the arrangement.
Funeral Wreaths and Funeral Arrangements
There are many different options to choose from when it
comes to funeral flower arrangements. Usually only immediate family will choose
the funeral wreaths and sprays that are displayed with the casket during the
memorial service. These arrangements are often set up to decorate the space.
Wreaths may be made of any type of flower and tend to be one
colour. Most people choose a simple white or cream flower to represent the
innocence of the departed soul. In some cases, the wreath may be comprised of
favourite colours or pastels, particularly for a child’s funeral. Wreaths can
be hung, laid atop the casket, or set on an easel.
Sprays are bouquets with longer stems of flowers standing
out the back of the arrangement. These may be presented on an easel or
presented atop the casket. In fact, when it comes to casket flowers, sprays are
the most common option, as they cover much of the casket.
Living plants are another option and can be kept for the
family after the funeral. They may also choose to plant the flowers atop the
grave once the funeral is over. If you are giving living plants, it’s a good
idea to choose something that will not die after a single bloom. Orchids and
hydrangeas are excellent choices for this. Plants in containers will usually be
displayed on the floor around the coffin.
Formed funeral flowers are another option. You may choose
for the flowers to be arranged in the shape of a cross, heart, angel, or just
about any other shape you might want. This adds a special touch and is usually
done by someone in the immediate family. They may be hung, set on an easel, or
placed on the casket.
Casket inserts are special and chosen by the family closest
to the deceased. These are smaller arrangements that are placed inside the
casket or in one corner to give a little dash of colour. They’re often
available in a colour and can provide a contrast to the white satin of the
casket’s interior. It is your decision if you want to leave the flowers in the
casket for the burial.
Finally, a bouquet is a beautiful cluster of flowers and
greenery, often in a basket or vase, which may be placed on a table or on the
floor near the casket. There are plenty of options here and they can use nearly
any type of flower or a number of different ones.
Most arrangements come with plenty of greenery, but you can
request flowers only, if you prefer.
Why We Cherish Funeral Flowers
Flowers have been a part of saying goodbye to our loved ones
for many, many generations. It had a more practical purpose in the early days,
when people had to be buried immediately. However, today, we use flowers as a
way to show our support for the family and to indicate our love for the
More and more people are requesting charitable donations in
lieu of flowers now, so be sure to respect this. However, if they are not
opposed to flowers, it can be a lovely way to show your support and love.
Are you arranging a funeral for a loved one? Contact us
at Normington and Sons Funeral Home to find out how we can make this difficult
time a little easier.