Flowers were originally used as funeral air fresheners. Before the embalming process was developed, human bodies would have a foul odor at the time of burial. Flower arrangements were a beautiful way to sweeten the breeze while loved ones paid their respects.
We no longer need funeral air fresheners, but flower arrangements are still an essential element of most funerals. They add visual beauty and calming aromas to the funeral or viewing, and they allow guests to show respect and love during a time of intense grief. Close family members and friends often take comfort in flowers received because it shows that they aren’t mourning alone.
Whether you’re in charge of planning a funeral or you want to help someone special by contributing flowers for a funeral, it’s important to find quality arrangements that will make the funeral proceedings warm, welcoming and honorable. This guide will deliver all the information you need to send flowers for funeral proceedings without unnecessary stress or expense.
Types of Funeral Flower Arrangements
Funeral home flowers are used specifically for decorating a funeral space. Flowers delivered to the home or business of loved ones are known as sympathy flowers and are often quite different from flower arrangements used at the funeral or viewing.
You can use any large collection of decorative flowers at a funeral, but there are some popular designs that are widely used today:
- Standing flower sprays. A standing spray is a large flower arrangement designed to stand on an easel. They’re easy to set up and take down because they don’t require a table or hooks to hang on the wall. It’s common to see flower sprays at graveside funerals, but they’re common inside funeral parlors as well.
- Casket flower sprays. These large flower arrangements are designed to sit on top of a casket. They’re often used to adorn closed caskets, softening the blow of loved ones who wish they could see the face of someone special one last time. You can use casket sprays on the bottom half of an open casket if there’s room.
- Funeral wreaths. While you can hang a wreath on an easel just like a standing flower spray, they’re made a bit different. Traditional wreaths are round with a large hole in the center, and you can hang them on walls or position them on a secure table. You can find wreaths with ribbon and other accessories, so it’s more than just flowers.
- Funeral flower baskets and vases. Smaller funeral arrangements are often placed in baskets or vases made of porcelain, glass and other decorative materials. These arrangements are often contributed by people not invited to the funeral or not in charge of planning the proceedings.
The Best Types of Flowers for Funeral Proceedings
The most popular flowers used in funeral arrangements include:
Lilies are often the first pick because they symbolize innocence, which many believe is restored to a soul after passing. Roses are associated with love and are available in many colors, making it easy to send funeral flower arrangements that represents the person’s favorite color. Carnations are one of the more affordable options and deliver a sweet aroma that can lift the mood of those grieving.
Does Flower Color Matter?
Flower colors are associated with meanings, so you can select flowers that send the most appropriate message for your funeral. You can also choose colors based on the favorite color of the person you’re memorializing. Here are some popular funeral flower colors and their traditional associations:
- Red – love
- White – truth, honesty, spirituality
- Pink – grace, elegance
- Cream – charm, thoughtfulness
You can find roses, carnations and other flowers in yellow, orange, purple and even rainbow these days. However, these unique colors combinations are sprayed. While they may be cheerful options for some funeral services, most artificially colored flowers won’t be fitting for most services.
Why Contribute Funeral Flowers?
It’s expected that close loved ones and friends will send sympathy flowers when someone passes away, but sending flowers for funeral proceedings is more of a courtesy or thoughtful gesture. In 2017, the median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial was over $7,000. That figure increased to more than $8,000 if a vault was included.
Those prices are only going up, and most funeral home packages don’t include the flowers. When you offer to contribute funeral flowers, you help those planning and paying for the funeral. You’re also creating a more elaborate setting at the funeral, which shows loved ones they’re surrounded by others who care.
Funeral Flower Etiquette Tips
- Fresh flowers may not last forever like plastic flower arrangements, but they deliver the aroma, look and feel that every funeral deserves. It’s also less time consuming to allow professionals to create fresh flower arrangements for the funeral than to manually create fake flower arrangements.
- Consider ordering large funeral flower arrangements that will allow special guests to take home a flower or two. Having those flowers in vases on a table or kitchen window will add comfort to those grieving, extending the well wishes of the funeral for a few more days or even a week.
- Send flowers for funeral proceedings directly to the funeral home. That allows planners and loved ones to see the available flowers and place them in the most appropriate place. If you send the flowers to someone’s home, they’re likely to believe they’re sympathy flowers. Your flowers may not make it to the funeral home in that case.
- If you aren’t in charge of planning the funeral, ask those who are if they need specific funeral flower arrangements. Perhaps you can help pay for a casket or standing spray, or maybe they prefer you send smaller arrangements to help decorate.
- You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional flowers or colors when creating funeral flower arrangements. It’s important to match the vibe or mood of the funeral, and many people are now designing celebrations and festive memorials rather than traditional funerals. Talk to the loved ones planning the funeral if you want to include sunflowers or other options that are more cheerful but not exactly traditional.
Ordering Funeral Home Flowers
When you’re ready to order flowers for funeral proceedings, use an online ordering system like Flowers Near to receive the best arrangements at the best prices from reputable florists in your local area. Some flowers are easier to obtain in certain seasons, so it’s best to order in advance of the funeral and ask for delivery on the most appropriate day.