Choosing the appropriate flowers for a funeral

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Sending flowers for a funeral or the grieving family is a long-standing tradition to convey your sympathy and let those mourning know that you care when words fail. However, in today’s modern age, with a wide variety of cultures and religious beliefs as well many types of funeral services and celebrations of life, it can be daunting to determine what are the best flowers for a funeral.

Do research before selecting your funeral flowers 

Before deciding on what flowers to choose for a funeral, it is important to keep in mind some etiquette guidelines. First, find out the family’s wishes. If the family asks for donations to a charity instead of flowers, respect their wishes.

Next, ask a family member who you are comfortable with if there are any specific guidelines regarding flowers and the deceased’s religious beliefs. Religions have different mores with respect to having flowers displayed during a funeral. In some cases, flowers—or specific flower shapes and colours—may not be even be appropriate.

Carefully consider the person who is deceased. What was his or her personality? Did he or she have a favourite flower? Again, talking to a close family member can help you in your selection to match your floral arrangement with the personality of one who has passed.

Furthermore, determining the best flowers for a funeral may also depend on the specific circumstances of the deceased; for example, special floral arrangements may be created to pay tribute to fallen soldiers, veterans or children. If you find yourself looking for what kind of flowers to send to a funeral in these instances, be sure to address your concerns with the florist.

Finding the right florist and funeral flower arrangement

Once you have selected your florist, the next step is to determine what type of flower arrangement you want to send. There is a wide array of tasteful options, including: floral baskets, inside pieces, green and blooming plants, wreaths, vase arrangements, casket and standing sprays, etc. Some arrangements tend to be more commonly offered by close members of the family. Your florist will be able to point you in the right direction.

Next, talk to your florist about the specific flowers you want to send to the funeral. If you are not an expert in flowers and greenery, simply give your florist information based on how close you were to the deceased and family, your initial research and price constraints.

Here are some of the best flowers for a funeral:

  • Lilies: One of the most common funeral flowers, lilies, particularly white stargazers, convey sympathy and peace.
  • Carnations: Carnations are also very popular because they last a long time and pair well with other flowers. Each colour has its own meaning depending on the florist you talk to.
  • Chrysanthemums: These are the universal funeral flowers par excellence and are used in many countries. While white chrysanthemums symbolize innocence, red symbolizes love.
  • Roses: While often used at weddings, roses are nevertheless common at funerals. Because red roses are often linked to romance, you may want to opt for more subdued shades, such as pink, pale yellow and white.
  • Living plants: Orchids, Peace Lilies and Hydrangea make wonderful flowers for a funeral because they last long after the funeral service, giving prolonged comfort to those in mourning. 

 Other appropriate flowers for a funeral include: Sweet Pea, Gladiola, White Poppies, Hyacinths, Zinnias, Tulips, Magnolias and Forget-me-nots. 

Other considerations when sending flowers for a funeral

Once you have selected your floral arrangement, there are a few other aspects to consider before sending out the flowers:

  • Craft a simple, short sympathy message that will accompany your floral arrangement. Personalize it according to your relationship with the deceased and how well you know the family. Sign the message so that the family knows who to thank. Note, however, that if you do not receive any thanks, this does not mean that the family did not appreciate the gesture; members may just be overwhelmed with their loss and logistics.
  • Do you prefer sending funeral flowers or sympathy flowers? Funeral flowers, as the term suggests, means that the flowers will be delivered to the funeral home or place of worship. They may or may not be then transported to the cemetery or columbarium. Sympathy flowers are addressed to the home or office of the family of the deceased person. 
  • Even though you send flowers, remember to offer your condolences in person whenever possible, particularly if you were close to the deceased and/or the family. Show that you are there for them should they need a shoulder to cry on or a helping hand.
  • When someone passes, it is definitely a difficult and trying time for those left behind. Sending appropriate flowers for a funeral or sympathy flowers can go a long way to providing much-needed consolation.

Sympathy flowers

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