6 min read

Picking Funeral Flowers in 5 Easy Steps

Flowers at a funeral bring a beautiful and natural touch to the event. These floral tributes are a way to express your remembrance during mourning, which makes finding the perfect flower difficult. On top of this, do you want baskets, bouquets, or wreaths? Often, a florist can help you make decisions, but when picking out the perfect funeral flower arrangement, you will have to make the final decision.

There are a handful of considerations you can take that make picking sympathy flowers or funeral flowers easier. By filling the funeral home with these beautiful displays such as standing sprays and casket sprays, you will bring light and joy to the event. Whether ordering flowers online or consulting local florists, here are some steps and information that will help you as you make your decisions.

The Meaning Of Flowers

Before you start on your first steps, consider researching the meanings of the flowers you want to purchase. Every type of arrangement has a symbolic meaning behind them, expressing different stories within your funeral flower baskets. You want to consider something appropriate for the recipient, whether it is a type of flower they loved or a symbol of something more profound.

One of the most common options for a funeral is lilies, specifically of the white variety. These flowers come in some subcategories, but foremost represent that the soul of the departed has returned peacefully and conveys its return to innocence. Specifically, in Christianity, this flower is admired as it is believed the Virgin Mary's tomb was decorated with white lilies. For that reason, it also represents purity and radiance. Most commonly, if trying to express these emotions of majesty and innocence, people use white lilies. If you are trying to express your sympathy, the white stargazer variety of the flower is a more appropriate option.

Chrysanthemums are also quite popular at funerals but hold very different meanings depending on what part of the world you are from. In parts of Europe like France and Italy, these flowers are almost exclusively used at funerals due to their association with death. This trend is also true in many Asian countries where they are thought of as representing sorrow and grieving. On the opposite side of the spectrum, these flowers are often a more cheerful flower in the US.

Red roses are another popular option, where the color of the flower can represent very different moods. Red roses often stand for romantic love, pink roses symbolize admiration and joy, yellow roses show a special friendship, and orange roses embody passion. White roses are similar to white lilies in that they represent innocence. These are a great pick as an addition to a flower arrangement.

Carnations, similar to roses, have very different meanings based on their color. White carnations express purity but also love. Pink carnations show gratitude, while red carnations symbolize affection. These are a beautiful and fragrant choice for an arrangement and also can be a budget option!

Of less common flowers, gladioli are another excellent pick. They have long, striking stems that hold multiple flowers and come in a stunning set of colors. They embody integrity and character. Orchids are great sympathy plants, with both pink and white representing that best. Hydrangea plants are an attractive option, often given as gifts when the flowers are sent to residential addresses. Tulips are a beautiful choice and are meant to bring healing and encouragement to a family.

Know Your Budget

Now that you know a little more about flowers, it is time to start thinking about what arrangement you will end up purchasing. The first step is to develop a budget for the floral decor, which can be done as you are budgeting for the funeral in its entirety. Something to consider is that fresh flowers are often quite expensive. This fact is especially true when you start looking at elaborate sprays, which can cost over $500. Luckily, there are a handful of ways to get around these prices depending on your budget.

First, consider the type of flowers you are picking. Many flowers are cheaper per stem that you can use to accent a few more expensive and luxurious flowers to save money. Carnations, for instance, are often a more affordable option depending on their color, as are some varieties of daisies and mums. By picking cheaper flowers by the stem, you still can have a large arrangement that doesn't come with a considerable price tag.

Another option is to choose a non-traditional plant or flower option, such as green plants like ferns. These can be a cheaper option depending on what you pick and may even better fit the deceased's preferences. Also, consider some non-typical affordable flower options such as snapdragons, alstroemeria, baby's breath, or Queen Anne's lace.

Asking for donated flowers is also a perfectly valid option. If you are looking for assistance for your funeral, this is a great place to ask for gifts from funeral-goers. By asking guests to send in flowers that remind them of the deceased, you will get a beautiful flower arrangement that embodies a larger story of their life and how they affected the guests. This option can be a lovely way to not only save you some of the burdens of cost but to let everyone feel involved in the process.

Choosing Funeral Flowers For Men

Next, you will want to consider the deceased's preferences to decide what arrangements to pick. Often, people will make some of these decisions based on the gender of the person. A few common flowers and colors are decided based on this, though they may not always be appropriate for every individual.

Often when planning flower arrangements for men, more masculine colors and themes are standard. Usually, these flower sprays are set up with a few bold colors, most commonly red, white, orange, and blue. Another consideration is whether they were much of an outdoorsman - it sometimes is more fitting to use their favorite green plants rather than exclusively flower arrangements to celebrate their interests and life.

In the end, there is no wrong flower for men, and your choice should depend upon their personality and tastes. For example, if the deceased wore many pinks and purples, there is nothing wrong with picking a flower arrangement to match that. If they weren't very into florals, ferns and green plants may be a more fitting choice.

Choosing Funeral Flowers For Women

When picking flowers for women, most often pastel shades are chosen. Some good examples are pinks, whites, and lavenders. Often these arrangements are more stylized and vary much more in color than those used for men's funerals. Consider the favorite plants and flowers of the deceased, which is a great place to start for inspiration.

Just like for men's arrangements, you don't have to stick to these traditions. Feel free to go outside of the box. If their favorite color was something atypical, don't be afraid to use it in the arrangements! Your local florist can help you make the perfect design that fits their personality.

Flowers to Avoid

As you pick your flowers, you want to make sure not to choose something offensive or inconsiderate. There are many traditions where certain types of flowers are not appropriate. Sometimes, flowers are not used at all depending on the religion of the deceased and their family. It also isn't uncommon for families to request that charitable donations be made rather than to be given flowers. If this is the case, it is essential to follow the family's wishes. It is important to consider these factors as you look through your flower catalog. The last thing you want is your flower choice offending the family of the deceased.

When considering the religious implications of flowers, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, Islamic and Jewish faiths often don't traditionally use flowers in their ceremonies. If the funeral is in New Orleans or the immediate family is from there, consider that Mums are explicitly used for All Saints Day events and celebrations and may not be an appropriate choice. Buddhist funerals do have flowers, but often they are exclusively white to represent the mourning period. If you have any questions or are concerned about sending appropriate flowers, you can always ask a local religious leader for advice.

If you are not part of the deceased's family, it is often considered inappropriate to send casket sprays or flowers meant for the top of the casket. Sometimes bright flowers are appropriate for funerals and celebrations of life, but to some individuals also can be considered offensive. You should ask the family of the deceased if you are not sure what is best.


Relax and make a choice.

Our last piece of advice for picking flowers is taking a deep breath, relaxing, and just making a choice. Flowers are a beautiful part of a ceremony, but any arrangement will brighten up the event space at the end of the day. It is also becoming more popular not to pick flowers at all and instead having a more minimalist funeral. You can decide this choice with the family and loved ones of the deceased and choose what seems appropriate based on the event. Regardless of the decor you choose, those attending will appreciate the time to mourn and remember the deceased. Try not to overstress about the small things.