Losing someone close is never easy, yet despite all the pain you are going through, it’s only right that you give the deceased the best possible send-off.
In addition to planning a memorial and having all the people the deceased knew and loved, playing their favorite music, and giving everything you can to give them the perfect send-off, the one thing you must do to add beauty to an otherwise sad day is to make sure that there are as many flowers as possible for the funeral. However, you can’t just get any flowers; you need the best funeral flowers.
How do you find the perfect funeral flowers? Well, this insightful article will be your comprehensive guide on how to buy the best flowers for a funeral, as well as tips on the best types of flowers for funerals, choosing the best flowers, and how (when) to order the flowers.
So, let’s jump right to it!
Buying flowers for a funeral
Buying flowers in and for funerals is considered the universal thing to do and also the universal ways of expressing sympathy and showing love to the deceased’s family. The flowers also offer an easy way of adding fragrance and beauty to the home while also serving as a tribute to the deceased.
The flowers also symbolize love and compassion, and when you can’t find words to express how you feel, then flowers are the best way for you to express your condolences. It tells the bereaved family that you are always in their thoughts, and so even if the flowers won’t feel like such a big deal, they are a big deal as they offer comfort to the bereaved family while also offering a loving way to lift spirits and to celebrate life.
Before taking a look at what you should know when buying funeral flowers, let’s first take a look at the history of funeral flowers.
Ever wondered where the idea of bringing flowers to the bereaved family came from?
Well, the placement of flowers around the remains of a loved one is easily one of the oldest forms of mourning, but what you may not know is that this activity was first documented in 1951 by Dr. Ralph Solecki. Dr. Solecki discovered several burial sites in Northern Iraq, Shanidar Cave, following his infamous excavation.
During this excavation, he also uncovered flower fragments and pollen from various species of wildflowers. Upon further research, they discovered that the flowers had been in these excavated burial sites from 62,000BC. Soil samples studied showed that the flowers had been placed in the burial sites, and the excavation showed that the flower fragments had been put there for funerals. This discovery led to the naming of Dr. Solecki in the Guinness World Records for his discovery of one of the oldest forms of human rituals ever recorded.
It shows that sending and putting flowers on graves is something that has been around for many centuries. This is because flowers are regarded as a symbol of the cycle of life, from birth to death. The flowers also represent the fragility of life and the need to move forward.
Note that in the past, when embalming wasn’t practiced, scented flowers would be used to help cover up the unpleasant smell of the decaying bodies. The flowers would make it possible for people to tolerate the smell from decomposition, both to the bereaved family and the people who’d gone to pay their last respects to the deceased.
Times have changed, though, and today, flowers are used as an expression of love to the deceased and also a way of sympathizing with the bereaved family. When you’re unable to put your feelings into words, flowers do the job. Flowers are also used because they create warmth and beauty around the home of the deceased, in the process, balancing out the heaviness from the death and also the grief. In other words, flowers make it easier and possible for families to accept the loss of a loved one.
Types of Flower Arrangements for a Funeral
There are 4 main types of flowers for funerals. You could also think of these types of flowers as funeral floral arrangements.
- Funeral Sprays
Funeral sprays are the most common types of flowers for funerals. They are the large, flat flower bouquets that feature long-stemmed plant materials to be viewed only from one side. When the short-stemmed flowers or plants are used, the sprays are held together by wires, which also increase the length of the sprays.
In most funerals, the sprays come in single-ended or double-ended designs, where the single-ended spray designs are presented on stands, although smaller sprays could be placed in the casket. The double-ended sprays, on the other hand, often go on top of the casket, and they are often called the casket sprays. The casket sprays are often bought by the immediate family.
- Floral Arrangements
This is the second type of funeral flowers, and they are made of different types of cut flowers, all tied together in a bouquet. They could also be in a basket or a vase, and they come arranged in different shapes, including heart and cross shapes, or customized into specific letters.
- Live Plants
Live plants could also be used as funeral plants. The plants are rather symbolic because they continue to grow and live for a long time. The plants are available in different sizes.
This is the other common type of flower arrangement common in funerals. Garlands refer to bands of plant materials secured together. Garlands are often secured in a circle, forming a wreath that represents eternal life.
Note that these types of funeral flower arrangements could also be classified as:
- Standing Sprays are placed next to the casket
- Casket Wreaths are placed on the casket after the casket is closed
- Hearts, Crosses, and Wreaths are often displayed on the easel, and they are for the immediate family or very close friends
- Bouquets and baskets are the smaller floral arrangements, and they are ideal for family members, friends, or colleagues.
Selecting the Right Funeral Flowers
Now that you know the options to choose from, let’s look at some of the common types of flowers that are ideal for use as funeral flowers. Remember that choosing the right flowers for a funeral can be a confusing thing because the event at hand is a sad one. However, knowing the meaning of the flowers you are taking to the home of the bereaved or the funeral is important.
Below are the common flower options for funerals.
Lilies are a common choice of flowers for funerals because the delicate bloom of the lilies and the white flowers symbolize innocence. Therefore, lilies can be said to represent the soul of the deceased and how it’s returned to a state of peace and innocence.
- Peace Lilies
Like the white blooming lilies, the peace lily also symbolizes harmony, innocence, and others believe it symbolizes the rebirth of the deceased’s soul.
Orchids are the most delicate bloom ever, which makes them perfect for funerals because nothing really says I Will Always Love You the way the delicate orchid bloom does.
Roses are perfect for all occasions, sad or happy. But what makes them unique is the fact that roses come in the biggest color array, with this wide color palette representing different emotions. White roses, for example, are the ultimate symbol of purity, innocence, and spirituality, while the deep red roses symbolize deep love while also expressing a deep sense of grief.
Last on the list, you have carnations. Carnations also come in different colors, but the pink carnations are the most common variety in funerals, and they represent remembrance and pure love. White carnations represent purity and innocence. As a result, the white and pink carnations are the most common options in funerals because they offer the best possible way of expressing feelings for the deceased.
How to Order Funeral Flowers
So, how do you know what flowers to have at a funeral?
- Relationship with the deceased
The first thing that determines the type of flowers or floral arrangement that you will buy and take to the funeral is your relationship with the deceased. Here’s a way to break down how your type of relationship with the deceased will influence the type of flowers to be purchased.
Immediate family or the deceased’s partner – If you are an immediate member of the family, you’d have to get the bigger standing sprays and/or the casket wreath. But before buying the flowers, discuss your options with the rest of the family because not all families prefer having a wide variety of floral arrangements. Also, keep in mind that there is always just one large casket wreath, and the person who bears this floral arrangement is agreed upon by the entire family.
Close friends or relatives can buy the standing spray, the floral heart arrangement, or the cross arrangement. This is the case if you plan to support the family in their funeral arrangements.
If you were not close to the family of the deceased or the deceased themselves, but you still wish to contribute or support the family by getting the flowers, it would be a good idea to purchase a bouquet or a basket.
- Personalization Options
Before you get flowers, think of the vibe around the funeral. Most of the time, funerals are traditional, or they could be unique celebrations of life. If you must get flowers for either type of funeral, you should consider opting for either the classic white lilies or the red roses. Also, if the decedent had a big, bright personality and loved sunflowers, planners may include requests for sunflowers.
- The type of funeral
As previously mentioned in the above paragraph, the type of funeral affects the choice of flowers that you purchase for the funeral. So one question you have to ask yourself is if the funeral a funeral or a memorial.
The reason why you must consider the type of funeral has to do with the fact that flowers aren’t always needed. For example, flowers, flower baskets, or green plants are ideal for a cremation service, especially where there is no funeral. But for the traditional burial services, your choice of flowers may be limited to the flower stands that could be left at the cemetery.
In Lieu of Flowers’ Requests – If you receive such requests, you should honor the family’s wishes by donating money instead. However, you could still send them flowers, along with the donation.
- Keep in mind religious considerations.
This is important too because if the deceased were a religious person, you’d have to take into consideration their preferences and beliefs. The good news is that most flower types are acceptable in religious funeral arrangements or services, and flowers are not looked down upon. Just be careful to check with the family because they may have their own unique beliefs. For example, you shouldn’t send flowers that feature crucifixes or crosses to people belonging to the Mormon belief, and for a Greek Orthodox individual, you can only send white flowers.
Sending Flowers to a Funeral Home or Family
How do you get flowers for a funeral delivered to the bereaved family or the funeral home?
You need to do locate or ask for recommendations for a reliable local florist. If you are out of town, notify the florist that you need help buying funeral flowers. The good news is that most florists will give you the option of buying the flowers from their websites directly, and they will deliver the flowers as directed.
The other option is to place the order through the funeral home but only do this if you trust them enough to complete an order for you. This is one of the more reliable options to take if you are out of town or won’t be at the service on time. The only thing that you need is the delivery address of the funeral home and their contact person.
Keep in mind that it’s not recommended for you to make your own floral arrangement to send to the funeral home because this would call for many details, and you may send out the wrong kind of flowers or flower arrangement.
Alternatives to Sending Flowers
Flowers are always a great option when it comes to what to send to the bereaved family, but there are other things you could take to the grieving family. These include:
- Food – Bringing family to the grieving individual or family is a very traditional thing to do, and you don’t really have to worry about getting this wrong. After the loss of a close one, bereaved families often have a hard time keeping up with the daily, mundane tasks, and taking them food is a great way of easing their stress. Just make sure that the food will last more than a few days. Also, package the food in Tupperware and smaller storage containers for convenience.
- Donating to them or a charitable cause of their choice – Since funeral costs are quite expensive and most families are never ready to deal with the big losses, emotionally and financially, fundraisers are set up, and the best way you could help the bereaved would be by donating to them. You could also set up a fundraiser then ask the community to contribute to the family at the time of need. You could also come up with a memorial fund in the name of the deceased.
- Offer general acts of kindness – This might not sound obvious or easy when someone is grieving, but you know what you could do – offer to clean the dishes that are piling and the house, get the lawn mowed, get kids to school, cook for them, or go shopping. These are simple things that will ease the burden on the bereaved family. Avoid saying things like, ‘Call Me If You Need Anything’ or ‘Let me know if you need something.’
Losing a loved one breaks a family, and it is the hardest thing to go through. If you need help choosing funeral flowers, we hope that this guide helps you make the right decision on flower options easily. Since embalming wasn’t practiced back in the day, people used scented flowers to help cover up the smell that came from the decaying bodies during funerals. Adding flowers made it tolerable for both the bereaved family and the people who came to pay their last respects to the deceased.
Nowadays, flowers are used to show the love and affection the family and friends have for the deceased. It’s also a way to sympathize with the bereaved family. For the longest time, it’s been the best way to put feelings into words. There are various types of flower arrangements that you can use for a funeral, so it’s good to know how to select the best flowers for the occasion.