Choosing funeral flowers


When planning the funeral of your loved one our Funeral Arrangers will ask if you would like any flower displays to place on or around the casket and in the church or crematorium.

In many cultures and religions floral tributes are a traditional way to pay tribute to the deceased, but there are no rules and it is a personal choice.

If you would like a floral tribute, our Funeral Arrangers can discuss options with you and organise on your behalf or you may wish to liaise with a local florist direct.

Flowers and their meanings

Funeral flowers can be very personal and displays can be designed to reflect the life and personality of your friend or family member, perhaps featuring their favourite colour or bloom.

If you are finding it difficult to make a choice at this sad time it can be helpful to know certain flowers and their colours carry symbolic meaning, as below:

  • White lilies – innocence and purity
  • Red roses – love and happiness
  • Carnations – remembrance and admiration
  • Orchid –  eternal love
  • Marigold – eternal devotion

Different types of floral displays

There are several different types of funeral floral arrangements to consider:

  • Casket sprays – traditionally chosen by immediate family members, these large, diamond-shaped displays are placed on the top of the coffin
  • Floral sprays – designed to lay flat, the spray is perfect to position next to the coffin in the funeral car or at the burial site
  • Wreaths – a circular flower design which can be propped up against the coffin or laid flat. A popular choice as a circle symbolises infinity which can be interpreted as never-ending love or the cycle of death and rebirth depending on religious beliefs
  • Hearts or cushions – heart-shaped or rectangular designs often chosen by close relatives
  • Posie or basket – dome-shaped design, a popular choice as a gift from younger relatives
  • Bespoke – florists are very talented and can create bespoke designs to reflect the life of your loved one, from letters spelling out a name to footballs and butterflies – anything is possible, even a display shaped like a cat or dog!

Don’t forget to also include a sympathy card with your flowers; giving a message of condolence or remembrance helps provide comfort.

Funeral flower etiquette

Funeral flower customs vary between different cultures and religions. Below is a guide to gifting flowers depending on the funeral ceremony:

  • Christian and Catholic funerals – welcome flower arrangements
  • Hindu funerals – accept flowers but it is more common to wear flower garlands
  • Muslim funerals – it is considered good manners to ask for consent from family members before sending flowers
  • Jewish funerals – it is not customary to send flowers to the family during ‘Shiva’ which is the 7-day period after the funeral

It is worth remembering that some families may ask for charitable donations instead of flowers and it is good etiquette to respect the family’s wishes. The family’s preferences and charity details will normally be included within funeral announcements.

We can help you with all your funeral planning arrangements