Funeral flower arrangements are often the most impactful design element of a memorial or funeral service. Whether standing tall around a at the front of a room, surrounding an for an outdoor ceremony or serving as table centerpieces during a celebration of life, the floral arrangements you choose for your service—or that of a loved one—create a look and feel that speaks to the life being honored.
In addition, friends and family of the deceased loved one often send sympathy flowers to a memorial service, as well as to visitations and wakes. For years after a loved one is memorialized in a cemetery, family and friends will continue to take or send flowers to the gravesite.
Funeral flowers and their meanings
Whole books have been written about the language of flowers. Throughout the ages and around the world, different types of flowers have been assigned certain sentiments. The kinds you choose for a funeral floral arrangement can carry subtle meanings, and those meanings can vary from culture to culture.
Some of the most popular flowers for funerals are lilies, daisies, roses, carnations and chrysanthemums.
These long-lasting blooms come in many colors, each with a different meaning. In general they stand for love, loyalty, esteem and care. Pink carnations have special symbolism for and . White and yellow carnations are a common choice in the Asian culture.
As sympathy flowers, they are often used in funeral wreaths and standing sprays. They're easy for florists to work with, so they're used to design very personalized arrangements, such as a sports logo or animal.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, are associated with sympathy, grief and sadness in some parts of the world. That's not necessarily true in North America, but they're still popular funeral flowers.
A simple flower with a simple meaning, the daisy says farewell. It also represents peace and hope. This humble flower mixes well with others and is often used to give a mixed bouquet variety and heft.
A popular choice for funerals, lilies suggest peace. There are many types of lilies, each with a specific meaning. White stargazer lilies are associated with sympathy. Calla lilies symbolize rebirth and give hope to grieving families. Calla lilies represent holiness, faith and purity in feng shui.
Among the most recognizable flowers is the rose, and roses are a very popular choice for funerals and memorials. They come in many colors and can mean many things. Each color rose has its own meaning, but most commonly, roses stand for love.
Flower colors and their meanings
As with flowers themselves, colors have meaning. White symbolizes honor, peace and purity, and white flowers are the most popular choice for funeral and memorial services. Other colors and their meanings:
- Blue: Sadness, peace, serenity
- Peach: Sympathy
- Pink: Happiness, admiration, sympathy
- Purple: Dignity, respect, regality
- Red: Love, beauty, strength
- Yellow: Friendship, care, remembrance
Types of funeral flower arrangements
Flowers are a strong visual expression of love, condolences and respect. This tradition pays tribute to the life of a loved one in a memorable manner. Flower choices can have a significant impact on the look and feel of the service, and there are a few common kinds of arrangements.
A casket spray typically covers half the casket. It's placed on the closed end of the casket while it's open and shifted to the center of the casket when it's closed. These pieces are often finished with ribbons, bows or other decorative items. If the casket is moved from a funeral home to the gravesite, the casket spray goes with it.
Casket pillows are generally made of satin and lace can be shaped like a heart or cross. They are typically accented with flowers and often left in the casket with the loved one for burial or entombment.
Standing sprays and wreaths
A standing spray or wreath makes an impression. Sometimes they complement the casket spray, but they often stand on their own. A mix of flowers or a single type of flower arranged on a wire stand, they come in several heights. Sprays are a cascade of flowers, while wreaths can be circular or shaped like a cross or heart. They can even frame a photo.
Bouquets and baskets
A bouquet of flowers is an elegant gesture of sympathy. Bouquets come in all sizes and in all kinds of containers. You can specify the container—and the flowers—to match the tone of a loved one's service. A mixed bouquet in ceramic or glass is most common. An all-white arrangement in metal or stone feels especially elevated. Sunflowers in a basket are decidedly more casual.
A table wreath is a circle of flowers crafted especially to go around an urn or a framed photograph of a loved one. It beautifully enhances the presentation of an urn during a memorial service. When added to a photo or a collection of photos, it helps create a focal point for the front of a room or can serve as a table centerpiece.
Personalizing flowers for a funeral
Did your loved one have a favorite flower? You may consider choosing that flower as the most prominent with other complementary flowers accompanying it. How about a favorite color? If they loved purple, our professionals will show you a range of purple-hued options to fulfill your unique vision.
Would you prefer a traditional or contemporary look? Are there any shapes or symbols that you would like to include, such as a cross or a heart? What about a standing wreath of yellow roses in the shape of the Lone Star State for a favorite Texan? Or a red, white and blue standing spray ? The possibilities are endless.
Dignity Memorial funeral planning experts can help design and arrange flowers for your service with the assistance of our floral partner, Teleflora. It's our goal to help you create a memorable end-of-life ceremony for a loved one. Teleflora offers friends and family exceptional service and knowledgeable floral experts.
Honor a loved one with Cemetery Flowers
Available at select Dignity Memorial cemeteries, helps you honor your loved one all year long with colorful, silk-blend flowers placed by one of our associates. You choose the flowers and how often you'd like them replaced—and we take care of the rest.