Choosing flowers for a funeral
Flowers have always been used at funerals as tokens of love and remembrance for the deceased and support for the bereaved family.
Flower choice, like colour choice, is purely personal - nearly all cut flowers are suitable and any colours or combination of colours may be chosen, it's generally the season that dictates which flowers are available.
Funeral flowers need not be staid and stuffy. They can be vibrantly colourful, or simply minimal and contemporary. They may be chosen to represent or reflect something personal and dear to the deceased; for example, a recent customer ordered her dad's coffin spray in the colours of his favourite football team, while another wanted his mum's garden roses used in her wreath - the possibilities are endless.
Some less common floral tributes that have been requested to reflect and celebrate someone's life include: a golf bag, Guinness glass, a piano, a cricket bag, a dog, even a butterfly - all are possible made with flowers and your florist will be able to advise you on other design options as well as flowers and colours. Letter tributes, spelling words or names in flowers, have gained in popularity and, while not for everyone, they can create an impact and are memorable tributes from close family members and friends.
Generally all funeral tributes are sent directly to the Funeral Director. Sympathy flowers, such as table posies, baskets and bouquets, may also be sent to the home of the bereaved family.
Full coffin sprays are usually sent or ordered by close family members and are generally the main tribute. Often from the entire family, these are large arrangements that may cover most of the coffin (different sizes are available).
A symbol of deep love usually sent by close family members. They can be made in many different sizes and can be contemporary or traditional in style.
The most popular funeral tribute, they can be sent by friends, acquaintances or family members as a sign of respect and eternal life - it is said that the evergreen wreath represents victory of the eternal spirit over death. It dates back to ancient Greece.
Generally sent by close family members and often the main tribute, they can spell the name of the person who died.
Sent by the immediate family or very close friends. Floral funeral crosses are often the main tribute and represent extremely personal religious sentiments.
Posies, baskets and tied sheafs
These tributes are usually sent by friends, acquaintances or distant family members. They are a versatile option as they may be sent directly to the Funeral Director or as a gift to the bereaved family to their home address.
Fond reflections of the deceased's life, evoked through flowers, gestures 'of remembrance and love', for example a golf bag, cricket bat, a dog or even a Guinness glass made with flowers.
Pillows and cushions
A symbol of comfort in ones last resting place. They may be crafted using a variety of different fresh flowers, pine cones, fruits, twigs, herbs and foliages to reflect the season or the personality of the deceased.
The meaning of flowers
The Victorians were the first to associate meanings to flowers. Different flowers represent particular sentiments, for example:
- Almond flowers - Hope
- Alstromeria - Devotion
- Aster - Symbol of love, contentment
- Bluebell - Forgive and forget
- Broom - Humility
- Campanula - Gratitude
- Carnation - Fascination, love
- Pink Carnation - Remembrance
- Chrysanthemums - Love (yellow: disdain)
- Cosmos - Peaceful
- Daffodil - Chivalry
- Forget-me-nots - Enduring love (remember me forever)
- Freesia - Friendship
- Gerbera - Innocence
- Gardenia - Ecstasy, good luck
- Gentiana - Loveliness
- Gladiolus - Strength of character
- Heather - Solitude
- Hyacinth - Playfulness, sincerity
- Hydrangea - Perseverance
- Ivy - Faithfulness
- Jasmine - Grace
- Lavender - Devotion
- Lily - Pure and modest
- Lily-of-the-valley - Sweetness
- Olive - Peace
- Orchid - Elegance
- Pansy - Loving thoughts
- Poppy - Eternal sleep
- Ranunculas - Radiant
- Rosemary - Remembrance
- Red rose - Eternal love
- Pink rose - Beauty and grace
- Yellow rose - Friendship
- White rose - Innocence
- Sage - Virtue
- Snowdrop - Hope
- Tulip - Declaration of love
- Zantedeschia (calla lily) - Magnificent beauty
- Zinnia - Thoughts of friends