How to Choose Appropriate Funeral Flowers

A funeral is a time to honor and respect those who have passed. Sending funeral Flowers shows support and condolences. Read on for tips on choosing.

Flowers are often used to express strong emotions. After the death of Princess Diana in 1997, over 60 million flowers were left at significant sites by mourners.

Due to their association with both affections and funerals, flowers have become symbolic of how short and also how beautiful life can be. Funeral flowers are used to add beauty and color to an otherwise somber occasion.

When you hear of the passing of someone that you know, sending flowers to their family is an expression of your sympathy. It lets them know that you care about them and are thinking of them at this traumatic time.

They may feel comforted by the knowledge that they are not alone. It's the least you can do to try to ease the pain.

The Etiquette Around Funeral Flowers

If you do decide to send flowers, there are a few traditions and norms that you should bear in mind when you do. You don't want to offend or sadden the grieving family even more.

The most important norms around funeral flowers are centered on religious beliefs and cultural customs. If you are unsure of what is appropriate, your florist will be able to advise you from experience.

Should you be the one responsible for arranging flowers for the service, here's how to get it right for every religious service.


Most Christian funerals are conducted in a funeral home with only close family members present. Usually, a memorial service is held in a church shortly afterward.

Depending on the denomination, a wake often takes place after the service. During this event, family and friends enjoy a meal or a tea together to celebrate the life of their loved one.

In most cases, flowers for the service will be arranged by the church or a close family friend. You could send a standing arrangement to the church or funeral home if you wish. Sprays, crosses, and hearts are all appropriate in these instances.


Funerals for members of the Muslim faith usually take place almost immediately in a mosque. If you are attending the service, remember that male and female congregants sit on opposite sides of the church.

Funeral flowers and sympathy flowers are considered taboo in the Muslim faith. Gift baskets are a more appropriate expression of sympathy in this religion.

Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)

Mormon memorial services take place in a church and have no restrictions when it comes to flowers. However, take care to dress modestly if you are attending the service.

Bearing this in mind, it is best to avoid extravagant arrangements for the bereaved family or church service.


Hindu funerals take place within 24 hours of the loved one's passing. The service is conducted over an open casket by senior family members and Hindu priests.

While all guests are invited to these proceedings, it is not compulsory to attend. Afterward, the body is taken to the crematorium and the guests leave to join in the prayer service and a meal.

White attire is considered correct for a Hindu funeral and funeral flowers are welcomed for the initial service. Gift baskets are more appropriate when visiting the family during the mourning period.


In the Jewish faith, burial takes place within 24 hours of death. A rabbi will conduct the service either at the graveside or in a funeral home.

After that, the family remains at home for a 7-day mourning period. Flowers are inappropriate gifts during this time. A gift basket of kosher treats will be much appreciated, though.


Buddhists conduct three funeral services for their dearly departed.

The first takes place at the family home within 2 days. Next, a service is held at a funeral home 2 days later and the final goodbyes are said at the temple 7 days after burial.

If you would like to send condolences to a Buddhist family, flowers are great.

Red blooms are taboo, however. Stick to white flowers, as this is the color of mourning in the Buddhist faith. Gourmet food baskets are also inappropriate.

Good Manners When It Comes to Flowers

Funeral flowers are sent directly to the funeral home and are a way to express respect for the deceased. They are not addressed to anyone.

Standing arrangements are most appropriate in these cases. Keep in mind the setting of where the service or funeral will be held. Very large arrangements will overpower a small setting. There may not be space to place table-top arrangements at the venue.

Flowers to adorn the casket are the domain of close family members. If you would like to order an arrangement for the casket of the deceased, consult with family members first.

Belated Condolences

If you are the last to hear news of a relative or family friend, it is never too late to send sympathy flowers. Should the funeral not have taken place yet, you may have time to get funeral flowers to the service.

If you don't know where the service is being held, a local florist should be able to give you contact details for the local funeral homes. They may even have an order for the service already.

Failing that, a gift basket sent to the home of the bereaved will be appreciated.

Flowers for Multiple Uses

For flowers that will be enjoyed at multiple venues, choose an arrangement that is designed around a container with water or floral foam. This will keep them fresh wherever they go.

If you are unsure about any aspect of sympathy or funeral flowers, ask the florist for advice.

Flowers and Symbolism

Flowers have long been associated with myth and legend. Over time, some of the more common ones have been attributed with a symbolism of their own.

Knowing which attributes and emotions are attached to each kind of flower can help you to convey the desired message.


Roses are the most known and best-loved flowers worldwide. They are appropriate for any occasion and are often used as part of a funeral flower arrangement.

Less known connotations associated with red roses are courage and respect.

Other colors of roses also have specific meanings attached to them and can be used to convey a specific message when used as funeral flowers.

Hybrid tea roses are a way to say, "I'll remember you". Pink roses denote grace or gentility, while light pink roses are synonymous with admiration and sympathy.


These elegant white flowers are often chosen for funeral arrangements. This is due to their traditional association with restoring innocence to the departed soul.

White stargazer lilies are said to represent sympathy.


Another popular choice for funerals, gladioli represent moral integrity, sincerity, and strength of character.

These tall stems of multiple flowers are available in a range of colors and are usually used in fan sprays for traditional services.


Fragrant and pretty, carnations look gorgeous in any arrangement. Their long-lasting, sweet-smelling nature makes them a great choice for sympathy arrangements.

Red carnations are said to symbolize admiration, while pink carnations stand for remembrance. White carnations mean pure love or innocence.


In many European countries, these flowers have a strong association with funerals and are only ever used as funeral flowers.

To Chinese, Japanese and Korean people, chrysanthemums are symbolic of grief and lamentation, while in the US they typically represent positivity and cheerfulness.

In New Orleans, chrysanthemums are only ever used in All-Saints Day celebrations.

Daffodils and Tulips

Spring-flowering daffodils and tulips in bright yellow are representative of renewal and new beginnings.

Tulips signify grace and elegance with additional meanings according to their color. White means forgiveness, while red symbolizes love, encouragement, and hope. Yellow is the color of cheerfulness.

These brilliant blooms are not often used as funeral flowers but can add a lift to the home of the bereaved family when sent as sympathy flowers.

Lesser-Known Symbolic Flowers

Some of the other flowers with symbolic meanings are the blue periwinkle which symbolizes friendship, or a red chrysanthemum to say 'I love you'.

Lilacs are for first love and a combination of red and white roses imply unity.

Forget-me-nots signify remembrance, which makes them an unusual and thoughtful choice for funerals.

Other Flowers and Gifts

Sometimes the deceased is known for being particularly fond of a certain kind of flower or color. In this case, the family may appreciate a bouquet of these blooms to remember them by.

Something Special

You could otherwise skip a traditional arrangement and choose one that symbolizes the personality of their loved one.

A sophisticated or vibrant, colorful arrangement of funeral flowers could express the impression that the person made on you while they were alive. Likewise, a choice of patriotic colors can stand for the way in which they served their country or community.

Let your choice of arrangement tell a story that goes beyond the pomp and circumstance of the funeral environment. It may just bring a much-needed smile to the faces of the bereaved.

Bear mind that very reserved or traditional families may prefer to stick with more low-key traditional funeral flower arrangements.

Likewise, a creative, quirky family may see a traditional arrangement as a cop-out and lack of effort on your part.

Your Call

If you are part of the family of the deceased that is arranging the funeral, this is a good way to reflect their personality in the service.

Should this all be too much for you to handle during this trying time, you can leave the choice of funeral flowers up to a sympathetic florist or funeral home.

Often the will states that money should be donated to a favorite charity in lieu of flowers.

In these cases, you may want to express your sympathy to those left behind with another symbol of your condolences. After you have made the relevant donation, of course.

Alternatives to Flowers

Sometimes it may not be appropriate to send sympathy or funeral flowers. One instance is when you suspect that the bereaved's house may already be overflowing with arrangements.

In other instances, they may have specifically requested no flowers or have religious objections to them.

If you would still like to express your condolences, there are alternatives.

Give Plants as a Gift

Consider sending a gift basket or gifting them with a container plant that they can enjoy as a personal memento of their loved one for years to come.

This is a particularly good idea if the deceased was an avid gardener and the family can replant your specimen in a favorite spot in their garden.

Hydrangeas are a great choice if you want to go this route. These hardy plants will thrive indoors until the family is ready to plant them out.

This long-lasting shrub is traditionally associated with heartfelt sincerity and often given as a thank-you gift. They are not fussy about soil types when placed in the garden. As long as they get a little rain every now and then, they will grow and produce masses of blooms every year.

Find a Florist Online

A good florist will be able to make all the arrangements for you, no matter how far away you are. You can even place your orders online and expect same-day delivery.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is acceptable to the family. Respect their wishes first.

Choosing a Florist

It makes sense to choose a florist that services the local area where the grieving family lives. These offer a more personalized service than universal delivery services.

Additionally, a reputable florist in the area will have dealt with all the relevant institutions before and be familiar with what is required for the service.

Likewise, they will be in the know with regard to what the funeral homes in the area allow. Some of them do not allow funeral flowers that need to be placed on tables or arrangements that are prone to tipping over.

Ask around to make sure you choose a florist with a good reputation in the area. You don't need any slip-ups to add to an already stressful day.

Get in touch with us for all your special occasion and funeral flower needs near Scottsdale, Arizona.