Funeral flowers are one of the many elaborate burial customs that have been woven together over thousands of years. Customs vary by culture and religion. Below is a general guide to funeral flower customs for much of the U.S. based on your relationship with the deceased. Note that in some religions such as Muslim, Hindu and Judaism flowers are not appropriate. If you are not certain of which customs to follow, contact the family for advice.
If the deceased is your immediate family, larger funeral flower arrangements are appropriate. Casket sprays for example, are available in two types, a lid spray and a foot spray. A lid spray covers most of the length of the casket while a foot spray covers only have the casket. The foot spray is used for a half-open casket service.
Other options include cross, heart shaped or circular arrangements designed for an easel. Funeral flower baskets are also popular. A mix of all-white flowers is elegant and traditional but arrangements of pastel colors are often used as well. Funeral flowers do not necessarily have to be somber. Spring colors like pink, yellow and lavender serve as a reminder of the life that was lived.
If the deceased is a friend and you wish to send funeral flowers to the service, larger arrangements may be appropriate. Many different types of arrangements are available including those designed for free-standing easels, baskets and other containers. Beautiful flowers are the perfect way to express your condolences and offer your emotional support. Plants are also an excellent choice that may be enjoyed long after the service is over.
If you are a friend and not able to attend the funeral service, a sympathy gift sent to the home is usually appropriate. A tasteful vase of flowers or a basket arrangement, or a basket of fruit, food or gourmet items are traditional. These items can express sympathy to the bereaved family and last after the services have concluded.
If the deceased is a coworker, funeral flowers are typically sent from the group. An appropriate arrangement would be a standing spray or a funeral basket. If a sympathy gift is to be sent to the home, a card or note is appropriate. Depending on the relationship, a basket of flowers, a plant or a dish garden may be an appropriate gesture.
Funeral flowers are a thoughtful gesture as they honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. They also offer sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family. They illustrate the cycle of life and offer hope of renewal. They are a comforting reminder of friends and the emotional support they offer.