Whether it's a wreath, personalized tribute or floral arrangement, funeral flowers are the best way of showing your love for a deceased relative or friend. Surveys have shown that flowers rank very highly in terms of meaningful aspects and gestures at funerals as they bring colour and beauty to the event. They also provide a distraction and talking point for the mourners, give comfort and make for a more pleasant environment.
In the weeks after the funeral or cremation it is also important to show the deceased's next of kin that they are in your thoughts. Flower bouquets can be used to brighten their mood - every time they look at your gift they will be reminded that you care.
Here are a few guidelines to help you when selecting funeral flower arrangements:
- Check to see if the family of the deceased have requested donations to a charity in lieu of flowers. However, it is still appropriate to send funeral flower as a memorial tribute as they are always appreciated
- There is a wide variety of floral tributes such as sprays, baskets, wreaths, planters and designs that reflect the personality of the deceased. Your florist can advise you according to your budget.
- When ordering the flowers you may need to give the florist details of the funeral. Remember some flowers may be seasonal or unavailable so, where necessary, the florist may have to make substitutions.
- Name tributes and coffin decorations are usually only presented by the family of the deceased. Such tributes are often arranged to reflect the personality, profession or hobby of the deceased.
- Any floral arrangement given is a tribute and can comfort the family of the deceased. Don't worry about the 'meaning' or colour of the individual flowers; just choose something you find appropriate.
- Ensure a sympathy card is attached. A message or obituary poem could be treasured by the family as it can offer a lasting tribute.
- Some funeral homes have rules concerning some kinds of arrangements. If your tribute is outside the norm, consider contacting the home to ensure your tribute is appropriate.
- Sending tributes from a group (i.e. work, sports team or social group) is perfectly acceptable. One large arrangement can have a greater effect than several small ones. Consider writing the group's name on the card rather than a long list of names.
Take the deceased's religious ideals into account when choosing sympathy funeral flowers - are they appropriate or is it appropriate to send flowers? Most religions find it an appropriate gesture as they can signify rebirth or eternal life. Local religious leaders or your florist should be able to offer advice.