Skip to Main Content


Flowers Help Personalize a Funeral

August 1, 2017

Sending flowers is a tangible way of expressing sympathy to the family of a deceased loved one. Flowers can help celebrate the life of the deceased, provide comfort, and lift the spirits. They are a touching tribute, showing the bereaved in full color how much their loved one meant to others. Whether sent to the funeral home for the service or directly to the bereaved, flowers are a reminder that you are thinking of them in their time of sorrow.

Make it Personal

Flower arrangements can help to create a tribute to the personality of the deceased and honor the things that the deceased loved to do in life. Choosing a unique bouquet with a special meaning to you or the deceased is a loving and creative way to honor the life of a loved one.

For example, if the deceased loved purple, send a bouquet of purple flowers. If the deceased loved to garden, consider sending a plant that can be added to their garden as a living memorial. Or if the deceased loved a certain type of flower, such as roses, use roses predominately in the funeral arrangements.

Flower arrangements can be made in various shapes as well. For the funeral of fitness expert Jack LaLanne, flowers were arranged in the shape of a barbell to honor his legacy of encouraging physical fitness, healthy eating and pumping iron.

You can also provide memorabilia or personal items to be incorporated into the arrangement. For a sports fan, a hat with the team logo could be the center of an arrangement. A hand-written letter, photograph or painting could be framed by a wreath of flowers.

How and when to send flowers

Flowers have been used since ancient times to comfort those who are grieving and act as a reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. In the ancient world, flowers and herbs were used to anoint the bodies of the deceased and decorate the burial site. Today, flowers are used to enhance the casket; beautify the funeral service and burial site; and eloquently express sympathy.

Different types of funeral arrangements should be sent based on the relationship to the deceased. For immediate family members, a casket spray or wreath is typical. Other florals from immediate family can include table arrangements, swags inside the casket lid, and heart or cross shaped arrangements. A standing spray or informal arrangement can be sent from a member of the extended family.

For close friends or colleagues, a spray, wreath, basket arrangement, bouquet in a vase, or a live plant is appreciated. Friends of the family may send flowers either directly to the funeral home or to the home of the family member. Business associates can have flowers delivered to the work place of the family member.

However, there are times when flowers are not appropriate for funeral services. Some religious traditions, such as Judaism, do not traditionally use flowers at funeral services or at the homes of the bereaved. Sending a fruit basket or other food items are more appropriate for Jewish mourners. Sending floral arrangements isn’t traditionally part of a Hindu funeral, but flower garlands are more commonly used. Traditions vary for Islamic families. If in doubt, consult a family member or clergy of the faith of the deceased.

It is important to recognize the wishes of the family. Some funeral announcements will ask for a donation to be made to a favorite charity “in lieu of flowers.” Some may choose to send flowers in addition to making a donation. If in doubt, respecting the wishes of the family is always appropriate.

Consult the funeral home and local florist

It’s always a good idea to call the funeral home ahead of time before placing your order with a florist.

“Funeral directors have so much experience in making all the arrangements for a funeral, including the flowers. Talking with the funeral director can help you decide the best type of arrangement to order, let you know what’s already been ordered, and tell you about family preferences as well,” said Co-president John Keohane.

Visiting or calling a local florist will assure that you’re sending the right type and arrangement of flowers. Florists are professionals who are knowledgeable in the various types of floral arrangements for funerals. Provide the florist with important information, including the name of the deceased and the date, time, and location of the funeral service. Include a heart-felt message of sympathy for the card that will be sent with the arrangement.

For convenience, you may also choose to purchase flowers online and have the arrangements sent either to the funeral home or to a private home. Most floral websites have a link to order sympathy and funeral arrangements online including forms to add in all the appropriate information about the deceased and the funeral service.

For any questions regarding funeral flower arrangements, please contact us at any of our locations or call our main office at 1-800-Keohane (800-536-4263).


Leave a Comment