The funeral of a loved one or friend is always a difficult time. Many people choose to express their feelings, pay tribute, or offer their respects for the deceased with flowers. In fact, funeral flowers are usually a traditional element in most cultures and religions, with the exception of the Jewish funeral. Still, many people have trouble figuring out what type of flower best expresses their feelings, while still adhering to proper etiquette.
The traditional funeral flowers are: chrysanthemums, carnations, irises, gladiolas, lilies and roses. These are always a safe selection, and they reflect somber sympathy. Red and white are the traditional funeral arrangement colors for Christian religions. Chrysanthemums are available in white, pink, yellow, burgundy, green, and tan. The white chrysanthemum is the most popular, as it denotes truth and honesty. Lilies are available in white, salmon, yellow and pink. Because of their unpredictable bloom, they should be ordered well in advance. Gladiolas symbolize strength of character. Red carnations and roses denote passion. White carnations denote truth. White roses represent innocence. Irises denote faithfulness and hope. Most of these flowers (in white) can be sprayed or dyed to other colors. Asters, daffodils, and tulips are also popular choices.
The buyer should consider their familiarity with the deceased. Avoid making personal selections for casual acquaintances or business associates, and just stick to the traditional funeral flowers. However, if the deceased is a close friend or relative, it would not be inappropriate to let the flower selection reflect the personal taste or life of the deceased. For example, if the buyer knows that the deceased loved to travel to Mississippi on fishing trips, then magnolias might be a good selection. If the deceased was an avid gardener, then look to their garden for inspiration. The favorite color of the deceased could also be reflected in the flower selection. Keep in mind that not all flowers have the longevity for a funeral, and out of season flowers may be very costly. Flowers with an overpowering scent should also be avoided.
Even with the traditional flower selections, the buyer will still want to pay attention to the details. For example, it would be considered a faux pas to send all pink flowers for a male funeral, or all blue flowers for a deceased female infant. It is also prudent for the buyer to know the religion of the deceased. For example, Mormons do not adorn anything with a cross. Sending a Mormon any type of flower arrangement in the shape of a cross would be insulting to them and embarrassing for you.
Choosing the right floral arrangement can be a difficult task. Much needs to be considered. But, the traditional funeral flowers are generally considered the best selection because of their universal sympathy message, freshness longevity, availability, affordability, and their scent does not overpower an enclosed room.