by Catalogs.com Info Guru Angela Bushong
When considering flowers to send to a funeral, it is important to consider the traditions of the grieving family.
If you knew the deceased well, you might pick something highly personal—their favorite flower or colors, or something representing their life’s work (military service or teaching, for example). Regardless, be sure to brush up a bit on your funeral etiquette before sending an arrangement to the funeral parlor.
One of the most classic of all funeral flowers, chrysanthemums (or just “mums”) come in a wide variety of colors and can be added to almost any arrangement. In many countries in Europe, they are considered symbolic of death, and therefore only used in funerals. In Japan, China, and Korea white mums signify grief, and are beautifully mournful in an all-white display.
Gladioli are showy flowers available in nearly any color you can think of, which bloom along tall stems. Due to their size, they are used primarily for fan sprays, though you will sometimes also find them as background flowers in large vase arrangements. This eye-catching flower symbolizes sincerity and strength.
Carnations are a popular choice for funeral arrangements since they come in an array of colors and are known for their longevity once cut. Every color of carnation has a meaning, so be sure to select yours with care. White for love and purity, red for admiration, pink for remembrance.
Snapdragons are another flower with multiple blooms along a single stalk, making them sort of like the gladiolus’s lesser cousin (in size, but no less beautiful). These work as well in container arrangements as they do in sprays, and represent grace and strength.
If you took a poll, asking people which flowers they most associated with funerals, the top two responses you would most likely get are “mums” and “lilies.” Asiatic lilies, or any other white lily, are traditional symbols of purity and sympathy, though lilies of any color may be suitable, depending on the arrangement.
Quite possibly America’s favorite flower, the elegant rose symbolizes love in all of its various forms, depending on the color choice. A single rose added into a bouquet means enduring love for the dearly departed, regardless of color.
The iris is a beautiful and one of the most unique flowers to express your sympathy. In purple or blue, it signifies wisdom, faith, and hope—a lovely sentiment for the grieving family. In white, this exotic looking flower means purity.
3. Living Bloomers
You may decide you’d rather give a living plant instead of cut flowers. Growing plants symbolize enduring life, and may be of comfort to the deceased’s family. Peace lily plants are a good choice for a Christian funeral, because they are symbolic of the Virgin Mary and represent peace and innocence after death. Hydrangeas express heartfelt emotions, and can be planted in the family’s yard once the funeral is over. The best colors of orchids to select to express your condolences are white or pink, and colorful blooming tulips or daffodils express hope and new beginnings.
Rosemary is for remembrance; it’s one of the oldest sayings we have. A few sprigs of blooming rosemary added to a bouquet, or a living rosemary plant, are deeply symbolic gifts for a funeral. Beautiful and aromatic, rosemary is soothing to the soul and always appreciated.
Daisies mean innocence and loyalty, and are bound to cheer up any arrangement–and that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes a simple bouquet of daisies sent to a grieving friends’ office will spread a little sunshine to remind mourners of the happiness the deceased gave them during their life, and that cherished memories never die.