Why are lilies funeral flowers? A brief history (and alternative blooms for funeral bouquets)

Deciding which funeral flowers to buy is no easy feat. It’s a difficult time, and, understandably, grieving family members and friends will often default to lilies as the flower of choice. But funeral flowers have the potential to say so much about your memories of someone, so it’s worth taking…

Why are lilies funeral flowers? A brief history (and alternative blooms for funeral bouquets)

Deciding which funeral flowers to buy is no easy feat. It’s a difficult time, and, understandably, grieving family members and friends will often default to lilies as the flower of choice.

But funeral flowers have the potential to say so much about your memories of someone, so it’s worth taking a moment to think about whether lillies really are the right flower for your loved one.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at both traditional and alternative funeral bouquets to help you decide.

Remember, a great florist will not only handcraft you a beautiful funeral bouquet, but also support you as you make difficult choices in life’s harder moments. So don’t be afraid to reach out to your florist and seek support when deciding on funeral flowers – we’re here to help.

Firstly, why are lilies funeral flowers?

Since the times of ancient Greeks and Romans, lilies have been associated with purity and innocence.

It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that the lily is the flower most commonly associated with funeral services, as they have come to represent the soul of the deceased returning to a place of peace.

The white lily is most commonly used as a funeral flower, but stargazer lilies are also often used as a symbol of sympathy.

Funeral floral arrangements explained

When choosing a fitting floral tribute for your loved one you might be a little overwhelmed by all the options available.

There are wreaths, standing sprays (which usually sit on an easel by the coffin), casket sprays (which sit on top of the coffin) and baskets.

Nowadays, I find people often choose one main casket arrangement and perhaps a few extra arrangements from close family.

Many of my customers ask funeral attendees to give charitable donations rather than flowers. So they want their own floral tributes to really represent the deceased and the life they led.

Alternative funeral flowers to lilies

Because lilies are so associated with funerals and not necessarily with the rich, wonderful life of your deceased loved one, lots of people are now opting for less traditional floral arrangements.

And there are lots of options to choose from.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options…

Personalised flowers

Gladioli are tall and majestic and they look beautiful in standing sprays. Carnations smell lovely and they’re long-lasting. Or how about roses? They come in so many colours and can easily be incorporated into any design.

If you really want to represent your loved one and the life they lived, perhaps you’d like to include their favourite flower or the blooms they picked for their wedding day.

You can make things as personal as you like. Just share some memories or favourite moments, and a good florist will be able to provide lots of ideas of how to celebrate them.

I once did an arrangement for a keen gardener that included cauliflower and cabbages. It was a beautiful way for the family to remember and celebrate his life.

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Eco-friendly funeral flowers

More and more, people are also looking for eco-friendly funeral flowers.

This means avoiding flower foam (which isn’t great for the environment) and choosing natural ways to create arrangements.

Families are conscious that crematoriums just throw flowers away after a service. So they’re opting for sheaf bouquets that can be taken away afterwards. Or even shared amongst the family.

Taking a few stems home also allows for some quiet moments of reflection over the coming days.

A few last thoughts on choosing funeral flowers…

Funeral directors often have an agreement in place with a preferred florist. This means the funeral director takes a percentage of whatever the customer spends on funeral flowers.

However, you don’t have to go with the florist recommended by the funeral home. By finding your own florist, you can make your budget go further and find special arrangements that really remind you of your loved one.

If you’re looking for creative, thoughtful funeral flowers, please get in touch. I’d be honoured to create a personalised arrangement to remember and celebrate your loved one.

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