Deciding which funeral flowers to include for that final farewell isn’t easy. It’s a difficult time, you are grieving, you have so much to organise and sometimes it’s an easy option to default to the traditional floral tributes we have all seen for many years.
But funeral flowers have moved on, so have we, and flowers now have the power to say so much more 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.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-lillies in any way but in this article, we’ll be taking a look at both traditional and alternative funeral bouquets – you decide at the end of the day what works for you.
Remember, a great florist will not only handcraft you a beautiful funeral tribute, but also support you as you make difficult choices in life’s harder moments. So don’t be afraid to reach out for advice and support when deciding on funeral flowers – we’re here to help.
Why are lillies seen as 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 and longiflorum lilies with their extended trumpet shape are also often used in sympathy and funeral floral arrangements.
Which to choose? Let’s explain.
When choosing a fitting floral tribute for your loved one you might be a little overwhelmed by all the options and terminology.
There are all manner of shaped wreaths, standing sprays (which usually sit on an easel by the coffin), casket sprays (which sit on top of the coffin), sheaf sprays (a flat lay bouquet), trugs and and more.
Nowadays, I find people often choose one main casket arrangement and perhaps a few extra arrangements from close family and request charitable donations from wider friends and family rather than flowers. So, it’s even more important that the floral tributes really represent the deceased and the life they led.
Alternative funeral flowers to lilies.
Because lilies are associated with funerals and not necessarily with the life and personality of your loved one, lots of people are now opting for less traditional floral arrangements. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options…
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, perhaps you’d like to include their favourite flower, colour or the blooms they had 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 you with ideas of how to incorporate 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.
Eco-friendly funeral flowers.
What are eco-friendly funeral flowers? Essentially, this means avoiding green flower foam, plastics and choosing more planet-friendly or sustainable ways to create arrangements. Many people now have woodland burials, so everything, including twine and message cards must meet relevant standards.
With crematoriums, flowers and packaging are disposed of after a service which is very wasteful. We therefore encourage you to take your flowers home or share among family and friends and we can advise on how you can do this.
Taking a few stems home also allows for some quiet moments of reflection over the coming days or you can also press flowers for a longer lasting keepsake.
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 director. By finding your own independent florist, you can make your budget go further and create truly special arrangements that really represent your loved one.
If you’re looking for creative, thoughtful funeral flowers, please get in touch.