Floral Arrangements and Funerals: The Hidden Meanings of Flower Types

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Floral Arrangements and Funerals: The Hidden Meanings of Flower Types

For my mother's funeral, my sister and I spent a lot of time thinking about flowers for her funeral. We wanted beautiful, colorful flowers that reflected upon her energetic spirit and her love of bright, bold color. However, when we began to plan out her funeral with the funeral director, we were surprised to learn that different types of flowers had different meanings. Based on their meanings, some were appropriate for a funeral, and others were not. We had no idea about this, but I instantly became fascinated with the topic. I created this website to help educate others about the meanings of flowers and which are appropriate for funerals.

Don't Want Funeral Flowers? How To Approach A Delicate Subject

Flowers are an integral part of most funerals and memorial services. But what if your loved ones have allergies or sensitivities? What if the deceased didn't like flowers? Can you skip the flowers? What about guests or others who want to send them? And how can you make this request kindly? Here are a few things to consider. 

1. Talk to the Funeral Home

Funeral home staff have seen it all. They've probably already addressed these questions with other families, so use them as your go-to resource. Many funeral guests will ask the funeral home staff when they have questions, so the staff can help you deter flowers if you wish. 

2. Decide How Strong to Be

One thing you'll want to decide is how strongly you want to enforce this rule. If the matter is that your loved one found them a waste of money, you may simply want to discourage — but not ban — arrangements. However, if someone is allergic or sensitive, include clear and non-negotiable instructions in the materials. 

3. Offer Alternatives

People often bring sympathy or funeral flowers because they want to honor the deceased and comfort grieving family members. So, offer them alternatives to do that in other ways. This may include making donations to a cause, contributing to a memorial, bringing donations for the loved one's charity, or providing a meal. 

4. Spread the Word

Some families and friend circles are quick to pass along news and gossip. If yours is like this, use it to your advantage. Tell people up-front about the request not to send flowers and ask them to pass this along. They may do most of the work for you. 

5. Make a Backup Plan

No matter how well you try to deter people from sending or bringing flowers, someone will probably do so anyway. Plan ahead for this rather than get annoyed by it. Talk with the funeral home about what to do with flowers. Find them a good home if they won't come to yours. And be kind to those who were simply trying to do what they felt was the right thing. 

Where to Start

Approaching a delicate subject like the decision not to have flowers at a funeral can be difficult. Start by talking with the staff at a funeral home. With their help, you'll find the perfect way to honor your loved one while making all guests feel appreciated.