Flower Options For Funerals

A seemingly frivolous item on the list of things you have to arrange for a funeral is the floral display. However, arranging for flowers involves a lot more than just asking the funeral home in your area to dream something up that's generic. You can choose from different styles for display to different flowers based on meaning. In some cemeteries, you may actually be able to plant flowers right on the grave.

Sprays, Wreaths, Stands, and Bouquets -- or Not

When you arrange for the casket and memorial or service, you can also arrange for a spray of flowers to go on the casket, a stand or wreath display to sit off to the side, or for smaller bouquets to sit next to the casket. It's also possible to avoid flowers entirely; you're not required to have them. However, they can be a nice touch during a sad time.

One thing to keep in mind is that, unless you specifically state that people should not send flowers to the funeral home or to the homes of the family members of the deceased, you'll likely end up with bouquets and stands from other people. When you decide what flowers you want at the funeral, that's the time to decide whether the obituary and funeral notice should forbid flowers. Many people choose to ask others to make donations to charity in lieu of flowers.

Flower Meanings

Once you decide on the type of display you want, then you can look at flower meanings and further customize the display. Lilies are, of course, the classic funeral blossom, with chrysanthemums and roses also very popular. But you can add in whatever flowers you want, as long as they're available at the florist who handles the funeral home's arrangements. If the deceased particularly liked tulips or another flower, ask if the florist can incorporate these into the display.

Perennials on the Grave

It's no longer very common, but it is possible in some cemeteries to plant flowers directly on the grave -- not place flowers in vases, but actually plant something you get at a nursery right in the soil. Options include planting a mat of low flowers all around the front of the headstone to creating elaborate displays with different sizes and colors of flowers. If you do this, inspect the grave frequently; you want to deadhead old flowers and ensure no one's dug up the plants and stolen them.

The funeral home that is helping you with the arrangements can walk you through the entire process. Remember that the service is about the deceased's life, so choosing flowers that would have been ones the deceased would have liked is important.