Funeral flowers are integral to funerals and visitations or wakes. They add life, color, and meaning beyond their decorative value. While a funeral flower arrangement may be chosen simply for its beauty and presence, carefully chosen funeral flowers represent faith, the deceased, or a relationship with the deceased. Traditionally, funeral flower choices include a casket spray, a memorial wreath, floor basket, and table flowers. They are often purchased by the immediate family of the deceased, but may be arranged by the funeral home. Sympathy flowers are sent by family, friends, and colleagues.
Funeral Flower Arrangements
- Casket Spray. This large funeral arrangement is placed on top of the casket and may cover the entire length. Alternatively, a casket spray covering only the bottom half of the casket may be chosen for viewing when the top half of the casket is open. A casket spray will stay with the casket from the viewing at the funeral home to the funeral, in either a house of worship or the funeral home chapel, to the cemetery. The casket flower display may be in any color with prices ranging from $100 to $600.
- Memorial Wreath or Spray. When choosing flowers for a funeral, families often place a dramatic flower display in the viewing room. The funeral wreath or spray is placed on a stand; a banner may be placed across the wreath or spray to personalize it for the deceased or as a message from the family. Funeral flower wreaths often have a base of greenery for depth and contrast, and range in price from $150 to $250.
- Floor Basket. Typically built in a vase-stand or fireside basket, funeral floor baskets are large displays of flowers and greenery. They add visual interest at all sight lines in the room, and prevent staging all flower presentations at one height. Available in a wide range of color and flower combinations, funeral floor baskets run from $75 to $200.
- Crosses. A funeral flower cross, often made from white flowers, may be large and placed on a stand, or may be smaller and placed with the deceased in or on the casket. This type of funeral flower arrangement is often used for Christian funerals as a reflection of the depth of faith of the deceased, and respect for funeral faith tradition. A small floral cross for the casket may cost less than a $100, but a large standing cross flower arrangement falls more in the $200 range.
Any flower arrangements for funerals may be used in multiple locations: at the funeral home for a wake or visitation, at the funeral itself, at the cemetery, and at home for a funeral reception.
Funeral Flowers for a Memorial Service
When a memorial service is planned, often following cremation, funeral flower arrangements are critical to establishing the mood. A memorial wreath or spray, a floral cross, or funeral flower table arrangements are all used to change a venue to an environment appropriate for remembering the deceased. Following cremation, the cremation urn and a large picture of the deceased will often be placed on a table with a funeral flower arrangement.
Sympathy flowers are funeral flower arrangements sent by family, friends, and colleagues to the funeral home or family to show their respect for the deceased and support for the grieving family. When choosing flower arrangements for funerals, buyers should be mindful of the meaning of different flowers and colors (florists are a good resource for this), the deceased's faith, and the appropriate size and use of the arrangement. Typically, only close family members send large displays of funeral flowers such as a casket spray or standing wreath. Sometimes, however, an employer or large group of people will also collectively send funeral flowers in a standing spray or wreath. Individuals often choose sympathy flowers displayed as a vase arrangement or funeral floor basket. Sending flowers for a funeral is a long-held tradition to show respect and help memorialize the deceased, one that will be noticed and remembered by the family.
Low Cost Flower Arrangements for Funerals
While large funeral flower arrangements can run up to $1000, particularly when a more expensive flower is chosen for inclusion, it is entirely possible to send flowers for funerals and keep costs down. A small but meaningful flower arrangement may be chosen rather than a larger arrangement. For example, a floral rosary or small cross can be made by a florist at a modest cost, yet be a specific and meaningful reflection of the importance of faith at this time. A picture of the deceased might be simply framed with flowers and presented for table display.
Cheap funeral flowers can be arranged through conversation with a local florist. A discussion with the local florist about low cost flowers that are easily available and in stock allows the creation of an arrangement of sympathy flowers at a reduced cost. Florists frequently design an arrangement to meet a budget. Funeral flower cost is also reduced by the careful selection of container; perhaps a decorative cardboard box rather than a fancy glass vase can be used. When florists charge a separate delivery fee, money can be saved by picking up the sympathy flowers and delivering them directly to the funeral home. Cheap funeral flowers can still be beautiful and meaningful.