A guide to funeral flowers

May 20, 2019

The tradition of flowers at funerals

Flowers have always been a strong symbol for expressing deep emotions. In ancient times, the main use for floral arrangements was for their fragrance as well as acting as a token of respect. During Victorian times, flowers were used to express emotions on behalf of the mourner, as it was not common to discuss feelings openly.

Meanings behind the flowers


Carnations are an excellent choice of flower is cost is a concern. They are long lasting and come in a variety of colours, all with their own meaning. Red carnations stand for admiration, whilst pink stands for remembrance and white stands for purity and innocence.


In some European countries such as France, Italy and Spain, they are symbolic of death and only used for funerals and at graves. In Asia, especially China, Japan and Korea, white chrysanthemums symbolise grief. Although in the UK we do not attribute this meaning, their beauty makes them a fitting funeral flower and therefore they are increasingly being included in funeral flower arrangements.



The bright yellow symbolises renewal and are meant to bring hope to those that are grieving. They therefore make a great choice for sending to the deceased family as a sympathy gift.


Gladioli symbolises strength of character and integrity. They are available in a spectrum of colours including white, purple, yellow and orange, making them a popular option because of the wide choice available.


Lilies are probably the type of flower most associated to grieving and funerals. Their stunning white colour represents innocence and a return to peace making them still a popular option for a lot of services and as condolence gifts.


The range of colours available and the beauty of these flowers make these a popular choice. Pink roses signify love and grace. Red roses symbolise love and respect. White roses mean innocence and youth whereas yellow roses symbolise friendship. Although they are included in large floral displays, they are also often placed individually on a coffin or grave.


Sunflowers have grown in popularity at funerals which are focused on being a celebration of life. Sunflowers are known for always turning to face the sun. This trait along with their bright, large yellow petals are a perfect symbol of joy.

Things to consider when choosing funeral flower

  • Check with the family – they may not want funeral flowers and would rather receive donations for a charity instead
  • Type of funeral – whether it is a traditional service or a celebration of life will help determine which flowers will be most suitable
  • Their personality – when choosing flowers think about the personality of the deceased. They may have had a favourite flower colour which could help you make a choice
  • What to write – once you have chosen the flowers it can be even more difficult to think of what to say. Try and keep it simple if you are struggling to find the right words. Forever in our thoughts/ Rest in Peace / With condolences are simple but meaningful. Always remember, it’s the thought that counts.

There are many options for you to choose from but there is no wrong choice. Go with whatever options you think look the nicest and that your loved one would have preferred. The beauty of seeing stunning, heartfelt floral arrangements and messages at funerals can create a beautiful lasting image.

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you – or someone you know – has recently lost someone close and you have concerns about aspects of planning a funeral, please contact Cravens Funerals.

Our compassionate and professional team have years of experience creating funerals that are complexly unique to the individual and respectful of the circumstances involved. For help and advice please contact us on 0151 228 3900 or leave use a message through our contact us page by clicking here.