How to Choose Funeral Flowers

Funeral flowers are a beautiful way to show your sympathy for the bereaved, and to farewell a loved one. When choosing funeral flowers, you might like to consider including a selection of the flowers favoured most by the deceased, this is a thoughtful way to personalise a funeral.

You can use the traditional language of flowers to convey your feelings, send a meaningful message and pay tribute to the deceased. At Bethel, it is our pleasure to provide families with information regarding funeral floral arrangements. Many people ask us about symbolic funeral flowers; we have created this summary of the meaning behind popular funeral floral arrangements to help guide your thoughts when choosing funeral flowers.

Lilies

Lilies are said to represent the peaceful innocence that is restored to the soul of the departed. This strongly aromatic blossom is the flower most commonly associated with funeral services and is often presented in large bouquets to decorate the chapel. There are many varieties of lilies available, the white stargazer lily is believed to be a symbol of sympathy.

lilies flowers

Gladioli

Featuring a tall flower stem composed of multiple flowers, gladioli are an elegant and traditional choice for funeral flowers. Gladioli are often featured in classic fan spray arrangements which can be placed on top of funeral caskets. Believed to embody the strength of character, sincerity and moral integrity, gladioli are available in a wide range of colours including white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange and green.

gladioli flowers

Carnations

A long lasting and fragrant flower, carnations are a popular choice for sympathy arrangements and are often included in wreaths and standing sprays. Carnations are available in many colours and each colour carries a unique meaning. The red carnation is said to evoke affection, a pink carnation represents remembrance and the white tends to symbolise pure love and innocence.

Carnations flowers

Chrysanthemums

The meaning behind chrysanthemums varies globally. In most European countries chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and are only used for funerals, or to be placed on graves. In some Asian countries, chrysanthemums symbolise rebirth and are more often given at baby showers than funerals. In the US, they symbolise truth and are associated with positive and cheerful messages. In Australia, chrysanthemums are said to represent sympathy and honour and are frequently included in floral tributes for funeral services.

chrysanthemums flowers

Roses

Roses are a very popular and traditional funeral flower. Each colour of rose carries a unique connotation. White roses evoke reverence, humility and innocence. Red roses convey respect, love and courage. Pink roses signify love, grace and appreciation. Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow. Yellow roses are traditionally presented by close friends to symbolise their strong ties to the deceased. A single rose, included in a mixed bouquet, is thought to express enduring love for the deceased.

roses flowers

Orchids

Freshly cut stems of orchid flowers are often chosen for funeral floral arrangements and sometimes potted orchids are given to the bereaved as a gesture of sympathy. Pale pink and pure white coloured orchids are representative of the traditional colours of sympathy. Many florists suggest featuring either the phalaenopsis orchid or the dendrobium orchid in funeral floral tributes.

Hydrangea

The beautiful blooms of the hydrangea plant are believed to symbolise true and heartfelt sincerity. Often used in decorative bouquets, hydrangea flowers are a long-lasting and vibrant choice. Hydrangeas are available in white, pink, purple or blue and a variety of petal shapes including mophead, panicle and lace-cap. If planted from a cutting, the mophead hydrangea will continue to bloom for many years and provide the bereaved with a pretty focus for remembrance.

hydrangea flower

Tulips

Tulips are thought to represent grace and elegance. They are believed to bring encouragement and hope to the hearts of the bereaved. As with all flowers, different coloured tulips carry different meanings: yellow tulips represent cheerfulness, white tulips represent forgiveness, purple tulips represent royalty and red tulips represent perfect love.

tulips flowers

Seasonal Availability of Funeral Flowers

The following is a guide to the seasonal availability of the most popular funeral flowers in Australia. If the flower you are hoping to feature is out of season, and importation proves too expensive, you might like to consider including silk flowers as an alternative.

FlowerSpringSummerAutumnWinter
Lilies
Gladioli
Carnations
Chrysanthemums
Roses
Orchids
Hydrangea
Tulips

Funeral flower arrangements are traditionally used for decorating the top of the casket or bringing warmth and colour to the funeral venue. Bethel Funerals has a longstanding affiliation with the expert florists at Grandiflora. Together we can assist you to choose funeral floral tributes of different sizes, colours and shapes, at a price that is fair and reasonable.

Choosing funeral flowers is just one of the many tasks that need to be completed when you are arranging a funeral. For guidance on service preparation, music selection, what to do after a funeral and the many other components of funeral planning, please refer to our Funeral Planning Guide.

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