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Whether you’re arranging a funeral, or you’ve been asked to go to a funeral, you might be wondering whether you should buy flowers and what types of funeral flowers you can choose from. Here, you can find everything you need to know. From coffin sprays to letter tributes and funeral poesies. For more info on how much funeral flowers cost, take a look at our guide to the cost of funeral flowers in the UK

Choosing funeral flowers when you’re arranging a funeral

When you’re arranging a funeral, your chosen funeral director will ask what type of flowers you’d like. Most funeral directors are in touch with local florists who can help arrange the flowers you have in mind, or who can give you some ideas if you’re not sure what you want. 

Of course, it’s completely fine to have no flowers at all. But if you’d like flowers, some of the options that you might want to arrange in advance include: 

  • Coffin sprays 
  • Coffin garlands 
  • Pillows or cushions 
  • Letter tributes 
  • Personalised tributes

You can learn more about these below. 

What type of flowers do you bring to a funeral? 

If you’ve been asked to go to a funeral, you might be wondering whether it’s okay to bring flowers and, if it is, what type of flowers are appropriate for a funeral.  

Generally, it’s best to ask the person who’s arranging the funeral. Sometimes, they’ll ask guests to make a donation to a charity instead. If flowers are welcomed, you might want to consider funeral posies. You can learn more about these below. 

Make sure to ask the person who’s arranging the funeral whether it’s best to send the flowers beforehand, or whether you should bring the flowers with you on the day. 

Good to know…

Flowers aren’t appropriate for some religious funerals. For example: flowers aren’t a traditional part of Jewish or Muslim funeral services. To find out more, read our guide to different types of religious funerals in the UK.

Coffin sprays

A coffin spray, also known as a “casket spray”, is a type of funeral flower arrangement that sits on top of the coffin in the hearse and during the funeral service. You only usually buy this if you’re the person organising the funeral. Traditionally, a coffin spray is “double-ended”, which means it’s symmetrical and often widest at the centre, tapering in at either end. Your florist will usually ask for the coffin’s measurements to make sure they make the spray the right length and width. 

Sprays are usually made using flowers, as well as green foliage. The type of flowers and foliage you choose will depend on several factors. These include cost, as well as what flowers you think the person who’s passed away would’ve liked. Coffin sprays can vary from neutral white tones (like lilies, white roses and gypsophila) to bright and bold colours (using options like sunflowers, carnations or orange lilies). 

Coffin garlands

You’re most likely to see a coffin garland on a wicker coffin. These are garlands of flowers that can be draped around the sides of a coffin for extra decoration. They range from plain foliage to foliage with flowers weaved in. You might want to consider matching a coffin garland to the coffin spray you’ve chosen. For example, if you’ve chosen a coffin spray with pink roses, you might want to ask your florist to add some pink roses to the coffin garland. 

Funeral flower pillows and cushions

Pillows and cushions are one of the most popular types of funeral flowers. They take the shape of a pillow or cushion – rectangular or square and pinched in at the centre of each side. They’re used to represent the person who’s passed being at rest. The base of the cushion is usually made from one type of flower – most often chrysanthemums. Then, you can choose a small flower arrangement to go on top. You can also choose coloured ribbons to go around the edge of the pillow or cushion, to give it a similar finish to a housewife style pillowcase. 

Funeral flower letter tributes

You most often see funeral flower letter tributes placed in the hearse, alongside the coffin. This gives passersby an idea of who’s in the hearse when it drives to the funeral service, the cemetery or the crematorium. Your florist will be able to spell out any word you like, as long as it’s respectful. Popular choices include the person’s name, as well as: 

  • Mum 
  • Dad 
  • Nan / Grandma 
  • Grandad / Grandpa 
  • Brother 
  • Sister 
  • Son 
  • Daughter 
  • Wife 
  • Husband


Personalised funeral flower tributes

If you’re looking for a type of funeral flower that shows the unique personality of the person who’s passed away, you can ask the florist for a personalised tribute. These are made in a similar way to funeral flower pillows and cushions, but the florist will make the tribute in a different shape, using different coloured flowers to make the pattern you want. Popular choices include: 

  • Hearts 
  • Religious symbols like crosses 
  • Sports team logos and shields 
  • Sports team shirts 
  • Flags 

You could also choose personalised tributes to do with the hobbies or interests of the person who’s passes away. Such as fishing, arts and crafts, instruments, cartoon characters or types of food or drink. If you have something unique in mind, just talk to your florist. They’ll be able to let you know whether they’re able to do this and how much it’ll cost. 

Funeral wreaths

Traditionally, funeral wreaths were placed on the doors of people mourning a loss. But nowadays some families choose to lay them on the grave after a burial, while the ground settles. They have the same circular shape as wreaths used for other occasions, such as Christmas. But instead of festive flowers and decorations, they usually use flowers associated with loss and mourning. Funeral wreaths are usually white, but you can ask your florist for other colours if you wish. 

Path of life flowers

Path of life flowers are one of the more modern types of flowers for a funeral, so you might not have heard of them before. This flower arrangement takes the shape of a winding path. You then choose different flowers to be incorporated from one end to the other. The flowers are meant to represent different stages of the person’s life. For example, you might want to use smaller and more child-like flowers at the start of the decoration and more mature and larger flowers leading towards the end. 

Funeral posies

Funeral posies are traditionally bought as a gift for the family and close friends of the person who’s passed away. So if you’re wondering what type of flowers to bring to a funeral, this could be a good choice. Funeral posies are circular and allow the flowers to be seen from all angles. This means that they can be placed anywhere, making them easy to arrange among other funeral flowers and tributes.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.