Choosing funeral flowers: meanings and more

hands of a woman arranging white, yellow and pink funeral flowers

If you’re choosing funeral flowers, we’ve created this guide to help. Learn about the meanings of funeral flowers and how they’re used by different faiths and cultures. Hopefully, this will help you choose what flowers to use at the funeral you’re organising.

How to choose funeral flowers

Flowers are an important part of funerals in many cultures. For many people, funeral flowers aren’t just decorations – they’re used to express emotions, tell stories or represent religious ideas.

If you want your funeral flowers to send a message, you could look at these deeper meanings for inspiration. We’ve listed some common funeral flower meanings below.

You don’t have to choose flowers based on their symbolism, though. If the person who has died had a favourite flower, you could use it to decorate their funeral as a tribute. You could also choose flowers simply because you like the way they look.

You might even decide that you don’t want any flowers. This is fine too. While flowers are popular at funerals in the UK, there’s no rule that says you have to use them.

The meanings of funeral flowers

Flowers that symbolise death

Chrysanthemum

Some cultures consider chrysanthemums a symbol of death, while others only use the flower as a decoration. Orange and white chrysanthemums are the traditional Sikh funeral flowers.

Lily (Lilium)

The lily has long symbolised innocence and purity. It’s sometimes used at a funeral to symbolise that the person has returned to a place of peace.

Lilies are among the most common funeral flowers in the UK.

Poppy (Papaver)

Red poppies have symbolised death and peace since ancient times. Nowadays, they’re most often used to remember people who died in wars.

Flowers that symbolise rebirth

Crocus

Crocuses are among the first flowers to bloom in spring. That’s why they’ve come to mean rebirth. In the past, the first signs of spring were welcomed because they signalled months of abundance and the end of a harsh winter.

Daisy (Bellis perennis)

Daisies close up at night and open their petals again in the morning. That may be why they’re often associated with rebirth – it’s like daisies are welcoming each new day as it comes.

Daffodil (Narcissus)

Like crocuses, daffodils are early bloomers. Daffodils have also been used to symbolise chivalry, which means courage, respect and politeness.

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

The lotus flower is sacred in Hinduism and is a common feature of Hindu religious art. It represents divine perfection and immortality. It’s also associated with rebirth, as Hindus believe people are reincarnated after they die.

More flowers with positive meanings

Sunflower (Helianthus)

The Victorians saw sunflowers as a symbol of adoration, while in China they’re considered lucky. They also have a spiritual meaning to some people because they represent the sun, which is seen as the giver of life.

Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender is valued for its calming scent and is used in aromatherapy to help people relax. Perhaps that’s why many see the flower as a symbol of calmness, peace and grace.

Iris

The iris is a beautiful flower that has inspired many works of art. It’s often used to represent hope, trust and wisdom.

Orchid

Many countries use orchids as symbols of national pride. For instance, the Christmas orchid is the national flower of Colombia, while the Holy Ghost orchid is the national flower of Panama. Some also see them as representing thoughtfulness and calm.

Peony

Peonies have a rich cultural history in China, where they represent love, beauty and wealth. In Victorian Britain, the flower was considered a symbol of shyness and modesty.

Rose meanings

The rose is one of the most popular funeral flowers in the UK. Over the years, the flower has developed many meanings based on the colour of its petals. Here are a few of them.

Red rose

Bright red roses are associated with love and devotion. Dark red roses can be used to express grief and sorrow.

White rose

White roses are often used at funerals to represent innocence and purity. They symbolise that the person who has died is now at peace.

Yellow rose

Traditionally, people gift yellow roses as symbols of friendship.

Pink rose: admiration, joy

At funerals, pink roses are often used to represent admiration and respect for the person who has died.

Choosing flowers for religious funerals

Different religions have different rules about funeral flowers. Some faiths have long-standing funeral traditions relating to certain flower types or colours. Others rarely use funeral flowers or forbid them entirely.

Here’s a quick guide to how flowers are used for funerals in different religions:

More useful guides

 

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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