Offering an opportunity to mourn their loss, celebrate their life and share fond memories; funerals are an essential part of the grieving process for all.
Though the service itself is the most important part of the day for most, as friends and family often want to visually show their love for the deceased; floral tributes are also an integral part of any funeral.
From small, handpicked bouquets to large, custom-built, professional arrangements, flowers play an important part in creating the appropriate atmosphere and allowing individuals to say goodbye to their loved one on the day.
If you’re planning a floral tribute of your own and aren’t sure what exactly you want or how best to honour your loved one’s memory then here’s a quick guide to creating the perfect floral arrangement.
History of floral tributes
The act of the human burial is one of the oldest religious activities in the world. Since the earliest days of burial, people have placed flowers on graves to pay tribute and to honour the deceased.
The oldest documented floral tribute was found at the Shandiar Cave site in Northern Iraq and dates back to 62,000 B.C. References to funeral flowers and sympathy flowers can also be found in the Bible and in numerous religious and historical texts.
In Victorian times, the deceased were often laid out in the home for days before a funeral, meaning that large floral tributes became a necessity. Since then they have grown in popularity and today adorn almost all caskets and funeral ceremonies.
Floral tributes have also been long associated with the military with leaders around the world, often being seen laying wreaths at monuments and military graves to remember those who had given their lives to their country.
Symbolism of flowers
During the grieving process, flowers hold different meanings for different people. Many see floral tributes as the perfect way to say goodbye to a loved one, whilst others value flowers as a reminder of the beauty and the fragility of life.
Friends and family who are not as close to the deceased often send floral bouquets as sympathy flowers; intending them more as a comfort to the family rather than a tribute to the deceased.
Larger displays and personalised arrangements are also often used in the funeral procession as a way for friends and family to grieve publically.
These days it’s becoming increasingly common to see processions with arrangements that have been specifically designed for the deceased – for example written tributes that read ‘mum’, ‘dad’ or ‘gran’ or even objects made out of flowers like cars, guitars and insignia.
Types of tribute
There are various types of tribute that you can create for the funeral of a loved one. Ranging from small bouquets to casket sprays and wreaths to personalised arrangements, flowers can be incorporated in any way into the funeral ceremony.
In general, it is the closest family members who arrange displays like the casket spray or funeral spray. These can come in many forms with flowers chosen specially to reflect the personality, wishes or preferences of the deceased and are generally placed on the casket through the ceremony and the burial.
For religious funerals, floral tributes in the shape of crosses are a popular choice. For less religious ceremonies, tributes in the shape of hearts, pillows and treasured possessions are also a common sight and ideal for making the funeral as personal and heartfelt as possible.
For those looking to send sympathy flowers to the family of the deceased, wreaths, baskets and posies are all good choices. However, as some people prefer not to receive flowers – and in some religions and cultures flowers are inappropriate – it’s a good idea to check with the family before you send them.
You can always send sympathy flowers to the homes of the family members as an alternative gesture if floral tributes are not possible at the funeral itself.
As with all occasions, different types and colours of flowers mean different things. Therefore, it’s important to put a great deal of thought into which blooms you want to include before you arrange your display.
When it comes to colour, white represents peace and reverence, blue represents comfort and calm and pink signifies grace, love and admiration. Whilst lilies, roses, carnations and orchids are all popular blooms for funerals, there is no obligation to have these and the choice is yours – you can always choose the deceased favourite flower for something really personal.
Creating a floral tribute for a loved one who has passed away is an important part of the grieving process, both for you and the people who will attend the funeral on the day.
By putting some time and thought into your display, you can ensure that you create the perfect tribute to the memory of your loved one and give them the send off they deserve.
SerenataFlowers.com stock a wide range of flowers ideal for funerals, remembrance or sympathy and can help you find the perfect way to say goodbye.