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Funeral and Sympathy Flower Meanings

Funeral Flowers and Traditions

We live in a modern and multi cultural society where each one of us has our own thoughts, beliefs and traditions we follow around funeral etiquette. 

No matter what religion or traditions we follow there is one thing that is set in stone for everyone and that is  that we are not immortal. Some people believe that once you die, that is it, others believe your soul lives on, some believe in reincarnation and others in heaven. Whatever we believe the common denominator is that it will happen one day. 
Saying good bye to a loved one is one of the hardest things that some of us will have to do. We remember our loved ones in our thoughts and memories. 

When a loved one passes there is a lot to arrange and think about. A big part of a funeral in the British Culture is arranging the flowers. There are so many choices to choose from.  The most traditional flowers for a send off in the UK  are roses and freesias. Freesias come in a variety of colours and have a lovely delicate look to them. Roses grow in abundance in the UK and come in a variety of colours. The traditional colour of a funeral rose is white but this is quickly changing. 

You may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned lilies. Indeed they are a popular choice of funeral flower, but did you know they are one of the newer trending funeral flowers? Lilies became popular after the funeral of Princess Diana. 

The main thing to think about when picking the right flowers for a funeral would be to make them as personal as possible for the loved one. The floral arrangement you pick for your loved ones funeral should represent the story of your relationship.  Think about what that person would have wanted or not wanted. They may have even said that they do not want any flowers at their funeral

So what is the meaning behind the different types of funeral flowers?..


Lilies are a beautiful large flower which are very aromatic.  Lilies suggest that the soul of the deceased has  returned to a peaceful stage of innocence. 

Christians believe this flower symbolises purity and the radiance of the soul.

Its believed that the Virgin Mary’s tomb was covered in lilies, 



Roses come in a variety of colour and each colour represents a different meaning as a funeral flower. 

White roses are the symbol of purity, spirituality and innocence. 

The red roses represent love, respect and courage.

The yellow rose is one that is often given by friends to show the bond they had with the loved one. 

The pink roses express thankfulness of the deceased. 


Orchids are the more modern and exotic trending funeral flower. 

No matter what colour the orchids the meaning is alwasy the same “I will always love you”.


Carnations are a popular choice for funeral floral arrangements. This delicate flower comes in many different colours and each colour symbolises something different. 

In the UK white, pink and red carnations are very popular. 

White symbolise purity and love. 

The red carnations symbolise affection and admiration.

Pink carnations suggest remembrance making all three colours good choices for a funeral arrangement. 

So who sends what flowers?…

The main funeral floral arrangements and wreaths which are placed on top of the coffin are normally sent by the closest family members. This is a traditional way to say goodbye to a loved one. 

Bouquets and some wreaths are sent by close friends and colleagues. On some occasions the family of the loved one may ask that no flowers are sent and a donation be made to a charity instead. 

Preserving the Funeral Flowers

Is it ok to preserve funeral flowers?.. This is a question that you may be wondering about.

It is absolutely okay to have a selection of your funeral flowers preserved. This is a great way to remember your loved one and maybe  a way to find some comfort.

You can have the funeral flowers preserved in many different ways. One of the most popular for Sals Forever Flowers is having these precious petals preserved in the form of memorial jewellery. 

I would say memorial jewellery is a popular option as it can be worn for special occasions making you feel as though your loved one is still by your side. 

This is not the only way to have the funeral flowers preserved. You can also have some flowers pressed to have  them preserved as coasters, or kept whole and dried to have them preserved as paperweights, ornaments and much more. Some people like to have the name of the loved one spelt out with the funeral flowers which is also another option. 

Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch ~ Jack Thorne
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we deeply love become a part of us ~ Helen Keller

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