What Kind of Flowers Should You Bring to a Funeral?

Posted: 06/11/2017

In the UK, flowers are an integral part of most funeral services; bar a few cultures that prohibit the presence of flowers at a funeral, such a Judaism. Generally, flowers serve a significance and act as a tribute to the deceased in the funeral service. They symbolise love and sympathy and add decoration and beauty to an event which is sombre.

In this guide, we discuss the different types of flowers that you may want at a funeral as well as the meanings of certain types.

The difference between funeral flowers and sympathy flowers

To start off, it is good to know the difference between what funeral flowers and sympathy flowers for the purposes of clarity.

Funeral flowers go directly to the funeral home ready for the actual funeral service. The arrangements of the flowers are often done in a formal manner and are usually quite large. Their main purpose is to provide decoration for the funeral whilst paying tribute to the deceased. Funeral flowers can be sent by anyone to the funeral home, but are not usually addressed to anyone in particular (such as a family member of the person who has passed), other than simply to pay respects to the deceased themselves.

On the other hand, Sympathy flowers differ. They should be sent directly to the home of the deceased or the home of the closest family members of the deceased. They should be addressed directly to a family member, an entire family or a close loved one who has recently been affected by the loss. The arrangements are usually less formal and smaller in size than funeral flowers. Some people opt to send a plant in the place of flowers since they tend to last longer and therefore serve as a longer reminder of the deceased.

Popular types of flowers for funerals

Choosing an appropriate type of flower or flowers is important to convey the desired message at a funeral service. While there is no rule, there are flowers that are more popular than others that are directly associated with funerals, loss and bereavement.

Different flowers can be used for different functions, such as a casket spray, a wreath or a table arrangement.

The following are a list of the most popular choices of flowers for funeral services and have their significance explained.




Lilies are considered the most popular and universal type of flowers to see at a funeral service. They are also seen as an appropriate flower for any occasion.

Lilies are typically used to symbolise innocence, which makes them especially appropriate for funerals.




Gladioli tend to measure at around 4ft tall and are composed of a single stem with multiple flower heads. These are a classic choice for funerals, and you are very likely to see them when attending a funeral. They are available in a variety of colours which is perfect for adding a personal touch by picking a preferred colour according to the deceased’s tastes. Gladioli’s are often used to symbolise the strength of character and morality.




It is common to find or use carnations at a funeral as they tend to keep for a long amount of time. They also have a brilliant meaning, which fits with the mood of a funeral. They represent remembrance if they are pink in colour, and they represent purity and love if they are white in colour. People often opt for a mixture of pink and white to cover both of these meanings.




Chrysanthemums are used solely as funeral flowers across mainland Europe, in countries such as Spain, Poland, France and Hungary. The UK, they are a popular choice for funerals but they are not reserved solely for the purposes of a funeral service. In Asia, chrysanthemums are used to represent grief, and in western countries, they are used to represent the truth.




Without a doubt, roses are one of the most versatile when it comes to flowers with the different colours differing in meaning. For a funeral, white roses represent innocence and humility; red roses represent love and respect; pink roses represent love and appreciation; dark crimson represents the sorrow felt in the light of the life lost, and yellow represents strong ties. The great thing about roses is you can choose a single colour to represent the personality of the deceased or a mixture of colours for the same purpose. A single rose is commonly found amongst a bouquet of other colours to symbolize the endurance of love.

Daffodils and Tulips



The significance of daffodils and tulips is based on “new starts”. It is believed that daffodils and tulips bring hope to those going through an unfortunate or difficult time. Similar to roses, the different colours available in these flowers signify a different meaning. Red denotes love, white signifies forgiveness and yellow represents cheerfulness. Again, choices can be made to personalise the funeral accordingly.

Orchid Plant



Both white and pink orchid plants are associated with the mourning process and are used to signify enteral love. These are appropriate for decoration in a funeral service and as sympathy flowers and tend to be very popular for the latter.

Peace Lily Plant



A peace lily plant does what it says on the tin and represents peace, as well as harmony and innocence after death. In Christianity, the peace lily plant is a symbol linked to the Virgin Mary. Therefore, Christians often gift peace lily plants at a time in which someone has lost a loved one. They are also commonly used to decorate a funeral service of someone of the Christian faith.

If you want to look into prepaid funeral plans to freeze the rising price of funerals today, click here to find out more.