Which Funeral Floral Arrangement Choice is Correct?

Name tributes to the deceased often are held in the realm of family choices.

Name tributes to the deceased often are held in the realm of family choices.

A loved one has died, and the obituary does not stipulate that flowers are unwelcome. What do you do now? Do you send a vase of flowers, a wreath or a plant? Many florists are familiar with your dilemma, and they have answers to your questions.

When florists offer advice on funeral flowers, they usually are following years of tradition about these arrangements. This tradition includes etiquette that shapes who should send flowers, what that person should send and where those floral arrangements should be sent. To help you decide about what you need to do in any standard situation, the following list provides a list of common floral tributes for the deceased or for the surviving family members:

  • Casket Spray: Also known as “coffin sprays,” this floral arrangement drapes a coffin. These sprays are large arrangements that extend to at least half the length of the coffin. These floral tributes are formal and most often chosen by close family members, friends, business associates or organizations. In most cases, the casket spray option is discussed with the family before it is ordered to allay any negative feelings about such a huge arrangement ordered by anyone outside the immediate family.
  • Easel Spray: Most commonly displayed on easels, this large floral composition usually is sent to the visitation or viewing or to the funeral home. It is not sent to the family’s home. Less formal than a casket spray, this is one option for business colleagues or organizations that does not need discussion with immediate family of the deceased.
  • Floral Basket, Vase or Urn: The floral basket or floral arrangement in a vase represents one of the most common funeral flower arrangements. This option includes a flower arrangement placed in a container that may or may not have a handle. Floral baskets may be sent by anyone and can be sent to the funeral home or to the home of the bereaved. This type of floral arrangement is perfect for the provider who is closer to the bereaved than to the deceased, and the vase or urn arrangement is the best option if you are unsure of any other choice.
  • Floral Cross: This floral arrangement consists of a cross-shaped base covered with flowers, foliages, fabric and accents and is sent to the funeral visitation, viewing or funeral home and never to the deceased’s family home. Do not choose this arrangement if you are unsure of the deceased’s religious preferences during life.
  • Heart: Like the floral cross, this is a heart-shaped floral arrangement that is a choice for friends, relatives or family members of the deceased to show love for the departed. Once again, use discretion when choosing this shape for a funeral floral arrangement, as some surviving family members may view this shape as far too intimate for some givers.
  • Inside Piece: This type of arrangement is a small floral design placed inside the casket. Usually sent by friends, relatives or family members to symbolize their love, this piece usually is a small arrangement, often in the shape of a heart, corss, pillow or small spray.
  • Living Plants: The living plant may be sent by anyone, and it usually is sent to the bereaved’s home. This piece is appropriate especially for the person who has a closer relationship to the surviving loved ones than with the deceased, and often it is sent directly to that surviving family member or friend rather than to the funeral home.
  • Name Tribute: This floral arrangement spells out the name of the deceased in a form that is filled with flowers and other greenery, ribbons and fabric. Most often, these tributes are provided by close family members of the deceased.
  • Pillow or Cushion: This type of floral arrangement rarely is seen, but it still is an option for family members or close friends who wish to honor the deceased with a rectangular-shaped arrangement that is placed inside the coffin. This type of arrangement symbolizes the beauty of eternal rest.
  • Wreath: While the wreath symbolizes eternal life, it is not the religious symbol that is portrayed by a cross. The wreath is formal, elegant, and a perfect arrangement to send to the funeral home, as it usually is taken to graveside for burial services. Although this is not the least expensive funeral option, it is ideal for associates, organizations and groups of friends to send to let the bereaved know that you thought highly of the deceased.

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