Common questions about funeral flowers that you don’t want to ask, but need the answers to.

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If you are looking for the rules for selecting funeral flowers, you can start your search here.  Here we have explained the basics of buying funeral flowers and what types of funeral flowers are normally sent. In this article I will answer some of the secrets it takes to ordering funeral flowers. [Sources:0, 8, 11, 14]

As you prepare to select funeral flowers for your family, friends, family members, neighbours, and colleagues, it is important to familiarise yourself with the customs and traditions of the loved one. That way the flowers that you organise will complement rather than stand out for all the wrong reasons.

When choosing what flowers and/or arrangement to send, you must tell the florist the sex and age of the person who has passed away as well as your relationship with them. Was this person the love of your life? A distant or close family member? Or a close friend?

When is the best time to send flowers to the family?

Sending flowers is seen as a way of expressing your condolences. Sending them to the family home or arranging for them to be presented at the funeral service is also acceptable.

If you are not sure of the date of the funeral service, the funeral director will be organising a communication through the family. Normally, this is communicated via SMS, email, and through traditional social media channels like Facebook. By reaching out to the funeral director, you can also find out what the family has requested.

If you know the cemetery, most have an onsite florist that can also accommodate and assist you with your flower arrangement.

If you want your funeral flowers to last for several days after the funeral, it is best to order them with water or floral foam and send them through the florist, to keep them fresh for as long as possible. [Sources: 1, 13]

What are the types of flower arrangements that you can send to pay your respects?

Floral Baskets

Floral baskets are a great standalone solution because they can be delivered to the funeral home, to the family home, or the funeral service at a church or chapel. They can be available in a variety of sizes.

Flower Basket (Image courtesy of

Standing Sprays

Standing sprays are displayed on an easel and are typically displayed near the casket. They allow viewing from one side only. Funeral sprays may be sent to the funeral home, but can also be delivered for a service in a church or chapel, or to a graveside burial ceremony. Again, it is best to reach out to the funeral director service for direction. They may even have suggestions from the family.

Standing spray
(image courtesy of




Wreaths, Crosses, and Hearts

If you are a family member, or close friend of the loved one, these larger, prominent floral arrangements are displayed near the casket on an easel. Their circular shape represents eternal life, while the funeral crosses reflect the faith and the heart stands for love. They are often delivered to a funeral home, church or chapel, and are usually taken to a gravesite by the funeral director.

Funeral Wreath

Cross wreath



Dish Gardens or Plants

Dish gardens are comprised of an assortment of lush green plants and/or flowering colourful plants and are typically arranged in a basket or decorative container. Both dish gardens and plants are suitable to be sent directly to a wake or the family’s home.

Dish Garden


Remember, to make your funeral flowers unique, ask the florist to arrange something that fits the deceased’s personality and attach a card if you are sending them via the florist so that the family knows you are thinking of them during their difficult time.

Is there a right type of flower to pay your respects with?


One of the most popular floral choices for funerals. Lilies represent the restored innocence of the soul of the departed.


White Lily Flower


Tall and majestic, gladioli convey the strength of character, moral integrity, and sincerity

Gladioli Flower



White carnations convey pure love and innocence; red carnations represent admiration, and pink carnations stand for remembrance.


red carnations

Red carnations represent admiration



In many European cultures, chrysanthemums are only used as funeral flowers as they are symbolic of death. In the US, chrysanthemums represent truth and are typically regarded as a cheerful way to honour someone who lived a full life. In Asian cultures, the yellow carnation is considered to be the traditional funeral flower.

Chrysanthemums as a funeral flower




This highly popular flower carries different meanings depending on the colour; White roses express reverence, innocence and youthfulness; Red roses convey respect, love, and courage; Pink roses signify love, grace and gentility; Crimson roses denote grief and sorrow; and yellow represents friendship.

Red roses


Pink and white are traditional orchid colours used to express one’s sympathy and typically represent eternal love. Phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids are generally the most appropriate types of orchids used as sympathy flowers.




This flower represents remembrance and in its alternative name “forget me not”. The meaning behind this flower is not as well-known as the others, but many believe it symbolizes true heartfelt emotions.




These are mostly added into an arrangement of assorted flowers. There are a variety of thoughts behind the meaning, ranging from “you’re included in my prayers” to deep anguish.

Tip: Some believe this flower symbolises sports, games, and rashness so be careful not to insult!


When Sending Flowers Isn’t Appropriate?

If a family has requested that in place of flowers, they would like any money normally spent on flowers to be sent to a charity or not for profit organisation of the family’s selection. A great funeral director will make sure that all the family’s wishes are communicated to their families and friends before the funeral service.  Leaving the family time to grieve and not having to answer questions about flower arrangements and the sort.

Where to send funeral flowers?

Make sure you include the deceased’s name in the flowers that you send.  When buying flowers for a funeral that takes place in a chapel, crematorium or church, it is advised to deliver the flowers directly to the memorial service or the place of burial.

It is strongly recommended that a card with a personal message is attached to the flowers. If you do not send flowers to the funeral, you might want to send them to a family and give them to show that you are thinking of them.

How much should you spend?

This is a challenging question because it is personal. A general price guide for flowers for a service, can start from $69 for a small box up to $300 for a wreath and/or cross. It is a good idea to enquire around before making the final purchase.

If you buy flowers for a funeral in your hometown, ask your local florist to arrange them according to the local customs. As you can see there are a variety of funeral flowers that can be created, with the most common choices being white ones. You can also choose flowers according to your personal preferences, and a conversation with your florist will help you choose, regardless of the type of funeral or floral arrangement you send.

Remember, you can always call on the local funeral director to also guide you on the choice of flowers or even on the location of where the flowers should be sent. Victoria Cross Funerals is available to answer any questions you may have. They work with a network of reputable florists in Sydney that will create an arrangement that best represents your thoughts, feelings and respects.














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