A Guide to Floral Tributes to a Deceased Loved One

Flowers are a time-honored tradition to pay respects for a deceased friend or loved one. Giving flowers can show support for a bereaved family and play a role in commemorating the life of the decedent.

Flowers provide a near-universal message of showing sympathy to the decedent’s bereaved family and are accepted by people of many backgrounds and cultures. From gifts given during memorial services to tributes left in headstones in cemeteries in Bountiful, floral arrangements have been a longtime symbol of sympathy for the family and a tribute of respect and affection for the decedent.

Typically, flowers can be offered during the viewing and memorial services. They make an excellent gift to families after the memorial service and can serve as a reminder to the bereaved relatives that one is still thinking of them.

A wealth of flower arrangements is available on the market and range from the simple to the elaborate. When showing respect for someone, even a simple floral arrangement such as a wreath or heart can carry the message of sympathy to the family of the deceased.

Floral Etiquette

There are a few basic rules that friends and relatives must follow when leaving a floral tribute to the decedent and as a gift of sympathy to the next of kin. In general, however, it pays to respect the wishes of the family before sending flowers.

While many cultures accept flowers during memorial services and after, it still pays to ask the immediate family of the decedent on whether they would prefer to receive flowers during the memorial service. Some religious traditions forego floral offerings to the decedent and their families. Other families might prefer that their loved one be given tribute in a different form, such as a donation made in the decedent’s name to a significant charity.

It usually is the responsibility of the next of kin to provide flowers for the decedent’s casket. Friends and extended family members must ask permission to lay down any and all flowers for the deceased at their casket, though they are encouraged to lay down flowers surrounding it to pay respects or give flowers to the decedent’s family after the memorial.

Getting Creative

The flowers given to the family of the deceased can come in a variety of shapes and colors. However, traditional funerals often hold that the types and colors of the flowers chosen for the service be appropriate for the solemnity of the event. Typically, these mean muted colors and palettes favoring white or yellow. Lilies, roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, and orchids are some of the most common flowers used in the

Historically, people followed a specific language when sending flowers to indicate their intentions; specific types of flowers were assigned meanings, and their presence carried a message. This flower language—called floriography—remained an important part of memorial practice for a long time and can still be followed today.

Besides following tradition, flowers can be used creatively to celebrate a prominent aspect of the life of the deceased. A selection of tropical flowers, for instance, may be an excellent way to illustrate the decedent’s love of travel in life. Floral arrangements such as sprays can also be accessorized with objects and mementoes that represent the interests and passions of the person in life.

Vibrant flowers are also becoming more accepted today, representing a celebration of the life the decedent lived. Even otherwise traditional funerals are open to floral arrangements featuring vibrantly colored flowers if they happened to be the personal favorites of the decedent in life.