Funerals are solemn occasions that provide an opportunity for loved ones to pay their final respects to the departed and offer comfort to grieving families. Flowers play an essential role in expressing condolences, love, and sympathy during these times. The art of arranging funeral flowers has evolved into a myriad of designs, each conveying different sentiments and emotions. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of funeral flower designs, exploring the various styles and their meanings, with the aim of giving you lots of funeral flower ideas should you be in the position of having to make such a choice.

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Traditional Funeral Wreaths: Wreaths are one of the most recognizable funeral flower designs. Circular in shape, they symbolize eternity, the cycle of life and everlasting love. These arrangements typically consist of a ring of flowers and foliage and can be edged with ribbon or foliage. They are available in a wide range of sizes from large designs chosen by the family to adorn the coffin, to smaller designs being given by friends, colleagues or other family members. They are a classic choice, offering a sense of unity and remembrance.

Coffin or Casket Sprays: Casket sprays are large arrangements that adorn the top of the casket, lying close to the deceased. They are usually double-ended, meaning that they have two pointed ends and are diamond in shape. Sizes vary from around 3 feet up to 6 feet. They can be made in any colour and in various styles from formal to a loose countryside look. Casket sprays serve as a heartfelt tribute to the deceased and can be customized to reflect the individual’s personality, passions, and favourite flowers. Funeral flower etiquette conveys that casket sprays are usually given by the immediate family.

large coffin spray with yellow, purple and white flowers

Single Ended Sprays: These are similar to casket sprays but are a teardrop shape, with one pointed end and one rounded end. Large designs are usually given by the family and are laid directly onto the coffin whilst smaller arrangements can be given by other family members or friends. Smaller sprays are usually placed along the side of the coffin in the hearse. Teardrop designs are often chosen as the main design for a child’s coffin.

Funeral Cross Arrangements: Cross-shaped arrangements are often chosen by those with strong religious beliefs. These arrangements can be created with a variety of flowers and foliage, reflecting the deceased’s faith and devotion. Cross designs convey a message of hope, comfort, and spiritual guidance. Crosses are available in a wide range of sizes making them suitable to adorn the coffin or to sit alongside it.
Available as a based* or loose** design. (* **see below)

Autumnal coloured Celtic funeral cross in orange, red and yellow.
Mixed flower funeral cross with autumnal coloured flowers

Heart Tributes: Heart-shaped arrangements symbolize love and compassion. They are a touching choice for expressing deep emotions and are often chosen by close family members, partners or children of the deceased. Heart tributes can be created as a solid heart or as an open heart where the middle is hollow. Double heart frames are also available where two hearts overlap each other. Broken hearts are also a common choice where flowers are placed in a broken line down the centre of the heart to indicate a strong sense of loss. They are available in any colour and can be made with either one type of flower or a mix of flowers.
Available as a based* or loose** design.

Funeral Posies: Posies, small circular arrangements are a versatile choice suitable for both funeral services and sympathy gestures. They can be placed on tables, altars, or at the gravesite, serving as a gesture of comfort and sympathy. Posies are often chosen for their understated elegance and ability to convey heartfelt condolences. They are a suitable choice for anyone wanting to send flowers, from immediate family to colleagues and friends.
Available as a based* or loose** design.

Funeral posy with massed white chrysanthemums and blue and white spray.
White funeral posy with blue accents and blue ribbon

Funeral Lettering: Any letter or word can be created with flowers providing a personal farewell. Cherished relationships are often epitomised with such lettering e.g. mum, dad, grandpa etc. The letter frames are decorated and then placed on a frame so that they stand up alongside the coffin. Stands up to 7 letters long are available but it is always best to check with the funeral director before ordering to ensure they will fit in the vehicle.
Available as a based* or loose** design.

Funeral flower letters Daddy with white roses and delphiniums and trailing ivy
Daddy funeral letters in white and blue

Baskets and Containers: Such designs are often given by friends or family. From traditional baskets to natural wood boxes and bowls, almost anything can be filled with flowers for a loved one. These smaller designs can also be taken away after the service as a comfort to the family or to be placed on a grave.

Funeral Sheaf: Sheaves are a perfect choice for woodland burials: the design is tied together with string meaning that it is totally biodegradable. Tied sheaves are a soft triangular shape, similar to an old-fashioned flat bouquet. They are fresh, natural and allow the beauty of the flowers to speak for themselves. Funeral sheaves are a suitable tribute for anyone to give.

Funeral sheaf with pink lilies and roses
Pink funeral sheaf

Bespoke Arrangements: Beyond the traditional designs, many florists offer customized arrangements that symbolize specific aspects of the deceased’s life. This could include favorite colors, hobbies, professions, or even significant milestones. These arrangements create a deeply personal tribute, celebrating the unique journey of the individual.

Funeral flower designs are a meaningful way to convey emotions and provide comfort during times of loss. Each design carries its own symbolism, enabling loved ones to choose arrangements that reflect the personality, beliefs, and memories of the departed. The choice of flowers is also key in reflecting the personality and favourites of the deceased. Whether opting for traditional wreaths, heartfelt heart tributes, or bespoke symbolic arrangements, the artistry of funeral flowers helps us honour and remember those who have touched our lives.

If I can be of help in creating beautiful, personalised farewell flowers please get in touch –  or visit the shop at

*Based = flowers of the same type (usually chrysanthemums) are placed tightly together to give a massed carpet of flowers. These designs are decorated with smaller sprays of mixed flowers and foliage.
**Loose designs = a mix of flowers and foliage where there is space between the flowers.