At a time of sorrow and loss, flowers step in as a silent language of remembrance and love.  Selecting and ordering funeral flowers can be daunting and is a balance between honouring a life and providing comfort to those left behind.  This blog will help you navigate through the process of how to send flowers to a funeral UK in a few easy steps.  It covers the logistical information required, how to get good value for money and advice on choosing the perfect design for your loved one.

  1.  Is it appropriate to send flowers at all?

Some funerals request family flowers only and if you are not family then it’s best to honour the family’s wishes and perhaps send a sympathy bouquet to the family instead.  If the family are happy to receive flowers from friends and colleagues, then feel free to order a floral tribute.  I will talk later about suitable design choices.

Whilst flowers play a significant part in Christian funerals, flowers are not usually included in Jewish and Hindu funerals. Muslim funerals don’t typically include flowers either, though sometimes you can send a small arrangement.  For Buddhist funerals, white flowers are the ideal choice.  If you are in doubt, then it’s best to ask the family for guidance. 

  • What information do I need?

When you order funeral flowers you will need to share some basic information with your florist.  Name of the deceased, date of the funeral, time of the funeral, name and address of the funeral directors and if the funeral is a woodland burial (this last point will impact on how the designs are made).  You will also be asked for a message for the card that accompanies the flowers.

  • How far in advance should I order flowers?

As soon as you know when the funeral is.  Ordering in plenty of time ensures the widest choice of flowers and designs.  Some flowers take a long time to open, some design shapes need to be order in or constructed so the sooner you order the better.  If you don’t have all the information to hand you can still get in touch with a florist.  I often have people who order and then confirm timings and messages at a later date – this is fine.

Bright flower funeral wreath
  • Choosing a florist

Many funeral directors have a chosen florist that they work with.  There is no obligation to use the funeral directors flower service at all.  It is convenient especially if you are feeling overwhelmed but, if you feel up to it, have a look at the websites of local florists and go direct to them.  When flowers are arranged via the funeral director, or via national companies, a cut is taken for the service meaning you get less for your money.  Going direct to a florist means you get better value for money, and you can make a personlised choice rather than picking something generic from a brochure.

  • Choosing the design

Flowers are such a personal choice, and there are unlimited designs and flower varieties to choose from, so it can seem overwhelming.  Don’t panic!  If you don’t know what you want then speak to your florist. I know it can be a really difficult time but I enjoy hearing about  your loved ones and helping you choose the perfect funeral arrangement.  Time and tears are all part of the process.  Perhaps the deceased had a favourite colour, flower, hobby or sports team that could be included in the design.  If they were a gardener, do you have anything from the garden that you’d like to include?

Talking it through can be helpful and your florist will be able to suggest things that perhaps you hadn’t thought of or didn’t know of.  The type of design is completely down to individual choice, from classic coffin sprays to bespoke shapes such as footballs, animals, boxing gloves or teapots.  In my previous blog you can find details of the styles of arrangements.  It also includes advice on which designs are appropriate to send, depending on your relationship to the deceased. 

If you know exactly what you want, you can often order online.  I have an online web shop  which allows you to choose colours and make specific requests so that you can still personalise your choice even if you don’t want to talk to someone, or don’t feel up to it.

You may also like to consider the meaning and symbolism that specific flowers carry.  You can find a comprehensive list here

  • Message for the card

This is often the part that people find the hardest. If you are immediate family then it is completely up to you if you want to write a card or not.  Some people choose not to and that’s absolutely fine,  it can be extremely difficult to find the words to convey your loss.  If you are extended family, friends or colleagues then it is best to add a card so that the family know who the flowers have come from. 

Messages can be short – rest in peace, always remembered, forever in our hearts and/or just your names.   You may find it easy to write a longer message but if you’re struggling then the internet can be a great source of inspiration.  Just remember that space on the cards is limited so if you want a really long message make sure you talk to the florist about the practicalities.

I often find that people call me to order the flowers but aren’t ready with a  message.  Don’t ever feel put on the spot – you can always call back or email with a message once you’ve thought about it.  It’s important to get it right and I am always happy to make changes or take messages at late notice.

  • Delivery

Funeral tributes usually travel to the funeral in the hearse so are delivered to the funeral directors.  Florists are very familiar with delivering funeral flowers, so you don’t need to worry about the flowers getting there in time.  If need be, I liaise with the funeral director e.g. if the funeral is very early in the morning or if there are many designs to be delivered for one funeral.  That way we can be sure everything runs smoothly on the day.

If you prefer to collect funeral arrangements that can be arranged too.

Everyone has a ‘ first time’ to order funeral flowers so I hope this guide is useful and takes some of the stress and uncertainty out of the process, at what is already a sad and difficult time.    If I can be of help, then please get in touch, I’m ready to help gently guide you through.