Your guide to funeral flowers

Funeral flower guide

The hardest thing anyone can go through is losing a loved one. During this time, it is important that there is no unnecessary worry for anyone with regards to the finer details of the funeral service, including choosing the flower arrangements.

Sending flowers to funerals is a common practice in the UK, as it serves as a form of expression. The type of flower you choose can help to convey specific emotions, like love, comfort, sympathy, and respect. The flowers can also hold specific meanings and act as a second language for the healing process and accepting the loss of a loved one. They can even provide a beautiful backdrop to add warmth and comfort to a funeral service.   

We are here to help make the decision process slightly easier for you - read on to discover the different types of dried funeral flowers and their meanings. 

Different types of dried funeral flowers and their meanings

When selecting the flower arrangements for a memorial, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the different options available, and what they symbolise. Knowing this makes the decision process easier and can allow you to express your condolences in a more appropriate way. 

Furthermore, you can use an alternative to fresh flowers - dried flowers! Using dried flowers in a funeral service can not only bring in the same warmth as fresh flowers, it also means that you have a long-lasting memento that can be used to remember your loved ones fondly. Dried flowers typically last anywhere between 1-3 years, and can also be preserved in a way in which they last forever. What’s more, they are a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly option - meaning you can save a significant amount of money, and still have flowers that represent the vibrant memory of your loved one.  

Here are the top three most popular flowers used in funerals - both fresh and dried:


Roses are by far the most popular flower - both fresh and dried. Since ancient times, roses have been grown and cultivated for their beauty and fragrance. They are often seen as a symbol of achievement and perfection, and often used in badges and coats of arms. Again, they have a variety of meanings depending on their colour, as well as their .shape and age:

  • Red roses symbolise love, beauty, and courage.
  • Yellow roses symbolise friendship and joy.
  • White roses symbolise innocence and purity. 
  • Pink roses symbolise appreciation and gratitude. 
  • Orange roses symbolise fascination and desire.  


Carnations have been one of the most popular flowers for floral arrangements for nearly a decade, coming in at a close second to roses. They have an ancient origin, as they were originally worshipped in Ancient Greece - their scientific name is ‘dianthus caryophyllus’, which literally translates to ‘flower of the gods’. These flowers hold a significant amount of symbolism and meanings, which can change depending on their colour.

In general, they represent captivation and love but, more specifically:

  • White carnations symbolise innocence, purity and love.
  • Pink carnations symbolise remembrance, gratitude, and motherly love. 
  • Red carnations symbolise deep love, affection, and passion. 
  • Purple carnations symbolise success, wealth, and unpredictability.
  • Yellow carnations symbolise sadness and regret. 


Lilies are a very versatile flower, and thus, can be utilised for any occasion. They are ranked as the 4th most popular flower across the world, which isn’t surprising considering their stunning appearance. The origin of the flower goes back centuries, with different meanings in Greek and Roman mythology, as well as religious significance in the Bible. With over 100 species of lilies, they are the most diverse and dramatic blooms you will find. Specifically, the white stargazer lily is particularly popular for funerals. 

Generally, they represent grace, royalty, rebirth, and beauty, but similar to carnations, can have different meanings depending on their type or colour. These include:  

  • A white lily symbolises purity, modesty, and virginity.
  • An orange lily symbolises passion, wealth, and confidence. 
  • A pink lily symbolises prosperity and abundance. 
  • A yellow lily symbolises gaiety, good health, and thankfulness. 
  • A Lily of the Valley symbolises sweetness, and purity of heart. 
  • A Tiger lily, in Buddhism, represents compassion and mercy.  

How much should you spend on funeral flowers?

Figuring out how much you ‘should’ be spending on flowers for a funeral can be a difficult task without any understanding or planning to help you. In recent years, the average cost of a funeral has dramatically increased. It is not uncommon to spend upwards of £7,000 for the entire memorial. For flowers, it is likely that you will be paying anything between £40 to £300 - this can change significantly depending on the size and variety of the  arrangements and flowers you have chosen. 

According to Memorials of Distinction, in the UK, the average cost of flowers by arrangement type is: 

  • Wreaths: £30-£80
  • Casket Sprays: £100-£250
  • Crosses: £100-£140
  • Custom tributes: £100-£250

If you are on a budget, there are many ways you can save money, and still have a beautiful memorial service worthy of your loved one. From the above list, carnations are the most cost-effective option of flower for the service. As indicated, you can still have a wide variety of colours that can help symbolise your emotions, whilst keeping in your budget. This is also where dried flowers can be beneficial for you, as they are cheaper to buy in bulk, meaning you will be able to have a stunning floral arrangement for considerably less in comparison to a fresh bunch.  


Memorials of Distinction

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