How to choose sympathy flowers

Funerals are always difficult, but choosing flowers as a final gift for a loved one can be strangely therapeutic during a tough time.

If possible, please give yourself time when ordering, as you and your florist will want this final goodbye to be absolutely right and it may be that some flowers will have to be ordered in advance.

Most undertakers have an arrangement with local florists where they take the order and then pass it on to the florist less a commission. It works well in most cases but if you want something more personal then talk to the florist directly as then you can be sure of getting exactly what you want, and all the money you spend goes on the flowers. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have all the details. Most florists know all the local churches, cemeteries and funeral homes so as long as you have the date and time of the service and the name of the deceased they will be able to sort out delivery.

If possible go in and talk to your local florist, they usually have a private area (and box of tissues) so it won’t be hard, but will let you see all their selection guides so you can get plenty of ideas and talk through any special requests. If you can’t get to the shop, then either use the florist’s website, or better still phone them up.


Funeral arrangement ideas

Speak to your local Good Florist Guide member and you’ll discover there’s really no limit to the designs they can create. But to give some inspiration, here are the most common concepts:


Literally anything can be said with flowers these days and are a lovely way to personalise the day. Letter tributes can be as simple or complex as you like and usually up to seven letters can be accommodated in the hearse. Longer or more complex designs can be delivered separately. Price wise expect to pay between £35 and £50 per letter depending on the flowers you choose.


The classic choice and available in a range of sizes from two to six ft. They can be made in every type of style ranging from traditional based designs to looser natural designs and are usually priced at between £30 and £40 per foot depending on the flowers chosen.


The most romantic of all funeral tributes and available in either a massed heart or open heart shape. Like all funeral tributes you can have these made in any flower you like and will cost between £65 for a loose open heart to around £120 for a red rose heart.


Like hearts these can be massed or open depending on budget. Cluster wreaths are perfect for shared goodbyes as up to five different flowers can be chosen so it makes the perfect family tribute which should cost around £50 to £70.


A lovely design that is often kept by the bereaved as a memento of this special day as it is easy to take home after the reception. Price wise, expect to pay between £30 and £50 depending on the flowers chosen.


Usually used to cover the coffin a double ended spray is a fabulous collection of mixed flowers. Often they are taken to the venue where the reception is being held as it is important for the bereaved to take memories on after the service. Price wise these will cost in the region of £80 – £120.

Coffin cover

A truly splendid final goodbye and a blanket of flowers that will send the deceased on in style. They are pretty expensive – expect to pay in the region of £600 - but they look amazing.


Other than a single flower, the sheaf is one of the simplest funeral tributes you can send. A simple collection of mixed flowers depending on the flowers you choose.


Florists can create any shape or design you can think of. They’ll need a few days’ notice as these floral sculptures can take up to three days to complete but as a way of representing a special interest or characteristic of the bereaved they are second to none. A simple bespoke tribute will cost around £120, expect to pay up to £250/£350 for something really complex.

Eco Tributes

The most eco-friendly tribute will be a loose collection of flowers, tied together with raffia. If you want something more complex then there are a host of design ideas a florist can create using straw or twig bases to give you a gorgeous confection of flowers that reflect your loved one’s wishes.