Beyond Funeral Flowers: Bouquets that Aren’t Plants
Funeral flowers have long stood as a symbol of loss and sympathy. When a friend or family member dies, you send flowers to the funeral. They are put on display for the duration of the service, and are then either taken home or donated to a hospital, nursing home, or other facility that helped the deceased in their final days.
Because of the short-term nature of funeral flowers (they rarely last longer than a week), and because they are not the most eco-friendly funeral gift idea, more and more people are turning to alternatives. If you would still like to send a traditional gift, but do not want to send flowers, here are few unique bouquet ideas.
- Cookies: Cookie bouquets popped up on the market about 20 years ago, and you can now find cookie bouquet arrangements in most major cities (you can also order deliveries to be made to more remote locations). Although these tend to be more whimsical than serious, you can select shapes/themes that relate to the deceased…and these treats can be served at the funeral luncheon afterwards.
- Fruit: Like the cookie bouquet, fruit arrangements are edible displays that combine beauty and function, and can be delivered in much the same way a traditional funeral flower arrangement is. Although the family probably won’t display the fruit at the funeral, the sweet treats come in handy when entertaining visitors or serving food at an after-funeral gathering.
- Paper Flowers: Okay, so this one is still a floral arrangement, but instead of cut flowers, these blooms are handcrafted from specialty paper. These elegant arrangements can be put on display and used at home later, since they never fade. If you have the skills to make the flowers yourself (as opposed to purchasing them), you can even choose poems or pages from a book that meant something important to the deceased.
- Buttons (or Pine Cones, or Film Rolls…): If you have creative skills and a little bit of time, there are endless possibilities to make a gorgeous arrangement. Was the deceased a quilter or seamstress? Buttons can make a beautiful arrangement. An avid nature lover? Pine cones and twigs can be arranged in an artful way. Take what you know was important to the deceased and turn it into a tribute no one will forget.
- Candy/Chocolate: Candy and chocolates tend to work well in bouquet form because they have a long shelf life. Although you do not want to push things into the tacky territory, an elegantly made bouquet (or one you purchase from a specialty provider) can send the right sentiment.
In fact, sentiment is key when sending any kind of gift in lieu of funeral flowers. Make sure respect for the deceased is foremost in your mind, and always include a card that both explains your choice and carries the proper condolences.