Cheap Funeral Flower Alternatives
As traditional signs of bereavement, sympathy flowers make a great gift to a grieving family in the midst of funeral planning. Your added touch will help make the memorial service beautiful, and will serve as a visible banner to guests of how much the deceased meant to you. So, too, can the flowers go on to be donated to a favorite charity or taken home as a reminder—a gift that continues giving after the body has been laid to rest.
Unfortunately, tough economic times mean that not everyone can afford an elaborate funeral flower display. You might also wish to make a donation to one of the deceased’s favorite charities (or to the grieving family) and spend less on a sympathy gift. Both of these situations are common and acceptable.
If you want to show your support but are not planning to buy sympathy flowers at this time, here are a few alternate suggestions.
- Potted Plants: Potted plants tend to cost less than fresh-cut flowers and can often be just as visually stunning. These have the added advantage of being eco-friendly, making them ideal for a green funeral.
- Hand-Cut Flowers: If you are a gardener or have access to the deceased’s favorite wildflowers, consider going the hand-cut route. Funeral flowers only last a few days, so there’s no reason why you cannot create your own stunning bouquets.
- The Gift of Time: In the days following the death of a loved one, there is quite a bit of work to get done in the deceased’s home and with his or her family. Consider a specific offer to help clear out the deceased’s house, lend a moving truck, do laundry, run errands, cook meals, or babysit. Contributing your gift of time tends to mean a lot more in the long run anyway.
- Make a Photo Collage or Music CD: If you have any creative skills, consider putting them to good use. Have family members and friends send you photos for making a photo collage. Ask about songs with significant meaning and put together a CD for the family to keep.
- Write a Sympathy Letter: Skip the funeral card and send a handwritten note instead. A heartfelt letter about what the deceased meant to you, or sharing a special memory, will be cherished.
- Thank You Writing Services: One of the most daunting tasks for any newly bereaved family is writing the thank-you notes to attendees, gift givers, and other well-wishers at the funeral. Offer to pick up thank you notes and stamps. Ask if you can write and mail the notes for them. Your help can take quite a bit of stress away from this project.
- Know When to Help…and When Not To: If you are unable to make a financial contribution, you may want to help out with the funeral plans, the memorial service, or other event. While this is kind of you, be sure to respect the family’s need for privacy during this time. Help when it is asked for, show your willingness to pitch in, and step away. Oftentimes, a little silent distance is all that is needed.
There is no reason why showing your support should be an expensive endeavor. With some creativity and your heart in the right place, you can spend little to no money and still play a contributing role in making the funeral a success.