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Top Funeral Flower Alternatives

28th April 2017   Advice Funerals

Commemorating the life of a loved one with flower arrangements has been a long-standing tradition across the globe. Friends and family often send sympathy flowers directly to the bereaved or to the funeral director to be included within the service.

However, flower arrangements may not always feel like the right way to say you care, and sometimes, the family of the deceased may not accept floral tributes. It may be that the departed or their family would prefer not to have flowers, or that there is a limited budget for such decorations…

Therefore, it’s important to find a unique, appropriate way to pay your respects. Here, ISCA Funerals presents a list of the best items to contribute as an alternative to funeral flowers.


Condolence baskets and food hampers are a lovely way to support a grieving family. Providing food (especially made by yourself) is a truly considerate way to show the bereaved that you care.

Warm, comforting dishes will be greatly appreciated, as well as non-perishable foods that can be eaten when convenient. By alleviating the stress of preparing food, you are enabling the family to get through this difficult time without additional worries.

Below is a list of food ideas:

  • A basket of muffins/biscuits/cookies
  • Sandwiches
  • Homemade pie (sweet or savoury)
  • Lasagne
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Cauliflower cheese
  • Casseroles

A simple kind gesture

Showing somebody that you care can often mean more than any amount of money spent. Whether you offer to take care of young children in the family, invite the family around for a quiet lunch or dinner, or offer to pick up their grocery shopping, small acts of kindness can really go a long way.

Photographs / electronic photo album

If you are a friend or extended family member of the deceased, it’s a lovely idea to send framed photographs that may not have been seen by the family. This is a touching tribute to the life of the one you’ve lost, and as the weeks and months pass, they will more than likely be pleased to have photographs full of cherished memories.

Charity donations

Giving charitable donations instead of funeral flowers has become a popular alternative – particularly if the deceased had a favourite charity, or passed away from an illness. Moreover, if the deceased did not have insurance or the family had little money to contribute to the funeral service, charitable donations are a wonderful, respectful way to help keep the costs down.

A personalised CD

If you are close enough to the family of the deceased, it’s a thoughtful idea to create a playlist of their favourite music, as a way of showing family and friends how much that person meant to you. With a blank CD case, it’s a good idea to add images of the departed or their best-loved items as the album art.

House cleaning service

After a death, helping the family with a professional home clean is highly appreciated. Whether you select a one-off service or a weekly occurrence during the weeks after the death, you will be eliminating a source of stress from the grieving family.

Additionally, if you think that the family may want to accept the idea first, make them aware of your plans and ensure that they’re comfortable.

Potted plants

As beautiful as flower arrangements are, they are prone to wilting after a few days. The gift of a potted plant will provide a long-lasting alternative, and help to brighten up any room in the house. Choosing a plant that doesn’t require much water is a good idea, as this means that your grieving friend won’t have to worry about taking care of it too much. Top examples of these are as follows:

  • Jade plants
  • Crown of thorns
  • Succulents

Ornaments and memorial gifts

Unique ornaments and decorative, personalised items are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s an engraved memorial wooden cube or a photo frame with kind words in it, a thoughtful ornament is a great way to show how much you care. A physical gift, as opposed to flowers, is a kind gesture that will likely be remembered forever.

Dove release

Releasing doves at a memorial service symbolises peace and healing. This act can bring calmness, tranquillity and help to bring closure to family members and friends of the loved one. Dove releases can be arranged as part of the funeral, or as an after memorial.

Memorial Book

Memorial books make thoughtful gifts for those who are suffering a loss. After the funeral, bereaved families will likely still be grieving, and to know that there are memories to look back on provides great comfort.

Use letters, photographs, poems, cards, lyrics, quotes and personal stories to produce the book, and get other loved ones to contribute. It’s also a good idea to leave space for the family to add in their own personal comments.

A Day Out

Purchasing a day out for the grieving family is an incredibly kind gesture. Although they may not be feeling very hopeful in the early grieving stages, it is wise to provide the family with an invitation or card that explains what you’d like to do for them.

Always remain sensitive with this and choose an appropriate day with a gift voucher. Below are some examples of a day out that you may wish to select:

  • A trip down memory lane to the favourite places of the deceased
  • A spa day
  • A trip to the theatre
  • A river cruise
  • The Eden Project
  • Was your loved one a sports fan? Why not catch a game played by their favourite team

Low-Cost Funerals with ISCA

For funeral help and plans please get in touch. We specialise in Exeter and South West based funeral services and are committed to providing individuals and families with thoughtful and caring memorials.

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