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What color roses for a funeral?

What color roses for a funeral?

Choosing the right color roses for a funeral can be a difficult decision. The color of the roses you choose conveys certain meanings and sends a symbolic message to the grieving family. Typically, funeral flowers serve as a final tribute to the deceased and as a way to offer solace to the bereaved. As such, selecting roses in the appropriate color is an important part of funeral etiquette. In this article, we will provide tips on how to choose the right rose color for funerals and explore the significance behind different colored roses.

Traditional Funeral Rose Colors

There are a few traditional rose colors that are commonly chosen for funeral arrangements:

White Roses

White roses are the most traditional funeral flower. They symbolize innocence, purity, and peace. White conveys condolences to the family while representing the innocence of the soul passing. Sending white roses shows respect for the deceased and offers wishes that their soul has found peace.

Pink Roses

Pink roses express gentle affection and sympathy. They are appropriate for funerals when you want to offer caring thoughts to the grieving family. The soft pink color evokes a sense of fondness for the deceased. Pink roses can mix well with white roses in a bouquet.

Red Roses

Red roses are a classic symbol of love and romance. Although not as common, they can be suitable for the funeral of a close loved one like a spouse, parent, or child. The deep red conveys heartfelt love and can represent the passion and dedication of the relationship with the deceased. However, red roses may not be preferred for funerals where the relationship was complicated.

Meaning of Other Rose Colors

While white, pink, and red are standard, other rose colors may be fitting depending on the situation and your relationship with the deceased:

Yellow Roses

Yellow roses symbolize friendship. They are appropriate for the funeral of a dear friend or companion. The warm yellow color expresses the fond memories and joy shared with the passed loved one.

Orange Roses

Orange roses convey enthusiasm and energy. They reflect the vibrant spirit of the deceased. Orange roses can work for someone who was outgoing and vivacious and who lived life fully.

Lavender Roses

Lavender roses signify grace and elegance. Their soft purple color is soothing and expresses your sympathy in a gentle, understated way. Lavender works nicely for formal funerals.

Blue Roses

Blue roses are rare in nature and represent the unattainable or mysterious. While not traditional, they can make a striking arrangement and may suit a more eccentric personality.

Mixed Color Arrangements

It is common to use roses of different colors in a funeral arrangement. Some popular combinations include:

White and Pink

Mixing white and pink roses offers a traditional, respectful arrangement that shows caring thoughts. The white symbolizes reverence while the pink displays gentle affection. This duo works for most funerals.

Red and White

Pairing red roses with white roses creates a heartwarming arrangement that conveys deep love as well as peace and innocence. It allows you to acknowledge the passion of the relationship while showing respect.

Pastel Mix

For a soft, soothing effect, you can combine light-colored pastel roses like peach, lavender, light pink, and cream. Pastels convey sympathy and are appropriate for formal services.

Rose Color Meaning When to Use
White Innocence, purity, peace Most traditional funeral rose, conveys respect
Pink Gentle affection, sympathy For offering caring thoughts
Red Love, romance Funeral of spouse or loved one
Yellow Friendship, joy Funeral of a dear friend
Orange Enthusiasm, vibrancy For someone who lived life fully
Lavender Grace, elegance Formal services
Blue Mystery, unattainable For an eccentric personality

Number of Roses to Send

When selecting roses for a funeral, you will need to decide on an appropriate number. Some guidelines:

– For immediate family, 1 to 2 dozen roses is typical. This expresses your deep sympathy and love for their loss.

– For extended family and close friends, 1 dozen roses is standard. This shows you share in their grief.

– For coworkers, acquaintances, and general mourners, a smaller arrangement of 6-12 roses conveys your caring thoughts.

– For large public figures, extravagant displays with 100+ roses may decorate the service.

Ultimately, choose a number that seems suitable for your relationship with the deceased and their family. Price can also be a concern, so select a thoughtful amount you feel comfortable gifting.

Choosing Colors for Different Funeral Situations

Beyond the traditional meanings, the appropriate rose color also depends on the specific funeral situation:

Elderly Person’s Funeral

For the funeral of an elderly person who lived a long, full life, choose lighter colors like white, pink, lavender, or yellow. These represent their innocence and purity of spirit after their passing.

Middle-Aged Person’s Funeral

Mix white roses with red or orange varieties for the funeral of someone in middle age. This acknowledges their vibrancy cut short, while still showing respect.

Child’s Funeral

For the deeply sad funeral of a child, stick with all white roses. White symbolizes the innocence and brevity of their life. Adding a special teddy bear or angel figurine to the arrangement is also meaningful.

Tragic or Unexpected Death

In the case of a tragic or sudden death, choose red roses if appropriate for your relationship with the deceased. This expresses the deepest love and grief over the circumstances.

Formal Memorial Service

If you are attending a more formal memorial service, send classic white, pink, or lavender roses in a respectable arrangement befitting the solemn occasion.

Ordering and Sending Funeral Roses

Once you settle on the right color and number of roses for the funeral, you will need to order and deliver them:

– Order early, at least 2-3 days before the service, to ensure availability and timely delivery.

– Select a classy vase or bouquet holder that fits with the funeral setting.

– Include a ribbon or note with your message of sympathy and condolences.

– Have the florist deliver the roses directly to the funeral home on the day before or morning of the service.

– Alternatively, you can bring them yourself on the funeral date.

– Times and locations usually appear in the deceased’s obituary notice.

Funeral Rose Etiquette

When providing funeral flowers, keep in mind these etiquette tips:

– Focus on what your roses symbolize rather than an elaborate arrangement. Simplicity is preferable.

– Avoid flowers that can stain or mark suits and dresses at close-contact funerals. Lilies can sometimes stain.

– Do not send a giant bouquet that could block people’s view during the service. Funeral aisles are usually narrow.

– Include a note offering your condolences to the family on their loss. Share a nice memory of the deceased if appropriate.

– Be respectful in your arrangement and message. Do not make funeral flowers about your own feelings.

– Prepare sympathy cards for the family to send after the funeral concludes. Let them grieve in peace.

Alternative Flower Options

While roses are the most traditional choice, other flower types can also make meaningful funeral arrangements:

– Lilies signify innocence and purity, similar to white roses. Stargazer lilies have a classic elegance.

– Carnations are an affordable, long-lasting funeral flower that conveys remembrance. White and pink carry the same meanings as roses.

– Chrysanthemums symbolize loyalty and optimism. Their dignified blooms work well for those who served in the military.

– Tulips offer simplicity and elegance. Purple and white tulips express dignity and respect.

– Irises convey cherished friendship. Their blue-purple hues create a soothing arrangement.

– Daisies reflect innocence. Gerbera daisies add a gentle brightness.

Any flower in lighter, respectful colors can offer a fitting memorial. But roses remain the gold standard for funeral arrangements.


Choosing the right rose color for funerals requires an understanding of the symbolism and etiquette involved. Sticking with traditional white, pink, and red roses is always appropriate. But the specific color can also depend on your relationship with the deceased, the nature of their passing, and the tone of the service. Whatever your selection, roses thoughtfully arranged in a suitable color, number, and style will create a meaningful tribute to honor the departed. Be sure to deliver your roses properly and include a condolence message for the mourning family. With their beauty and fragrance, funeral roses remind us of life’s fragility while expressing hope that their loved one has found eternal peace.