Coping with the loss of loved ones is a challenging task for many, and the pressure to preserve their memories is difficult to manage during a difficult time. Many families looking to honor their loved ones decorate their graves with floral arrangements that bring life, joy, and color to an often-demanding day. Cemetery florals have been a long-standing tradition of memorialization throughout history, but with the advancement of technology and as personal and ecological motivations change, these traditions are likely to change as we do. In this blog post, we explore the future of cemetery florals, and the latest trends and innovations helping families memorialize their loved ones.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience, and sending sympathy flowers can be a meaningful way to express support for the grieving family. While not necessary in modern funeral practices, floral arrangements sent to the bereaved, or brought to the grave or memorial site directly, are a common way for friends and extended family to show support for those experiencing loss. Following the service, the family may choose to lay some of the flowers on their loved one’s grave or take the remainder home for commemoration. Traditionally, these flowers would be chosen in whites, ivories, and soft pastels, unless the deceased had certain flowers or colors they were known to love. Today, the family’s personal beliefs and requests are considered, which may be environmental or waste related.
A growing trend toward sustainability asks for an assessment of the impact of floral arrangements. For example, while beautiful, bright flowers are sometimes dyed with artificial dyes. These dyes can be detrimental to the environment, both in their production and as they begin to decompose. To reduce this eco-strain, families can ask their florist whether dyes are used and request local or organic flowers. Alternatively, for families interring their loved ones in green cemeteries, there may be the option to grow native plants at their grave site, encouraging an even more environmental approach.
Dried flowers for funerals are also likely to face a boom in popularity in the coming years. While previously, superstitions associating death with dried flowers and a lack of awareness of their longevity kept them from being popular choices, the push for eco-friendly options will support their rise. Dried flowers offer the same warmth and beauty as fresh flowers, providing families with long-lasting keepsakes that can be taken home after service to memorialize their loved ones.
Overall, sustainability and eco-friendly approaches will likely become a core value for many families looking to memorialize their loved ones. Artificial flowers are another option previously discounted but may now face a revival. While they do produce significantly higher carbon emissions, once reused enough times, these emissions become lower than with traditional floral arrangements. Biodegradable faux flowers have a shelf life that extends far beyond regular flowers and can be created with eco-friendly artificial alternatives or recycled materials. With that being said, there are debates about the place of artificial flowers in cemeteries, within the industry, with some cemeteries even banning their use.
Another trend becoming increasingly popular is the personalization and customization of funeral arrangements. With the increasing digitization of our world, personalization has become ever-present and expected by many. New research even suggests that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences; given this, it’s no surprise that this practice extends to the death care and floral industry.
With this, families are personalizing their farewell ceremonies for their deceased family members more than ever before. From custom floral arrangements in the shape of guitars to personalized floral sports jerseys, unique floral designs are an increasingly common way for families to memorialize their loved ones with something a little special.
Digitization will be the final major trend within cemetery florals. Increasingly, the bereaved want access to information at any time, wherever they are. This push will extend beyond florists on website offerings, with a centralized pathway for all death care services to become the new norm. While many funeral homes and cemeteries currently have relationships with florists, this bond is likely to develop even further as customers expect their death care provider to arrange all services.
Floral programs within byondcloud offer excellent support for this, with software allowing death care providers to connect directly with their customers with inbuild mail and email campaigns. Featuring simple templates and automated notifications, floral programs integrate the entire supply chain with a single dashboard to keep track of the process.
Floral programs allow death care providers to offer a comforting touch to families during difficult times. Automated reminders can be sent to families on significant dates, whether personal, religious, or cultural, providing families with an opportunity to have flowers placed for their loved ones. This takes the pressure off families to manage graveside floral arrangements during difficult anniversaries, while also providing a simple yet compassionate way for death care providers to offer support and maintain connections.
Beyond this, there’s no doubt that virtual and augmented reality will eventually become part of the future of memorialization and cemetery florals. Already, augmented reality has entered the death care industry with smart technology that links online memorial sites to graves and urns. As this develops, there’s the potential for eco-focused families will begin using technology like this to decorate their loved one’s funeral with digital flowers that can be experienced by using AR.
In 2020, the NFDA even allowed virtual potential to become a reality, with a VR memorial experience that began in a church and ended in the woods with a campfire tribute and fireworks. As these experiences develop, the role of florals in these realities will also be an even more cost-effective option.
As our world rapidly changes both in available technology and shifting values, there’s no doubt that cemetery florals will change with us. The industry must remain open to these changes to continue providing the best support for families. Whether by encouraging sustainable practices with their partners or using tools like byondcloud and floral programs to streamline and nurture their connection with their audience, death care providers must continually reassess to ensure they provide the best and most inclusive support.
Automated floral reminders can be a wonderful way for cemeteries to connect with their audience by reminding families before important events occur with easy-to-use templates to facilitate orders. If you or your business would like to discover more about automating floral reminders for your cemetery, we would love to help.