Designing Funeral Flowers for our Celebration of Life Menu

Funeral flowers from Native Poppy San Diego

Starting this week, we are honored to begin offering funeral flowers in our new Celebration of Life menu. We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in this new way – helping you honor the life of a loved one with artful flowers that feel truly special.

Losing a loved one is heartbreaking, and planning a funeral is one of life’s most challenging experiences. Memorial services and funerals are a time to grieve, and also a time to remember a loved one, and celebrate what made them special. At Native Poppy, our mission is to spread love through the power of flowers. We believe that flowers can help us share love and support when our sorrow leaves us at a loss for words.

Designing our funeral flower offerings

Our goal in creating our new Celebration of Life menu is to create flowers that would honor your most important relationships – beautiful designs that would bring light to a dark moment. “It’s always been part of our plan to expand into funeral flowers,” said Native Poppy’s founder Natalie Gill. “Flowers are used traditionally as tokens of love during times of sadness and grief. We believe funeral flowers and sympathy flowers should be designed with the same level of artistry we put towards flower arrangements for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.”

Greenery garland for a memorial service

Funerals and memorial services are an opportunity to celebrate someone’s life, to honor their impact and all the ways that they left a mark on our hearts. After six years in business, our florists have refined our style and created beautiful flowers for all sorts of events. “We have an incredible team that can help bring this offering to the community,” said Meg Blancato, Vice President and part owner of Native Poppy.

“We are ready to step into the world of funeral flowers, so we can flower for you throughout all of life’s most important moments.”

Planning which items to add to our Celebration of Life menu posed a challenge. “We scoured the internet for inspiration, and struggled to find examples of garden-style funeral flowers that felt vibrant and full of life,”  said Natalie. “Funerals aren’t usually photographed, so we relied on advice from other florists and funeral directors to help guide our choices as we built this menu.” 

Casket floral spray

“We added a few items to our Celebration of Life menu that are very traditional, like our Casket Floral Spray and our Fresh Floral Wreath – two options often expected for a funeral service that add beauty to a somber occasion,” said Natalie. “We wanted to create our own approach to these classic designs, building them in a way that feels authentic to what our customers love in our other floral designs.” Meg agrees, and added, “Our funeral flowers are different because they are built in a whimsical, wild, garden style - unlike most traditional offerings. We build in modern color palettes and source really unique blooms to create individual works of art.”

Designs guided by our community 

For our photoshoot, we were honored to be invited by Funerals Your Way to visit their memorial service space, and learn more about how we can best serve clients who are mourning a loss. Their advice helped us fine tune our designs to be well suited for funerals, including Biodegradable Floral Wreaths for burials at sea, which Funerals Your Way is well known for — that’s the offering that started their business a decade ago.

Florists arrange funeral flowers

We took photos of the new floral designs at POP Studio in North Park with our photographer Liz Martin, where we reflected on all the feedback we’ve received from customers looking for Sympathy Flower Arrangements. “We want to let our customers guide us,” said Natalie, “Their requests should be at the forefront of our mind as we build each arrangement.” We’ve built in options for customization into each item in our Celebration of Life menu, including the ability to select your own flower color palette. With sympathy flowers, we want to honor your loved ones with flowers that are special and unique to their memory.

Funeral flowers unique to your loved one 

Loss is something we will all experience in our lifetime. As Natalie and Meg planned the items that would appear in our Celebration of Life menu, it provided an opportunity to reflect on what they wanted for their own funerals.

“We added Carnation Garlands on the menu because I hope my funeral will be a celebration of my life — with flowers EVERYWHERE,” said Natalie. 

For our founder, a memorial service is an opportunity to create a beautiful space for her family to mourn and honor her memory. “I had a vision of a room filled with flower garlands. I had to have them on the menu because it’s what I would want.”

Funeral flowers designed by Native Poppy

Meg also found that the process of designing our Celebration of Life menu made her pause to reflect on what she would want for herself or a loved one.

“While researching and creating a mood board for our photoshoot, I was struck by the lack of individuality of funeral flowers - they all looked the same,” Meg said. “I would want something one of a kind, and full of whimsical, colorful blooms that take your breath away. Things that blow in the wind a little.”

Handwritten sympathy card

Customization is an important feature of our sympathy flower offerings. Beyond just color palette customization, our florists can also offer guidance in selecting funeral flowers that will best suit the location of a memorial service. For all our designs we offer the option to add a handwritten note, to express your condolences in your own words. Our florists write hundreds of sympathy notes for our customers every year — it’s one small way we can support our community during difficult moments.

“We want to honor our community with these new designs. We didn’t want to offer the industry standard. It was important for us to take the time to approach these designs with intention and authenticity,” said Natalie.

While we’re confident about our floral designs, we know our team is going to learn a lot this year about how best to serve our customers in times of crisis and grief. Meg reflected, “My biggest hope for this collection is that it brings a moment of light and breath of air in an otherwise dark and heavy time to those grieving. And so that people feel their loved ones are being honored in a special and artistic manner, as unique and captivating as those no longer with us.”