Internationally renowned floral designers share their designs and their cultural habits when it comes to funerals and flowers. This time: our ambassador Klaus Wagener.
What are the traditions in Germany when it comes to funerals and funeral flower arrangements? And maybe even trends? Renowned German floral designer and owner of BLOOM’s magazine Klaus Wagener likes to create funeral flower designs: “Of course it is a sad occasion, but flowers are so meaningful at a funeral.”
Flower cross by Klaus Wagener © BLOOM’s
A little online research shows that dying in Germany is an expensive undertaking. Germans have the highest funeral costs compared to the rest of Europe. Burials are expensive but so are cremations, since it is obligated to burry ashes as well. That is why people search for alternatives like anonymous graves without tombstones. It makes you wonder if people are willing to spent money on funeral flowers? “They are, because it is part of our culture, says Klaus. But they will cut down on the flowers if the budget is tight.”
I find it important to design a meaningful urn decoration
In the more traditional German countryside people are mostly buried, but there’s a shift to cremations. “Even the older generation is contemplating cremations as a more practical option. They don’t want their children to have the burden of maintaining the grave”, explains Klaus.
Due to this tendency, urn decorations are requested more often. These designs are obviously smaller and therefor less costly. Klaus: “I find it important to design a meaningful urn decoration, because even though it is small, you can put a soul into it.”
Klaus advises florists to have good examples of their funeral flower designs, so clients can see what the possibilities are. And to have a close working relation with undertakers. “Like with weddings, I have noticed people are looking for something unique for their funeral as well. Just using traditional white lilies and chrysanthemums won’t do anymore. So be sure to ‘scan’ your clients and offer them that personalized design. Something that reflects the personality of the deceased. The flowers should tell their story. It is exactly what I aim to do with all my designs, tell a story.”
Funeral wreath by Klaus Wagener © BLOOM’s