What About After? Whether Or Not To Arrange For In-Ground Vase Space At A Grave

If you are pre-planning your funeral and burial arrangements, you'll have to make a lot of detailed choices. One of these concerns the in-ground vase for floral tributes after the funeral. The vase is generally one of the less expensive options you can choose when designing your grave marker, but even then, it can add to that final tally. If you're trying to reduce costs, consider these four things to determine whether the in-ground vase will be a smart buy.


Technically, you don't need a vase at the gravesite if people want to leave flowers; they can lay the flowers across your grave marker or in front of the headstone (some cemeteries use flat horizontal markers while others use upright headstones). But wind can cause light bouquets and single flowers to swiftly blow away from the grave, and that can be annoying to the person who left the flowers. It can also create a mess as random flowers end up scattered across the cemetery. If your burial plot is in an area subject to fairly high winds, getting an in-ground vase may be a good idea.


It's a sad fact of cemetery life: Live people steal things from dead people, and flowers and plants are huge targets. Sometimes the thieves are other mourners who swipe flowers to put on other graves; other times the thieves are professionals looking to resell the bouquets and plants. The Star Tribune in Minnesota reported in 2008 that cemeteries have had to add security to prevent thefts, and WREG in Memphis reported in 2013 on a trio in Mississippi who were charged with stealing thousands of dollars of floral arrangements, toys, and other items left at graves with the intent to sell the items. The three had actually opened a flower and gift shop -- and gotten a business license as well -- in anticipation of the sales.

If you don't want to risk theft, you may want to skip the vase and ask family to just leave good thoughts when they visit.

Walking Safety

In-ground vases are placed very close to the grave marker or headstone. However, in cemeteries that use flat markers, it's not unusual for funeral attendees to have to step on the markers to gather around a burial site at a funeral (these graves are often placed very close to one another, necessitating this maneuver). The addition of a vase can create another hazard for people trying to walk to the burial site. Even though it's up to the people who are walking to watch where they're going or where they're standing, sometimes the idea that your choice might cause problems for others can be uncomfortable. If you trust people to watch out, the vase isn't a bad idea. If you really don't like the idea of adding a potential hazard, skip the vase.

Visitation Frequency and Time

Are you expecting family to visit your grave for many years, or do you think or know that people will move away and not be able to show up at the cemetery that often? If you don't think people will be able to show up often, maybe skip the vase and save the money. But if your family has a tradition of showing up to honor deceased loved ones often, then a vase could work out.

If you'd like more detail about in-ground vases, talk to the funeral home and also to florists near the cemetery. They may have additional pros or cons for you to consider. Click here to learn more about funeral flowers in your area.