A Guide to Funeral Flowers

Funerals are a difficult time for everyone. The passing of a loved one is painful, and the thought that there’s nothing you can do or say to alleviate the pain makes them that much harder. For friends of the family, the most that can be hoped for is to honor the deceased respectfully and remember everything they gave to those around them.

Whether you’re arranging or attending, funerals are always a somber and sometimes stressful occasion. Losing a loved one is one of life’s hardest experiences, and it can be hard to know how to show proper support for someone experiencing such a tumultuous time. We can help you choose the right funeral flowers for the family and friends of the deceased.

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Flowers Help During the Grieving Process
There are a lot of common questions about sending funeral flowers. What kinds of arrangements are best to send? Is it ever inappropriate to send flowers? Where should I send flowers—the gravesite, funeral home, or a personal address? How much should you spend on flowers for a funeral? We can help you navigate through all the different options, to either prepare a beautiful ceremony, send your sympathies and most important, show emotional support for grieving family and friends.

Condolence flowers are thoughtful and caring and are more than likely to be appreciated, but abiding by funeral etiquette in your choices is very important.

Difference Between Funeral and Sympathy Flowers
The difference between “funeral flowers” and “sympathy flowers” is that funeral flowers will go directly to the funeral home to act as a tribute at the service of the deceased. They add decoration, beauty, and life to what can be an overwhelmingly somber event. Sympathy flowers are typically sent after the service.

Choosing the Right Flower Arrangement to Send to Funerals

flowers for funeral, sympathy arrangement in white and purple

There are many flowers that are commonly sent for funerals and memorial services. Of course, if you are aware of the deceased’s personal preferences, feel free to include some of those as well, within reason (a lot of bright colors might seem inappropriate to those who don’t know the connection).

Some flowers are more commonplace at funerals than others. When in doubt, lilies are the most popular funeral flower. They represent restored innocence to the soul of the departed. Similarly, white carnations represent innocence and pure love, where pink ones are used for remembrance. If the deceased had a favorite flower or color, it is appropriate to arrange a bouquet around those preferences.

Popular Funeral and Condolence Flowers
Lilies: Especially white lilies, which symbolize purity. At a Christian funeral, white lilies represent the deceased returning to the innocence from which they came. Peace lilies are another popular choice since they are associated with purity, sympathy, and innocence.
Chrysanthemums: In many cultures, white is the color of mourning. From France to China, white chrysanthemums serve as the go-to accompaniment for funerals.
Gladioli: A sign of the integrity and fair-mindedness of the person who has passed. They are a great memorial flower if in doubt of what to send.
Roses: Darker roses, such as black or dark crimson, are especially poignant when sending flowers to the family of the deceased. White roses are also commonly sent.
Carnations: With their variety of meanings, carnations are apt when sending condolence flowers to the family. Consider sending red carnations which indicate love and devotion, while pink carnations symbolize remembrance.
Which Sympathy Flowers and Why
An additional thing to think about when choosing flowers is what they will add to the day symbolically. Flowers are commonplace at funerals because they represent a sentiment of empathy. They are a visual representation of love, sympathy, and respect.

Dish Plants are an assortment of lush green plants or flowering blooms. These plants serve as a long-growing, low-maintenance choice to send directly to a family’s home. It is important to consider your relationship with the deceased before purchasing and sending an arrangement. Immediate family members traditionally order the larger flower arrangements like casket sprays. Friends and colleagues are encouraged to send smaller pieces: basket arrangements, bouquets in vases, and wreaths.

How the Flowers Should Be Presented
There are several different types of arrangements to choose from, specifically designed for funerals. It is important to note that the type of arrangement you choose is far less important than simply being present for your friend or family member in their time of loss. When sending flowers, you should aim for low-maintenance flowers that have enough life left in them to last well through the service.

Traditionally, condolence flowers, whether they’re meant for the home of the family or the memorial service itself, come in a variety of styles. Within standard funeral etiquette, they are all equally acceptable, so it comes down to your personal choice and what best represents your feelings.

Types of Funeral Flower Arrangements
Casket Arrangements: Casket wreaths and sprays should be saved for the immediate family.
Wreaths: In memoriam wreaths, crosses are popular arrangement choices and are appropriate for family and close friends to send to either the home or the wake. The circular shape of a wreath represents eternal life, while crosses represent faith.
Tied Sheaves: Tied sheaves are similar to bouquets but do not use a plastic wrapping. Instead they are tied with a suitable material and makes an appropriate arrangement for mourners to send or bring.
Funeral Sprays: Standing sprays are an arrangement typically purchased by the extended family of the deceased and displayed near the casket; they can be viewed from one side only and rest against an easel.
Baskets: Floral baskets make for a lovely display that come in an array of sizes and is usually delivered to the church.
Hearts: Hearts are a popular shape for funeral wreaths because they display a universal symbol of caring and love.
Pillows: Flower pillows are usually displayed in the casket though they can also be used at the home of family members. Traditionally, they represent the young children or grandchildren of the deceased.
Where to Send Funeral Flowers
Depending on your closeness to the deceased, as well as the wishes of the immediate family, sending flowers to the home of the family may or may not be acceptable. There are a lot of things to take into account and if in doubt it is best to call the funeral parlor.

Home of the family: If you are on personal terms with the family and know that it would be acceptable for them to receive flowers, then you can consider sending condolence flowers to the family directly.
Funeral Director: If you are unaware of the precise wishes of the family then it is best to check with the funeral parlor itself and do what they suggest. In general, it is always a safe option to send your chosen flowers there.
Place of Worship/Crematorium: Depending on the tradition or wishes of the deceased it can be normal funeral etiquette to send condolence flowers to the place where the final service will be held.
When Not To Send – Be Cognizant of Cultural Traditions
While it’s always a beautiful gesture, it isn’t always appropriate to send flowers. It’s important to know flower-giving traditions in different traditions. Some cultures do not receive flowers, such as the Jewish and Islamic faiths. In Judaism sending flowers to the service is not appropriate, but it can be appropriate to send sympathy flowers to the home of the family or make a donation to charity instead.

In Buddhist ceremonies, white flowers represent mourning while bringing red flowers is considered poor etiquette. If a family requests that in lieu of flowers you make a donation to a beloved charity, you may do that instead. The best approach when wondering if flowers would be an appropriate gesture is to reach out to the funeral home or a family friend/relative close to the situation who could provide some guidance.

Support the Family and Friends
While flowers are a physical representation that you’re thinking about someone while they are grieving, nothing can replace your support for them. It doesn’t need to involve a huge gesture, but being there for someone, offering to spend some time together, reaching out, can be a wonderful way of showing your sympathies.

We know exactly how to say what you want through flowers. Our selection of bereavement flowers is as beautiful as they are meaningful, and will help you express sympathy in a genuine manner. Whichever way you plan to mourn the deceased and support their family, even if you are unsure of the most appropriate funeral etiquette, we are here to help you through difficult times with small gestures of kindness that have a big impact.