There is often an awkwardness surrounding the death of a family member, a close friend, a colleague, or an acquaintance. People want to send their condolences and sympathies, and they want to do so in the “proper” way. But they’re often confused about what to do or how to go about doing it. Funeral flower etiquette exists. The Floral Acres Florist & Greenhouse family wants to be there to help you choose flowers for every occasion – even those awkward and painful ones for which choosing appropriate plants or flowers can be confusing.
Why Are Flowers Used Today at Funeral and Memorial Services
The Language of Flowers may date back to the 18th century, and since then, people have used flowers to convey feelings that are too painful or too hard to express in words. Regardless of whether you’re sending flowers to a funeral, a memorial service, or the family of the deceased, the recipients understand the symbolism of your gift.
There’s A Difference Between Sympathy and Funeral Flowers
We often hear references to sympathy flowers and funeral flowers. While it’s tempting to think that they’re two ways of describing the same thing, that’s not the case at all. Funeral Flowers are the flowers you send to the funeral home or the place at which the funeral is held. When you send funeral flowers, the arrangement is a way of honoring or remembering the deceased. Sympathy flowers, on the other hand, go to the family of the decedent. When you send sympathy flowers, you’re supporting the family as they grieve.
Funeral flower etiquette dictates that you always address funeral flowers to the funeral parlor, with an instruction informing the funeral home personnel that the flowers are for the funeral of the name of the decedent. You can also take funeral flowers to the grave – especially if you’re a family member. Since funeral flower arrangements tend to be formal and large, it’s not unusual for the family not to see them, and they often get left behind.
Sympathy flowers always go to the home of the deceased person’s family. If you’re sending sympathy flowers to the family of the decedent, think about arrangements that are suitable for accent tables, mantlepieces, or to use as centerpieces. It’s common for relatives and friends of the family to stop by the family’s home to pay their respects. Some people may want to bring a gift of flowers at that time. Others may prefer to send flowers. You should always include a personal note with sympathy flowers.
The gift of sympathy flowers lets the family know that they aren’t grieving alone. Sympathy flowers may also show the family that there is community support for the deceased, and recognition of the life that they lived well.
The Types of Funeral and Sympathy Flower Arrangements and Who Sends Them
Floral Sprays And Wreaths
Large groups of people generally send floral sprays and wreaths as gifts. Funeral flower etiquette dictates that members of the family (including the children of the deceased, their siblings, and grandchildren) take care of the spray that covers the coffin. The family may ask the funeral home director to place a small flower arrangement inside the casket.
A company may send a wreath to pay homage to a deceased employee. Professional, social, or civic organizations may choose to honor a member who died in this way.
Vertical sprays and wreaths are often displayed at the funeral home, or on the alter if there is a religious service. Sometimes wreaths may be taken to the grave to honor the decedent during a burial service.
Close friends, immediate family, and other relatives may want to send a tribute arrangement to the funeral or memorial service location. Flower tributes typically pay homage to the deceased with custom designs that may have a personal focus that can be related to the decedent’s job or professional life, clubs they belong to, or hobbies they enjoy. Tribute flowers can also reflect the personality of the person they are honoring.
When to Send Funeral or Sympathy Flowers
There are no stone-engraved rules about the proper time to send sympathy flowers, but funeral flower etiquette suggests that you if you’re sending sympathy flowers to the family, it’s nice to do so as soon as possible. But sometimes people choose to send sympathy flowers a week or more after the funeral or memorial service. If you decide to wait to send flowers, be sure to include a note that lets the family know that you’re thinking about them as they grieve.
A Few of the Most Popular Funeral and Sympathy Flowers and Plants
- Pink carnations symbolize remembrance.
White carnations represent pure love.
Daffodils and Tulips
- Daffodils and tulips symbolize a fresh start. When people go through a rough time, tulips and daffodils represent hope (for the future.)
- In funeral flower arrangements, gladioli suggest character strength and moral integrity.
- The White Stargazer Lily symbolizes restored innocence.
- Pink and white orchids symbolize eternal love, but they are also the colors of mourning.
- The Dendrobium orchid and the Phalaenopsis are the best orchids to give as sympathy flower gifts.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
- A peace lily symbolizes harmony, innocence after death, and peace. For many Christians, the white peace lily represents the Virgin Mary.
- A dark crimson rose represents sorrow.
- A pink rose symbolizes appreciation and love.
- A red rose indicates love and respect.
- A white rose represents humility and innocence.
- A yellow rose represents strong ties.
If you want to send flowers to a funeral home or the location of a memorial service, plan to get the flowers there before the ceremony. With funeral flowers, you can arrange to have them delivered on the day of the service. **Floral Acres Florist delivers to funeral homes on Sundays.**
Floral Acres Florist and Greenhouse will always be there for you – regardless of whether you’re looking for sympathy or funeral flowers, or flowers for those happy occasions that mark the significant milestones in life.