Sympathy & Funeral Flowers: Guide & FAQ
Our approach to funeral and sympathy flowers is driven by our first hand experience that flowers can have a positive impact on people’s lives and remain one of the most beautiful ways to express condolence when words cannot.
Choosing flowers for a funeral after someone passes away isn’t easy and many people struggle when deciding what to send. This quick guide is meant to help you, however, we truly believe that there is no "right" or "wrong" and in most cases, the family will appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to go our of your way to show you are thinking of them.
Flowers for the Ceremonies, Visitations, and Funeral Services
If you're looking to send flowers to a ceremony or funeral service, we recommend your budget begin around $150-$200 and go up from there based on the size and style of the arrangement.
Baskets, standing sprays, and wreaths make great pieces because they are large and stand out in a room full other floral pieces and people. Plant arrangements and orchids also make great pieces that can be taken home by the family after the funeral and enjoyed for much longer.
If you're a distant friend or colleague, or simply have a smaller budget, vase arrangements can also be nice gestures that can be taken home after the service. However, please be aware that these pieces can get lost in a large room and are sometimes set at guest book tables or as accent pieces off to the side.
Sympathy Flowers to a Residence
Sympathy arrangements are typically sent to someone's residence as a gesture of love, comfort, thoughts, prayers, etc. This is typically a vase arrangement but can also be a plant arrangement or orchid. Baskets can also be sent to a residence for a larger statement.
We believe that most anything will be appreciated but recommend spending a minimum of $125 on a vase arrangement as some people might be still mourning and not want to find a vase for a hand-tied bouquet.
Types of Arrangements
Funeral Baskets are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or church. These beautiful floral arrangements are displayed in decorative baskets or containers and make a lovely presentation. These arrangements can also be sent to the residence, but typically are sent to the funeral home, mortuary or church.
Green and Blooming Plants are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary, church, residence or place of business. These beautiful plants are displayed in a pretty pot or in a decorative basket and are appropriate to send to any location.
Sympathy Sprays, Wreaths, and Specialty Arrangements such as hearts, crosses, etc are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or church. These beautiful arrangements are displayed on a standing easel and make a spectacular presentation.
Vase Arrangements are appropriate for delivery to the residence, or a place of business of a friend or family member who has lost a loved one. Arranged in a beautiful vase, these arrangements are a tasteful way to offer your condolences.
Casket Sprays are flowers that adorn a casket. This arrangement is typically reserved for the closest family members to arrange for.
The larger arrangements for visitations and ceremonies typically start around $150. Smaller arrangements may get lost in a room full of large floral pieces and people. That being said, we believe the sentiment is what is most important and any size arrangement will be most appreciated by the family.
More common arrangements are stand-alone pieces such as baskets, wreaths and standing sprays. These pieces will make their way directly to the memorial service or funeral home.
The subtler, more personal, arrangements can be placed in a vase or small basket. These are great for the family to bring home and reminiscence.
Bouquets would be the least appropriate because they would need to be arranged into water and you want to be considerate of those who might be in mourning.
Not at all! In some cases, people don’t find out about the passing or the funeral date until it’s already passed. Sending flowers after this period of time often reminds the family of the departed,“We’re still thinking of you.”
Writing a message to someone who's just lost a loved one can be hard. We often get asked for help so we've put together some advice on writing your sympathy message:
- Give yourself about 10 minutes to reflect on what you want to say and don't rush your message
- Read your message out loud before you finalize it
- Acknowledge the loss
- Let the person know you're there for them
- Share a memory, if you don't have one, share a moment of appreciation
- Offers support and let them know you're available if needed
Every flower, when tastefully arranged, is appropriate for expressing condolences. A funeral service is about gaining closure following death but it’s also about celebrating a person’s life and honouring their place in this world. Selecting colourful and vibrant flowers are appropriate to showcase their spirit. This will add a cheerful note to an otherwise somber occasion.
Sometimes the family asks for a charitable donation "in lieu of flowers" and if you've already made the contributions, you can also send flowers. Your donation will honor the family's wishes while the flowers will be appreciated as it add beauty and life to a somber event.
When a group of individuals go in together on flowers, the arrangement can be very special and make a larger showing. There should be room on the floral enclosure card for several names, but if there's not enough space it is best to sign as a group, such as "The Staff in Accounting" or "The Munro Family." Include a contact name and address on the card so the family knows who to thank.
To make your floral tribute particularly special and unique, ask your florist to create an arrangement that fits the departed's personality. You could include his or her favorite flowers or colors, or a flower that had special significance in your relationship with that person. Whatever you do, the family is certain to appreciate the extra thought and effort you put into it.
The significance and use of flowers in funerals is often dependent on the religious beliefs of the deceased and the bereaved. There are some rules of etiquette to follow when sending funeral flowers, particularly in incidences where religion is a factor. Here are some very general guidelines, however if you are uncertain it is always advised to speak to a family member.
Buddhist funerals will almost always take place in a funeral home and never in a temple. Sending flowers is considered appropriate for a Buddhist funeral.
Eastern Orthodox practitioners are strict about three days between death and burial. During this time, flowers may be sent to the funeral home. White funeral flowers are seen as especially meaningful.
Hindus hold a funeral service on the day of death,before the sun goes down if possible. Sending flowers isn't part of theHindu tradition, but it may still be seen as a thoughtful gesture. You can safely send a nice funeral spray to commemorate the deceased.
Jewish tradition doesn't include the sending of flowers at death. . However, younger generations may be more open to receiving flowers at home or at the foyer of the synagogue. The practice of sending flowers is better understood by 'liberal' Jews, while Orthodox Jews may not be as appreciative.
Muslim or Islamic cultures may have differing opinions concerning funeral flowers, depending on their ethnic origin and perhaps even on what particular branch of Islam they are from. Ask the opinion of someone close to the family, if you can.
Protestants and Other Christian faiths accept all forms of funeral flowers. However certain branches or denominations further out of the mainstream (especially in some Reformed traditions) may have particular ideas concerning simplicity and adornment.
Roman Catholics welcome flowers and funeral flower arrangements. There may be some particulars concerning delivery of funeral flowers to a church or cathedral.
The cost of having a single rose delivered offsets the practicality, but you could do so. Some people bring a single rose and leave it during the funeral.