Choosing Funeral Flowers and Maintaining Sympathy Flower Etiquette

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Expressing condolences is one of the trickiest things to do. You have to say it right and don’t go overboard with it. Yes, you can say it with flowers but you might want to know that even with flowers, you need to follow certain etiquettes to ensure you don’t offend the family members and relatives in process.

MayaFlowers brings you a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you choose flowers for a funeral and let you maintain funeral and sympathy flowers etiquette.

Is it alright to send flowers at all especially to a grieving family?

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Sending flowers to express your respect and grief is completely alright and it is nothing new. People have been sending flowers in the fond memory of deceased people since times immemorial. Sympathy flowers often work as guardian angel for the bereaved family, signaling them to the endless cycle yet immortal truth of life and death. These also add a certain hope and breathe optimism into the otherwise somber scene.

What’s the difference between sympathy flowers and funeral flowers?

As the name suggests, funeral flowers go to the place where funeral is being held. These are meant to pay respect and homage to the deceased person. Sympathy flowers are usually sent to the grieving family members who could use some hope and peace in the form of flowers.  These go to the home address and are directly addressed to a family member.

What flower arrangements should I choose?

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Usually any flower can convey your sympathies and heartfelt condolences but a proper arrangement is a must. And hence, you see usually wreaths and somber colors at the funeral house.  However, a standing floral arrangement can be a better way to express your condolences and support to the bereaved family.  You can also opt for traditional flower arrangement for funeral such as planter basket, comforting sympathy basket or simply a mid-sized sober bouquet.

There are funeral services that are extended to several days and for such services, funeral wreaths and standing floral spray aren’t a good idea as they don’t have access to water and can wilt within a day. Hence, go for pastel shade bouquets wrapped around with floral foam in a container so that they can stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Please make sure that you respect religious and personal beliefs of the family while sending flowers.

I’m not related to the deceased. I used to do business with him once.

At such times, every bit of support could mean a lot to the family members. It also lets them see the deceased person in a different light and understand that not just in personal space but also he was respected and appreciated across all the spheres of his life. Hence, you can go ahead with sending funeral flowers to home or at the funeral place without giving it a second thought.

I came to know about the funeral very late. Is it okay to send flowers now?

Yes, of course. There is nothing harm in sending flowers whenever you come to know about the sad news. You can add a personal greeting acknowledging the reason of delay such as being informed late or not being around at the time of funeral.

What should a sympathy note be like?

You can’t put norms or set regulations on how you feel when a familiar person is no more with you. Just be yourself, and write what you feel. It doesn’t have to be too long as even a few words can express your feelings.

There is an ‘in lieu of flowers’ note. Should I still send sympathy flowers?

Usually, the immediate family asks the visitors to donate or make some charity instead of spending money on flowers, which itself is a very great deed.  However, you can still bring or send sympathy flowers as an additional gesture to the relatives at home, at the altar or place of worship.

We are planning to send sympathy flowers as a group. How do we sign off?

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If you know the deceased from the work place or some hobby group, it is better to sign off the enclosure card as a group like ‘XYZ reading group.’  If there aren’t many members in the group, make sure to include first and last name of every sender to avoid the confusion.