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Flower arrangement for funeral

Things to Know About Funeral Flowers

Whether you are a close family member, close friend, or acquaintance of the deceased, flowers are a great way to show your sympathy. There are a variety of symbolic meanings behind funeral flowers, which vary throughout religions and customs around the world. They can represent the celebration of a person’s life, or simply bring comfort to grieving family members and friends.

If you decide you’d like to send flowers, there are a few things to know about the different types of floral arrangements available, where they should be sent, and when is the right time to send them.

Sympathy Flowers vs. Flowers for Burial Services

When sending flowers to be used for funeral or burial services, they should be sent directly to the funeral home. Funeral floral arrangements are typically large and formal, and may include messages of sympathy or a message about the relation of the deceased to the sender. These arrangements are commonly placed around the room during viewings or gatherings, as well as during any graveside burial services.

Sympathy flowers, on the other hand, are sent to whoever it is you are connected to that has experienced the loss. It could be a close family member, friend, colleague or acquaintance of the deceased. These arrangements are usually much smaller and more casual than funeral flowers. Sometimes, people prefer to send potted plants instead of flower arrangements, as they typically last longer.

Who Can Send Flowers for the Casket?

Sending flowers as a way of expressing sympathy is a thoughtful gesture; however, it is important to note that decorating the casket with flowers is a tradition that is primarily meant for the closest family members and friends, such as the children, siblings, and/or spouse of the deceased. If you feel that the family would appreciate the gesture and have a strong desire to send a gift of flowers for the casket, we recommend that you check with the family of the deceased before ordering a formal flower arrangement.

When to Send Flowers

No matter when you hear of someone losing a loved one, it is never too late to send flowers. If it is too late to send them to the funeral home, you can always send a smaller and less formal arrangement to the family and friends of the deceased at any time.

What Types of Flowers Do I Send?

Although no specific types of flowers are specifically inappropriate for a funeral or sympathy flower arrangement, there are some flowers that are more commonly associated with burial services, versus ones typically sent to a home. For example, flowers to be used for burial services are often larger and more dramatic since they’re being viewed from a distance, while arrangements meant for the home are often smaller in scale.

What Should I Say?

The beauty of sending flowers is that you don’t have to say a lot, since the flowers are a lovely expression of your sympathy. However, if you’d like to include a personal message, remember to include both your first and last name, so there is no confusion about who they are from.

It’s also important to remember that, in times like these, the thought is what matters most. If sending flowers doesn’t feel right for you, or isn’t feasible, there are other ways to show your sympathy and support. Lending a hand with cooking, cleaning, yardwork or any other household chore is a big help. And, simply being there for the family and friends of the deceased during their time of need – someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, a friend to laugh with – these are some of the most helpful things you can do to help those who are grieving.

Preplanning your final arrangements ensures that your family understands your final wishes and alleviates a great deal of stress.

Things to Know About Funeral Flowers - Phaneuf
  • Amanda Drew Reply July 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Recently, I learned of the passing of someone from my hometown who was like a grandmother to me. I live far away now, and I won’t be able to make it to the funeral. Still, I want to show my support. I like how you say that you can never send funeral flowers too late. I will have to find somewhere to get funeral flowers so I can send them to the family.

  • Katie Dunn Reply September 16, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    I’m going to a funeral next week and have been wondering about what type of flowers that I should send. However, I really like your point about bigger ones being for burial purposes and smaller ones being for the home. I think that I will have some roses sent as those are flowers that probably could be for the either the burial or the home as they are not too big or too small.

  • Margaux Ford Reply March 15, 2018 at 12:00 am

    I’m grateful for your advice on the symbolic meanings behind funeral flowers and sending larger flower arrangement for the burial service. My friend’s dad has recently passed away, and I’m considering on giving flowers for the funeral service. It’s good to know that flowers to be used for burial services are often larger and more dramatic since they’re being viewed from a distance. Thanks for the tips!

  • Kayla Reply March 16, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Our uncle passed away last night and my aunt doesn’t know what to do. My mom assisted her and suggested having a burial service and shared this article with her. It says that sending flowers is a thoughtful gesture of expressing sympathy.

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