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Tips for Selecting the Proper Remembrance Arrangement

Even though you can select any kind of flower or floral style arrangement at the memorial service for the one you love, some flowers and arrangements are more commonly used at funerals and memorial services.

If you'd like to have flowers at a memorial service, think about the overall effect that you want the flowers to have. Some of the more common questions to ask yourself might be:

  • Do you want a couple of simple bouquets, or would you like a lot of lavish arrangements?
  • Would you like the flowers to display a celebratory or sombre mood?
  • What are some of the scents that you would prefer more than others?
  • You can also pick flowers based on their colour. Even though white is a common choice for flowers at a memorial service, you can also choose flowers based on your favourite colours, the favorite colour of the deceased, the colours of the current season now, such as fall bouquets or spring flowers, any other personal preference.

The flowers can be more theme-oriented, or you can elect to go with a wide assortment of different colours. The choice is personal, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Guide for Choosing and Sending Sympathy Flowers

While little can be done to ease the pain for someone who has recently lost a loved one, sympathy flowers are a longstanding tradition in many parts of the world as a demonstration of condolences. Funeral flowers add beauty, fragrance, and colour to an otherwise sombre occasion, and 99% of people who receive flowers believe that a giver is a thoughtful person.

At the same time, there are certain rules of etiquette that come with sending sympathy flowers. Read on to learn more about how to choose an appropriate floral arrangement as a show of grief.

Sizing the Arrangement

The type of flower arrangement you choose will depend on where you are having the flowers delivered. In most cases, large, standing arrangements can be sent directly from florist shops to funeral homes where the services are taking place. If you are sending flowers directly to a person's home, opt for smaller flower bouquets.

The Flowers

Any type of flower is appropriate for sympathy and funeral pieces, so long as a florist tastefully arranges them. However, some flowers carry certain meanings; white lilies for innocence, pink carnations for remembrance, red tulips for love. While many people choose subdued colours for sympathy flower arrangements, bright and lively spring bouquets can also serve as a celebration of the deceased's life.

The Card

Putting your feelings into a few words can feel difficult. Most sympathy or funeral flower cards will simply read, "Deepest sympathies," "With love and sympathy," or, "Our thoughts are with you." Be sure to include the first and last name of everyone who contributed to the flowers on the card — within reason.

When to Send

There is no wrong time to send sympathy flowers to a grieving family. Even if you only found out about the news after funeral services have already taken place, you can still send a thoughtful arrangement to the family's home, no matter how much time has passed.

When in doubt about the appropriate actions and steps to take with sending funeral or sympathy flowers, talk to the local florists. They will be familiar with local traditions and any preferred colour patterns for the service itself. The important part is to express your sympathy in whatever way you can.

What Different Funeral Flowers Mean

While any kind of flower looks beautiful and adds a touch of warmth to a home or house of worship as you honour the life of a person who has passed, it is important to understand the meaning behind the blooms you have selected for a funeral. Types and colours of flowers convey different meanings, so you want to be sure that you choose an arrangement that reflects the proper sentiment.

Lilies

Lilies are commonly associated with funerals, as they represent the innocence of the soul of the person who has passed. White lilies also signify sympathy and convey majesty and purity.

Gladioli

These tall blooms can grow up to four feet tall and create a classic and elegant look when placed in a funeral arrangement. They typically represent character, sincerity, and integrity, making them an appropriate choice for a funeral service. They come in a range of hues, including white, pink, salmon, green, yellow, and red.

Carnations

These flowers are a popular choice, as they are both long-lasting and sweet-smelling. Pink carnations indicate remembrance, while white ones signify love and innocence. Red carnations evoke admiration. These blooms are a popular fixture in funeral arrangements and work well for both male and female displays.

Chrysanthemums

 Mums are another staple of funeral arrangements for both men and women. In some countries — France, Italy, Spain, and Poland — chrysanthemums represent death and are used solely for funerals. However, in the United States, these blooms represent truth and are viewed in a positive light.

Roses

Though roses are one of the most popular and widely recognized flowers, they also have a place for honouring those who have passed. They can evoke feelings of humility and innocence and can also indicate feelings of love and courage.

Dark crimson roses indicate grief and sorrow, while yellow roses are often presented to the family of a friend who has passed. A single rose present in a bouquet is meant to indicate an enduring love for the person who has died.

Orchids

Orchids have come to symbolize eternal love and are an important part of sharing sympathies after the death of a loved one. Florists typically recommend orchids for those who are hoping to send a floral arrangement as a means of offering condolences.

Hydrangeas

 The hydrangea plant is a seasonal spring plant and can be enjoyed indoors or planted outside, making it a smart choice for a funeral arrangement. The plant will continue to bloom for many years and become a powerful symbol of that person's life for those who loved him or her.

Daffodils and tulips

These flowers are bright and cheerful and represent a renewal or a fresh start. Sending these blooms can provide support and encouragement for those coping with the loss of a loved one. They make a great choice for a sympathy arrangement.

If you are unsure what type of flower would be most appropriate for a floral arrangement for a grieving family, consult with your local florist. They can offer insight into the meanings and symbols behind the plants, ensuring that you make the right choice.

How Much Should I Spend on Funeral Flowers?

Sending funeral flowers is a common practice in this day and age, but that does not mean we have experience with it. If you recently experienced the loss of a friend or relative and you want to send a floral display to show your regard, you may be wondering how much you should spend. Depending on your relationship to the deceased, the type of funeral being held, and your finances, funeral flowers can cost anywhere from $30 to $800. Here is how to figure out what you should spend on a funeral arrangement.

How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost?

Very simple and basic arrangements typically fall in the $30 to $80 category. Like most floral arrangements (which are made to order and delivered free of charge), this will get you the flowers, the fillers, and usually a plastic vase or basket for delivery. Chances are, you will not get an out-of-season arrangement or anything elaborate for this price range. However, you will still get a professional flower delivery to help make the funeral look—and feel—memorable.

Once you start looking at larger displays, arrangements in crystal/glass vases, floral tributes, shaped wreaths, or even casket displays, the costs tend to rise. Most people spend around $100 for a nice arrangement, with the specialized displays moving upwards from there. (Casket sprays tend to be the most expensive at around $600 to $800, but the family usually purchases these.)

How Much Should I Spend on Funeral Flowers?

If you are like most people, you want to show your support without breaking your budget. If money is no object, you can look at specialized funeral flowers that include lilies, orchids, white roses, and other traditional bereavement blooms.

If you are on a budget, one good way to cut back is to choose carnations, mums, and other lower-cost flowers. You can also avoid "funeral" arrangements and consider other options – frequently, generic bouquets can be offered for less than funeral ones. Assuming you go for understated elegance and pastels, no one will be able to tell the difference.

Another great option for saving money on funeral flowers is to consider purchasing a group gift. Instead of five different people sending five different bouquets, you can all go in on a larger arrangement. This is socially acceptable in almost all situations, especially if you send the flowers as a family, workplace, or community group. By asking everyone to chip in $20 or so, you can develop a larger arrangement that will stand out at the funeral.

10 Most Common Funeral Flower Etiquette Questions

We answer the most common funeral flower etiquette questions to take the mystery out of ordering funeral flowers. 

Sending flowers for a funeral is a lovely way to remember and honour a beloved person who has died. Flowers have been used to celebrate life for centuries, and it is still a vibrant tradition for most cultures. A few cases might not be appropriate to send funeral flowers, such as those of the Jewish religion. If in doubt, check with the place of worship or funeral home.  

What is the difference between funeral flowers and sympathy flowers?

Funeral flowers are normally sent to the funeral or cremation, and sympathy flowers are addressed to the home or office of the deceased person's family. Usually, the flowers at a funeral or memorial service are ordered by close family members or relatives. These tend to be very formal arrangements, such as casket sprays or arrangements on large stands to decorate the church or funeral home. You can see some examples here. 

You can send flowers to a funeral and sympathy flowers, but be aware that if there are a lot of flowers, they may get left behind or not noticed by the family of the deceased. You can also take flowers to put on the grave if there is to be a burial.  

Should I send funeral flowers for the casket?   

The deceased's immediate family usually chooses Flowers for the casket, so if you are a more distant relative or friend, it may be more appropriate to send a smaller arrangement or plant or place a wreath at the graveside. 

You can also send sympathy flowers for the deceased's family to their home where they can enjoy them for longer. 

If it's appropriate for you to send funeral flowers, you can see a wide range which we have picked here: Order funeral flowers online

When should funeral flowers be delivered?

If you are sending them to the church, crematorium or funeral home, it is best to be delivered on the day of the funeral. You'd need to make sure the florist knows when the funeral is taking place, as it would be a shame if they were delayed.  

Make sure you order them early enough for the florist to deliver at the right time. Many do same-day delivery, but it would be safer to order them at least the day before, especially if you are ordering them from overseas. You can order flowers for worldwide delivery here. It may be appropriate to contact the church or funeral home to ask for advice about receiving the flowers. 

Alternatively, you could send a sympathy arrangement, plant or basket to the family's home. This can be done before or after the funeral.  

How much do funeral flowers cost? 

Funeral flowers start from around $50 - $80 for a small funeral spray and can go up to $1000 for a complete package, including a casket spray, arrangement and interior casket flowers. Have a look at these pages for some ideas. 

Who do you address the flowers to for a funeral?

Flowers sent to the funeral should be addressed to the funeral home, church or crematorium itself and make sure you include the deceased's name so that they know for which funeral they have been sent. 

You could contact the venue to find out the exact address, although florists will know where all the local places of worship and crematoriums are.  

What should funeral flowers say? 

Messages on funeral flowers address the person who has died directly, such as "Rest in Peace" or "We love you". We have a page of suitable messages for funeral flowers here. For sympathy messages addressed to family members or friends, you can find samples here. 

Where should funeral flowers be sent? 

If you are a member of the immediate family, it is appropriate to send your flowers to the funeral itself, or you may prefer to take your flowers to the graveside.

If you are extended family, you can choose whether or not to send funeral flowers to the place of worship or funeral home. You may find it more appropriate just to send sympathy flowers, messages or gifts to the home. If you knew the deceased well, it might be lovely to write a message that can be read out in the service. Often flowers can be overlooked and left behind at the funeral, so perhaps a gift to the home will be appreciated for longer.  

For friends and colleagues, it is usually better to send flowers to the family home or even the office of the bereaved. You can read more about sympathy flower etiquette here.  

Which funeral flowers should I send?  

The most appropriate funeral flowers are the ones that you know the deceased would have loved. 

Don't be afraid to use colour if you know which was their favourite. Otherwise, you can never go wrong with white. You will see examples of funeral flowers in red, white, yellow, blue and pink. The most traditional flowers for funerals are lilies, roses, carnations and chrysanthemums, but your florist will be able to advise you. 

There are different types of arrangements, including: 

  • Casket Sprays and interior casket flowers - usually chosen by the immediate family
  • Standing Sprays - often also chosen by the family to decorate the church
  • Wreaths can be for the casket or displayed on a stand or placed on the grave.   
  • Simple sprays - can be sent by friends and relatives and placed around the coffin or on the grave.  
  • Also, choose from unusual and unique arrangements, cross-shaped sprays, military flowers, heart shapes or flowers for a child.   

There are many examples of different types of funeral flowers and arrangements on these pages. 

What colour roses are best for a funeral? 

Roses are a beautiful flower for a funeral as they symbolize love, especially red roses. White roses are for remembrance and pink for admiration and gratitude. Yellow roses are for friendship. 

You can see examples of some lovely arrangements with roses here.  

You can send roses worldwide here.

What to do with the funeral flowers after the funeral? 

Families can take flowers home if they like, but often they get left behind, especially if there are many large arrangements. If there is a burial, they may be left on the grave.  

Often, churches or crematoriums will take the flowers to a local hospital or nursing home where the flowers can be enjoyed. I used to re-arrange some of the flowers if they were too obviously from a funeral so that they could be appreciated by the people who lived in our residence.  

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