How to choose sympathy flowersThere's something about the life and beauty of sympathy flowers that illuminates a house that has been darkened by a death. Flowers have been part of the burial process for centuries throughout the world. They comfort the bereaved with their beauty, and give hope with their colorful spirit.
In these modern days, many people are confused by the process of trying to comfort bereaved people, whether trying to write a card, knowing when to stop by, or when purchasing funeral flowers. The following guide will clarify the process of choosing the perfect flowers to express your sympathy for a funeral.
For the funeral service
If you are a close member of the family or you feel compelled to send flowers to the funeral service, there are several floral gifts available, detailed below. Some families request arrangements that can be sent to a hospital or nursing home after the service to bring joy to the patients there.
If you want the funeral flowers to last several days, such as for a viewing and a funeral, it's best to order them in water or floral foam.
Casket Cover: these large and expensive arrangements are usually purchased by a member of the immediate family and placed on top of a closed casket. They are available in half or full style.
Inside Casket Piece: this arrangement is placed on the inside lid of the casket in the case of open-casket funerals. It is usually supplied by a family member.
Funeral Spray: these are large arrangements assembled to be viewed from one side. They usually stand on an easel.
Wreath: likewise on an easel, these arrangements are viewed at the funeral and can also be taken to the grave site. Variations of the wreath may include an open or solid heart, or a bouquet arranged on a base of floral foam.
Funeral Basket: friends and extended relatives may want to send these arrangements to the service. Ask for a standing basket if you want the flowers elevated on a wire stand, or a floor basket to be placed on the ground or a stage.
For the family's home
It's always appropriate to send flowers to the home of the surviving members of the family, even if you missed the funeral service.
Sympathy Basket or Vase: these arrangements can be purchased by friends and extended family members to be sent to the service or the family's home. After it has been enjoyed at the funeral, the bereaved family can take it home.
Sympathy Plants: living plants, such as a peace lily or other blooming flora, will bring long-lasting comfort to the bereaved family. These can be sent to the funeral or directly to their home.
Don't forget to include a sympathy card
You will need to send a sympathy card with your sympathy flowers. If you are unsure what to say, click here for our guide on How to write a sympathy card.
Further sources of information
You may find our Sympathy flower etiquette page helpful too.
Visit our Amazon store to find books to help you through bereavement.