When you send flowers to a funeral or to the surviving family,
they send a powerful message of sympathy. In fact, specific flowers
have always symbolized what's sometimes so hard to say: love,
respect, and sympathy. What's more, the color and scent of flowers
can add beauty and warmth to a somber occasion.
- White lilies symbolize
sympathy, warmth and purity. Christian folklore believes the lily
- Carnations are a symbol
of undying love. Red carnations stand for admiration; pink for
remembrance; and white for pure love and innocence
- Tulips represent elegance
and grace; the red tulip represents perfect love
- Chrysanthemums symbolize
- White roses evoke
humility, innocence and youthfulness; red roses convey love and respect;
and pink roses symbolize courage, love and grace
- The daisy symbolizes
innocence and loyal love, for example, and would be a lovely choice
for a spouse who had been part of a long and loving marriage
- Apple blossoms symbolize
adventure, perseverance and hope
- Pineapples represent
If you do choose flowers with symbolism, make sure that at some
point in the service you communicate why you chose them.
If you were a co-worker of the deceased or part of an
organization they belonged to, you may want to organize a group of
people to pool their resources for a more costly arrangement. These
funeral flower arrangements can have an even greater impact.
Senders can be identified as a group: "The Elks Club", "Woodland
Garden Club", "4th Floor RN's". A card can later be signed by each
individual and sent to the family.
How much should you spend on funeral
According to Peggy Post, director and spokesperson for The Emily
Post® Institute, there is no
magic number which is considered appropriate. She suggests you get
a feel for what is customary to spend on funeral flowers in your
area, consider how well you know the family or deceased and be
practical - think about your budget when ordering a memorial floral
arrangement. That said, after doing some research she found the
average amount spent on flowers or charitable donations is about $50.
What to Send
Sympathy floral baskets and living plants
These are the most popular floral sympathy gift. You can choose
any type of plant to reflect the personality of the deceased. And
you can send it to the family's home or workplace or even to the
Floral wreaths, crosses, and sprays
These formal flower tributes are a traditional gift to send to the
funeral home. Because they are very time-consuming to make, they
can also be very expensive. Groups, companies or associations often
join together to send these elaborate displays to honor them.
These personalized designs feature the deceased's occupation,
clubs, hobbies, or even personality quirks. Good friends and/or
family members may order a music themed floral tribute if the
deceased loved music, featuring mini musical instruments
throughout. Or a set of mini golf balls for the golf
When a funeral service includes a casket, a casket arrangement will be needed
to drape the top of the casket. A direct family member of the
deceased usually selects the casket arrangement, keeping in mind
the deceased's favorite flowers or colors.
Lid sprays, often of roses or calla lilies, cover the unopened
section of the casket at an open-coffin funeral or viewing. They will also
cover the entire casket once it's closed.
When to Send Flowers to a Grieving Family
Sympathy flowers are usually sent to the funeral service or to
the family's home in time for the visitation or the funeral. But
there are no hard rules regarding timing. Flowers will especially
be appreciated after the funeral, reminding the family you are
still thinking of them.
"In Lieu of Flowers"
A death notice or obituary may include the expressions "in lieu
of flowers, please send donations to (CHARITY NAME)" or "family and
friends are making contributions to..." Though these phrases
donations, they do not mean other expressions of sympathy are
not appropriate. You can choose to send flowers and make a charitable donation.
Or, if you only want to do one, follow the family's wishes and
Remember to check our Heart2Soul Community to see if the family
has indicated an deceased's favorite flower or color before
ordering funeral flowers. There, you can also stay up to date on
service information or provide support by leaving a message for the
family or uploading photographs.