Sympathy and Funeral Flowers Etiquette

1. Where should I send sympathy or funeral flowers?
Most people have their sympathy flowers delivered to the funeral home or church, but you can also have them sent to the place where the funeral service will be held or to the family at their home.

2. What sympathy or funeral flowers should I choose?
The most popular choices are arrangements of fresh flowers, wreaths on easels, and European baskets (a design created with both green and blooming plants). Family members usually order the casket spray and any flowers to be placed inside the casket.

3. How can I make the flowers I send look special?
Think about the likes of the person you are honoring. If you know their favorite flowers or colors, share that information with the florist so those elements can be featured in the design. Sometimes symbols of their special interests, hobbies, and pursuits are incorporated into a funeral arrangement as well.

4. Can I bring flowers with me to the funeral home?

Yes, but give the arrangement or basket to the funeral director for placement.

5. How should I sign the enclosure card?
Use your first and last name. People may know more than one Mary; don't make them guess who sent the flowers. If the sympathy arrangement is being sent by a group of people, you can list everyone individually or sign, "The Canasta Club," and list a contact name so a thank you note can be shared with all.

6. What name should be inscribed on a ribbon banner?

Banners reflect the relationship of the deceased to the sender. For example, the banner on a tribute from a nephew or niece would read "Aunt" or "Uncle."

7. How much should I expect to spend?

That depends on what you order.  Larger arrangements including easels, baskets, wreaths, and sprays are priced from 150.00 and up.  Accent arrangements are priced from about $75. European baskets start at $45. Green or blooming plants are available at $40 and up. Delivery is additional.

8. What happens to the flowers after the funeral?

It's up to the family. Sometimes they'll donate them to a hospital or care facility or they may decide to take them home for continued display.

9. I didn't hear of a death until well after the funeral. Should I still send sympathy flowers?

Even if weeks have passed, it's still appropriate to express your condolences by sending flowers. People mourn long after the funeral; flowers will brighten their day and show the family that you are thinking of them.

10. Are there times when sympathy/funeral flowers are not appropriate?

Flowers are not traditionally sent to funerals for orthodox Jews or Muslims. However, flowers, plants, and fruit baskets are welcome at the family home.

Sending Sympathy | Terminology | Memory Motifs
Terminology | Memory Motifs | Sympathy FAQ

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