Flower arrangements, sprays, wreaths and potted plants demonstrate sympathy during a time of bereavement. Below are frequently asked questions about etiquette for sending funeral flowers.
In general, the type of flower arrangement is completely up to you. One exception to this is the floral sprays that sit atop the casket. This traditional arrangement is typically left to the immediate family of the deceased.
Talk to your florist about funeral and sympathy arrangements that are traditionally used. You may wish to consider combining your floral gift with that of colleagues or other family members. Larger displays look beautiful in a church or cemetery setting and can also be easier to handle than a multitude of smaller arrangements. Don't distress concerning your choice of an arrangement; a professional florist can assist you with your selection, the only thing that matters is the message of support and love you are showing the family during this difficult time.
Many people choose to send flowers directly to the funeral home for display during the funeral service - and this is never an inappropriate choice.
You may also wish to send flowers directly to the family of the deceased. If you are considering this second option - you may choose to send the arrangement immediately or wait until some time has passed to show loved ones that you are still thinking about them and their loss.
While floral arrangements are the norm, it is certainly appropriate to send a house plant. These remembrances can later be placed in a memorial garden or planted at the grave site by the family. Contact your florist for house plant ideas that would be most appropriate.
The etiquette for cremation is the same as for casket services. You may still choose to send a spray or wreath to the funeral home.
If you are close to the family and they are sprinkling the ashes at a later date - you may wish to send a special floral arrangement to be left at this site. If you wish to do this talk to someone close to the bereaved to determine the appropriateness.
Flowers are a universal symbol of sympathy and support. If you have missed the funeral, it is always appropriate to send flowers. It is also appropriate to send flowers to the family of the deceased on an anniversary date, perhaps after a month or a year. This is a comforting reminder that you are thinking about them and their loss.