Funeral Flower Etiquette

Proper Flower Funeral Etiquette: When You Should Or Should Not Send Flowers To The Bereaved

When a person dies, many people send their condolences to the surviving family members in the form of flowers or basket gardens. Of course, customs will differ based on the religion or ethnicity of the family but most are sent to the funeral home, church or family home. While Jewish families are the exception, there has been some changes to this tradition and has become much more accepted among the culture.

In an obituary announcement, the family may ask that donations to a specific charity be made in lieu of flowers. Proper etiquette dedicates that you follow their wishes.

When you send flowers, it’s best that you have your first and last name on the card, as the family may know many different “Stacy’s” or “James’s”.

How To Choose The Right Flowers To Send Your Sympathies

Flowers, in a conventional sense, represent new life or development. When seen at funerals and mourners’ homes, the flowers are intended to bring comfort and warmth to the atmosphere. While flowers are not obligatory this day in age, it’s the one way folks express their feelings for the deceased and show family members that they are concerned for what they’re going through. Flowers may be ordered from a florist or website and delivery can be made to either the residence or funeral home.

Funeral home flowers will need to arrive before visiting hours, typically before the family shows up. If there is no time before the visiting hours, a plant or flowers should be sent on to the grieving family’s home. You might be wondering why you should consider sending a potted plant to the grieving family members. The potted plant is symbolic because it lives on and grows.

5 Common Conventional Flower Arrangements Seen At Funerals

Funeral flowers are typically classified by the part they play. Here are five common flower arrangements often seen at funerals:

  1. Casket Sprays - Immediate family members generally organize these flowers, as they typically sit atop the casket.
  2. Floral Arrangements - Any kind of floral arrangement such as container arrangements, cut flowers or baskets.
  3. Inside Pieces - These floral arrangements are put inside the casket.
  4. Sprays - These floral arrangements permit one-side viewing only.
  5. Wreaths - This commonly seen circular floral arrangement is a representation of eternal life.

How To Pick The Right Funeral Flowers

Any flower and any color will do at a funeral or the griever’s home. Of course, there are several favorite flowers that do well in funeral floral arrangements such as:

  • Roses
  • Lilies
  • Carnations
  • Gladiolas
  • Chrysanthemums

White lilies are a representation of peace while red roses are a representation of love. Should the deceased have loved a certain flower and/or color, it can be comforting to the grieving family to be given a floral arrangement that contains that specific flower or color.

When Is Giving Flowers Not The Right Thing To Do

There will be occasions when sending flowers is considered inappropriate. For example, if the deceased family’s request is to have donations made, it would be best to follow their wishes and not send flowers. Many cultures and religions are fine with the sending of flowers to a funeral. However, it would be wise to remember that some faiths, like the Islamic and Jewish faiths, do not customarilyaccept flowers.

Under Jewish law, burial must generally be within three days so flowers are never thought of as necessary. While it’s not customary to send flowers, it’s not outlawed. In fact, some folks have started sending flowers to the funerals of Reformed Jews. The customary thing to send Jews who are mourning is a fruit and food basket.

In the Islamic culture, some people will send funeral flowers while others do not. It is common to put individual flowers, palm branches and other kinds of greenery on graves. Hindu funerals and flowers don’t traditionally go together but that doesn’t mean they’ll be turned away if they’re sent.