It can be difficult to know what to say or do when someone loses a loved one. Sending bereavement flowers is a kind and thoughtful way to send your condolences after a painful loss.While sending bereavement flowers is a long-standing tradition, the etiquette involved is not always clear. There are many factors to consider when deciding on an appropriate arrangement.
Read on to learn more about properly selecting and sending flowers to those who are in mourning.
Where Should You Send Bereavement Flowers?Flowers are usually sent to the funeral home. They are displayed during the funeral and other services.
They're also sent to the homes of surviving loved ones as a gesture of comfort and condolence.
When Can You Send Flowers?In most cases, it's acceptable to send bereavement flowers at any point after the deceased has passed.
If you're aware of the date of the funeral, you may send flowers to the funeral home for display during the service.
You may have missed the funeral date and still want to express your sympathy to the family. Small and medium-sized flower and plant arrangements can be sent directly to the home in this case.
Cultural and Religious ConsiderationsFlowers are generally accepted as a gift of kindness during a difficult time. However, it's good to take cultural and religious preferences into consideration.
For many faiths and cultures, most flowers are acceptable. These include:
- Buddhists - white is preferred, red is not appropriate
- Protestant Christian
For example, Hindus commonly display garlands at funerals instead of other arrangements.
White flowers are preferred by Eastern and Greek Orthodox church members.
It's considered inappropriate to send flower arrangements that involve a cross or a crucifix to Mormons. Other arrangements are acceptable.
Flower preferences can vary among Muslims. While a simple arrangement is usually acceptable, those of the Islamic faith often prefer that a donation to charity is made in place of flowers.
Jewish funerals typically do not include flower arrangements, although some funerals now allow them at the synagogue entrance. You may send flowers to the Jewish home as a thoughtful gesture; however, fruit and food baskets are generally preferred.
Flowers should not be sent to a Jewish home during a Shiva call. This is the seven day period during which family and friends come to the home to pay their respects to mourn loved ones.
For Chinese families, color choice is very important if you choose to send flowers. White or yellow lilies or chrysanthemums are acceptable funeral flowers. White is most appropriate for funerals in Chinese culture.
White chrysanthemums are an acceptable flower selection for Korean funerals.
Many cultures and faiths are fairly relaxed about flower types. For these families, you may choose sympathy or funeral flowers based on colors or symbolism.
Who Can Send Bereavement Flowers?Anyone who knows those affected by the loss of a loved one may send flowers. There are no definite rules on what types of flowers to send. There are some loose guidelines, however.
Immediate family can send any type of arrangement. At a funeral service, theirs are usually on display close to and sometimes inside of the casket.
Extended family can send either a standing arrangement or something less formal that can be taken home after the funeral.
Friends, coworkers, and other business associates or acquaintances can send flowers to the funeral home or directly to the family's home. Most arrangements are appropriate, including living potted plants.
Selecting the Appropriate Flowers and ArrangementsThere are different types of funeral or bereavement arrangements that can be sent to funerals or homes. Here are some common arrangements:
- Wreath - represents eternal life, usually sent by immediate family
- Casket blankets - blanket of flowers draped over the casket
- Sprays - viewed from one side only and displayed at a service
- Casket sprays - obtained by immediate family and displayed on top of casket
- Floral arrangements - Any type, including cut flowers, containers, and baskets
- Potted plants - Continues to grow, symbolic of new life, can be brought home
- Inside pieces - smaller arrangements such as bouquets and sprays that are placed inside casket
Wreaths and large sprays, held upright by easels, are commonly used as a memorial display at funeral services, as well as large container arrangements.
Smaller container and basket arrangements are good choices when sending flowers to homes or offices.
Potted plants make wonderful living arrangements for homes and office spaces as well. They can be enjoyed long after funeral services as a living memorial.
Flower ColorsAs mentioned earlier, color choice is important in certain cultures, so make sure you're aware of any preferred or inappropriate colors before you make a selection.
For other families and loved ones, there are no set rules on flower types or colors.
You may wish to send something colorful and uplifting as a symbol of the celebration of life. Bright, cheery arrangements can be comforting and encouraging in times of sadness.
If you happen to know the deceased person's favorite color or flower, choosing an arrangement that includes these favorites is acceptable.
Simple white arrangements, especially of flowers like white lilies and carnations, are elegant, tasteful options. Arrangements that include white roses and greenery make lovely floral tributes as well.
Sympathy Versus FuneralSympathy flower arrangements are sent directly to mourning loved ones as a condolence during their time of loss. They are usually smaller and are used by the family as decor in the home.
Funeral flowers serve as a tribute and are intended to be displayed at a funeral service. They are usually large, formal pieces that are not suitable for display in the home.
When Family Requests Donations In Lieu of FlowersSome families will ask that you make a contribution to the family for expenses or to charities instead of purchasing flowers.
If this was the request, you may still send flowers; however, you should also make the requested contribution or donation.
A Thoughtful Way to Show You CareSending flowers to those who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one is a kind expression of sympathy.
It's the perfect way to let them know you care and that they are in your thoughts. It's also a lovely way to pay tribute to the deceased.
If you're looking for a timeless way to express your condolences, please browse our selection of bereavement flowers. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like more information on ordering arrangements.