Home > Floral Gift Giving Guide > funeral service floral etiquette

Richly Remembered
Shop Funeral Flowers By:
Casket flowers
Standing sprays/wreaths
Floor bouquets & baskets
Vase bouquets
Religious tributes
Photo & urn tributes
Browse ALL funeral
Decorative Urns & Planters
Funeral Flowers by Price:
$65 - $75
$75 - $100
$100 - $150
$150+
Funeral Flowers by Color Scheme:
Blush Funeral
Bright Funeral
Cream Funeral
Patriotic Funeral
Peach Funeral
Pink Funeral
Pink & Purple Funeral
Purple & Green Funeral
Red Funeral
Red & White Funeral
Tropical Funeral
Warm Colored Funeral
White Funeral
Yellow Funeral
Funeral Flower Guides:
Browse ALL Sympathy & Funeral
Funeral Customs by Religion & Culture
Meaning of Sympathy Flowers
Sending to the Home:
Sympathy Plants
Sympathy Bouquets
Sympathy Floral Baskets
Sympathy Gourmet Food Baskets
View ALL Sympathy to the home
Sympathy Flower Etiquette

funeral service etiquette

Flowers sent to the funeral home serve as a tribute at the service of the deceased. They add decoration, beauty, fragrance and life to a somber event. They are symbolic not only of love and sympathy, but also of eternity and immortality. Throughout the world, funeral flowers have played an important role in funeral customs because of their fragrant beauty and comforting qualities. In ancient times, tradition called for loved ones to use flowers and herbs to anoint the bodies of the deceased, while aromatic flowers and plants were used to decorate the burial site. Today, flowers remain one of the most beautiful ways to express our condolences when words fail us. Need help getting started? Shop our Funeral Collection by location, color or price. Or read on for more helpful information.

What's the difference between "funeral flowers" and "sympathy flowers"?

Flowers for the funeral service go to the funeral home. The arrangements are often large and formal and provide decoration and serve as a tribute to the deceased. They will look best in a funeral home and at graveside services. Funeral flowers are usually not addressed to a particular loved one of the deceased but are intended, instead, as a way to pay respect to the deceased themselves. Funeral flowers should never be sent to the home as they can be upsetting to grieving people when sent to home or office.

Sympathy flowers go to the home of the deceased. They should be addressed and sent directly to a loved one of the deceased (family member, friend, acquaintance or business associate) who has suffered a recent loss. They are usually smaller or mid-sized floral arrangements that look good on end tables or used as centerpieces. Plants also make a great sympathy choice because they provide a lasting reminder of your thoughtfulness and serve as a keepsake in memory of the recipient's loved one.

I just heard the sad newsů Is it too late to send funeral flowers?

No matter when you hear the sad news, sending flowers is always appropriate. If you still have time, you can choose to send a flower arrangement to the funeral service or if you already missed the funeral, then you could send a plant, food basket or sympathy flowers sent to the home of the surviving family members.

The obituary says "In lieu of funeral flowers," but I still would like to send flowers ľ is this appropriate?

As part of making funeral arrangements, family members sometimes request a charitable donation is made "in lieu of flowers". We think you should make the contribution, however it is also acceptable if you decide you would also like to send flowers to the funeral service. Your donation will honor the family request and the flowers will add beauty, fragrance and life to a somber event.
Shop for Sympathy Flowers

I am unsure on what to say and how to sign the card.

Most enclosure cards are pre-printed with messages like "Deepest sympathy" or "With love and sympathy." All you need to do is sign your name. You should use your first and last name to avoid confusion for the family. If there are a group of names, you should spell each one for the person taking the order to make sure he or she has the correct information. Also, take a look at our Suggestions for Writing Sympathy Card Messages page.

We collected money among the people in our office to send flowers. How do we sign the card?

When sending flowers from a group, sign the card with the name of the business or group or use the individual names on the card. Try to keep the name list as concise as possible. You might want to get a larger greeting card and have everyone sign it as you collect the contributions. Then bring the card to the flower shop and they can attach it to the design you are sending. Also, take a look at our Help Writing Card Messages page.

Example: Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. From all your friends at [BUSINESS NAME].

I'd like to send flowers to the memorial that can also be enjoyed at the viewing and church service.

For multiple day services, it is best to send flowers that will be designed in a container with water or floral foam. This will keep the flowers fresh for the longest possible time. Design styles include vase arrangements, baskets and container designs. Plants are also an excellent choice as they may be enjoyed in the home long after the services are over. Browse our Funeral Bouquet Collection for ideas.
Teleflora's Tender Tribute

In Memoriam Wreath

Is it appropriate to send flowers for the casket?

The tradition of adorning the casket with fresh flowers is typically reserved for the closest family members, often the deceased's children or those making the funeral arrangements. For that reason, it is recommended that you inquire with the family before ordering a gift of flowers for the casket.

Are there certain types of flowers that are not appropriate for sending to a funeral service?

Every flower when tastefully arranged is appropriate for expressing condolences. Designs that are going to a memorial or funeral service usually have larger flowers to create dramatic tributes. These might include gladioli, snapdragons, lilies, standard chrysanthemums, carnations and roses. Small-scale flowers in mid- to small-size designs are usually used for sending to the home. Only family members who are arranging the funeral should order flowers for the casket. You may also want to browse:
Sympathy Etiquette for Different Religions
Types of Sympathy Plants/Flowers and their Meaning

I'd like to send a colorful, less somber arrangement that celebrates life.

A funeral service is as much about gaining closure following a death as it is about celebrating the delight and energy the deceased brought to life. For that reason, selecting vibrant, colorful and bright funeral flowers are just as appropriate and can add a joyful note of remembrance to an otherwise somber occasion.


I am not certain where the service is being held. Can the florist help me?

Don't worry, if you have the name of the deceased and the funeral home, most florists have the local obituaries on hand to check them. You can trust the florist to take good care of your order and get your arrangement to the funeral on time. Also, it is possible that the florist may have multiple orders for the same funeral, so they will be aware of any theme or color scheme preferred, and they know the local customs.

I don't know what to send to a funeral that is out-of-town or overseas

If you are sending flowers to a service that is out-of-town, ask that the local florist who delivers the order to fill it "according to local customs." Then they will send the style of design that is best suited for the service. There are many types of services, from traditional funerals to memorial services. It is appropriate to buy and send funeral flowers to any of these services.

I want to provide an arrangement for the service, but I donĺt know what the set-up will be that day

Consider a funeral standing spray or wreath designed on a freestanding easel, which allows your floral tribute to be easliy moved around on the day of the service.

I want to honor our loved one at the church service in a symbolic way

While there are many Christian symbols that pay thoughtful tribute at a funeral service, one of the most striking is the traditional cross. A classic emblem of memorial and faith provides a lovely focal point. Browse our Guide to Honoring Different Religions and Cultural Customs at funerals also view our Sympathy Collection of Religious Adornements.
Sentiments of Serenity Spray


Facebook Google+ Twitter Pinterest Youtube instagram
LIVE CHAT NOW
SAME-DAY-DELIVERY
Teleflora Rewards
ę Teleflora, LLC All rights reserved. Teleflora LLC is a registered ISO and MSP of HSBC Bank, USA, National Association, Buffalo NY.