One way to show respect and love to the deceased and the grieving family is by sending a funeral flower. A funeral flower doesn’t just serve as a decoration at the funeral, it also symbolizes love, support, and sympathy. Since time immemorial, our ancestors have been using flowers to show love to the dead. Even after the wake, we tend to decorate the burial site with flowers or put flowers on the site from time to time. When word fails us to send our message of condolences, a flower arrangement can help us.
Funeral Flower Arrangements Versus Sympathy Flowers
There is a small distinction between funeral flower arrangements and sympathy flowers. Funeral flower arrangements are sent directly to the funeral home or where the funeral service is held. They are bigger as compared to sympathy flowers and are formally arranged. One of the purposes of a funeral flower is to serve as a decoration during the funeral service. Funeral flowers are also addressed to the deceased.
As for sympathy flowers, these are smaller flower arrangements and are sent directly to the home of the departed. It is addressed to the grieving family. Some people send plants as sympathy flowers as a lasting aide-mémoire of how they remembered the deceased.
Different Funeral Flower Arrangement
When sending a funeral flower, you should consider some factors first. If you know the deceased’s favorite flower, give your florist a hint about it. Advise your florist if the deceased is practicing a specific religion such as being a Muslim or Buddhism. It will give them an idea of what type of flower to add to the flower arrangement. For types of funeral flower arrangement, you can choose from the following:
- Standing Spray Flower Arrangement – most funeral homes have a stand for standing flower arrangements, but some doesn’t have it. Check first if it is available before sending a standing flower arrangement. The good thing about this kind of arrangement is it is large and tall and can be seen easily. You can also order a double ended funeral spray to adorn the casket from end to end
- Funeral Basket – the flowers are arranged in a beautiful basket and can be sent as a sympathy flower as well. A beautifully arranged funeral basket will show the beauty of the flower from all angles
- Wreaths – this is a popular funeral flower arrangement where the flowers are arranged in a circular design. These are often placed in a stand next to the coffin and it comes in different sizes
- In vase funeral flower arrangements – this flower arrangement is also popular but remember to tell your florist to use white vase only unless you know the favorite color of the deceased and you want the vase to be of the said color
- Sheaves flower arrangement – this is a more formal alternative to flowers wrapped in cellophane. It is also called ‘tied sheaf’
- Hearts flower arrangement – a more personal flower tribute can be shown by sending a heart funeral flower arrangement. This is often sent by very close relatives or friends
- Crosses flower arrangement – just like the heart designs, you can also send a flower arrangement in a cross design
Remember that for each type of flower arrangement, you should carefully choose the kind of flower to include and its colors.
Adding A Message
Once you are done choosing the funeral tribute to send, you can decide to add a sympathy message. Some people don’t think it is necessary but adding a short message can make the gesture more personal and sincere to the grieving family. A simple message from a close friend like you will surely give them comfort, knowing that people are on their back, supporting them during this difficult time.
Etiquette in Sending A Funeral Flower Arrangement
Sending a funeral flower is one of the easiest ways to convey our sympathy but before doing so, make sure to follow some of the basic etiquettes such as the following:
- Respect family request – there are families who might need more than a flower arrangement and they often announce: ‘in lieu of flowers, just send cash donation’. If you can send both, then it is great but if not, respecting the family’s wish might be better
- Ask questions if you are not sure – flower arrangements are highly appreciated but a grieving family will appreciate it more and find comfort in it if they knew that it was sent by someone who really knew their deceased family member. Hindu’s doesn’t use floral arrangement during the funeral as they use garlands and Jewish people don’t use funeral flowers at all
- The type of funeral flower to send mirrors your relationship with the deceased – when sending a funeral flower arrangement, the florist will ask you first of your relationship to the deceased. The reason for this is because your relationship with the deceased will dictate the type of flower arrangement to send. If you are a close family member, a casket spray is recommended and wreath for extended family. For friends, a basket or vase funeral flower will do
- Consider the kind of flower and the color – make your funeral flower arrangement more personal by sending something that is related to the deceased such as his or her favorite flower or color
There are other factors that you can consider when sending a funeral flower to avoid offending the grieving family without intending to do so. if you are having a difficulty choosing a tribute for someone who just died, you can always ask a question from a funeral director, a florist or from an online funeral flower provider.