Proper Etiquette & FAQ for Choosing Flowers for a Funeral

funeral-flowers-etiquette1Sending flowers when someone passes away is common. The type of floral arrangement you send depends on the relationship you have with the survivors of the deceased. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sending flowers, the following information will help you feel confident  that you are making an appropriate decision.

Funeral flowers are sent because the help honor and celebrate life. Regardless of whether you send a formal or informal floral arrangement you need to include a handwritten note. A handwritten note helps provide comfort and lifts the spirits of the deceased persons family. When sending a floral arrangement avoid sending anything silly like balloons, stuffed animals, or animals on a stick.

It is also important to consider the faith of the deceased into consideration when you send funeral flowers. What may be acceptable in one faith may be offensive in another faith. If you are unsure ask a family member of the deceased before you send flowers.

flowers-funeralThe following chart dictates practices according to faith:

Catholic – Most flowers and arrangements are accepted.

Protestant Christian – Most flowers and arrangements are accepted at the funeral and memorials services.

Mormon – While most arrangements are accepted arrangements made on or including a crucifix or cross should be avoided.

Eastern or Greek OrthodoxWhite flowers are favored, but all arrangements are accepted.

Jewish – You can send flowers to the family members of the deceased, but you should send them to the home instead of the synagogue. Flowers are not typically displayed at the funeral home. Flowers may be displayed at the entrance of the synagogue, but it varies.

Baha’i – The majority of flowers and arrangements are acceptable.

Buddhist – Most flowers and arrangements are acceptable.

pink-carnations-sprayHindu – All flowers and arrangements are acceptable, but garlands are the most common in this faith.

Muslim – Whether or not flowers or arrangements are acceptable varies in the Islamic faith. If you decide to send flowers chose a simple, elegant arrangement. If you can ask a family member before sending flowers it is a good idea.

Members of the immediate family, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and grandparents can order whatever type of flowers they like. There are certain type of flowers that are reserved for immediate family members. The flowers from the immediate family sit closest to the casket. In some cases they may even be on, or in the casket.

The immediate family members generally buy the casket spray or wreath. The spouse, children or parents may also send table arrangements. They may also choose to send swags inside the casket lid or heart shaped arrangements.

Extended family members like aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins have a wide range of options when it comes to sending funeral flowers. If you are looking for something that will make a big impact consider a traditional standing spray. Informal arrangements work as well because they can be taken home with the family members or left at the cemetery.

if you are a close friend or business associate of the deceased you probably want to send flowers to show that you care. Flowers show that you are thinking about them in their time of need. You can send standing sprays, wreaths, basket arrangements, live plants and bouquets in vases. You can send the flowers directly to the funeral home or to the home of the family members. If you chose a wreath or standing spray it should be sent to the funeral home.

Below is list of flowers that are appropriate for funerals:

Lilies – Lilies suggest that the soul of the deceased has returned to its peaceful state of innocence.

Peace Lily – This plant will last long in a persons home or office so its ideal to send when someone if grieving.

Roses – Roses are a common funeral flower. If you know what color rose a person likes you can send that color in a bunch or get a casket wreath or spray with roses. If you want something meaningful send white roses to symbolize spirituality, purity and innocence. Pink roses thankfulness to the deceased.

Orchids –  Regardless of the color orchid the meaning is the same. Orchids mean that you will always love the deceased or their family.

Chrysanthemums – They mean focus of sympathy and honor. Red symbolizes love and white symbolizes innocence.

Carnations – Carnations are ideal for wreaths and standing sprays. Red flowers shows affection, while white symbolizes innocence.

Hyacinth – These flowers are often included in mixed bouquets. When you send these flowers it symbolizes you including them in your prayers and hopes.

Hydrangea – These flowers symbolize true heartfelt emotion. Consider sending a hydrangea potted for longevity.