Flowers have a long tradition of communicating feelings and emotions beyond what can merely be said. This is evident most of all when one wishes to express sympathy and find themselves at a loss for words. Beautiful, delicate, and extraordinary, flowers have the ability to express sympathy, offer comfort, and instill awe with their unique beauty, which makes them a perfect choice in honoring and bidding farewell to someone we cherish.
Here at Moravian Florist, we know that for many, ordering sympathy flowers can be a confusing and intimidating task, especially considering the circumstances, emotions, and responsibilities that you are suddenly forced to handle without much prior notice or time for planning. It can feel very overwhelming, which is why we are here to help guide you through the process of how to order sympathy flowers starting with selecting the flowers, which flowers are best for sympathy, and when to send them.
Crystal Cross With Blue and White Flowers
Selecting Sympathy Flowers
When deciding on sympathy or funeral flowers, the first thing to consider is your relationship with the departed. Traditionally, the immediate family selects a memorial wreath or casket spray for the service. Close family and friends can then opt for more personalized floral tributes that reflect the personality, occupation, hobbies, or passions of the one who just passed. These flowers are typically displayed during the funeral service.
Options available to acquaintances, relatives, and co-workers include plants or flowers that express the connection they had with the deceased. As some funeral services focus on the celebration of life more than mourning the passing, a floral arrangement representing the person’s character, such as their favorite flower or color, is a nice touch. These arrangements can be displayed at the service or sent to the deceased’s home.
Best Flowers for a Memorial Service
Besides being beautiful, many flowers also are imbued with a specific meaning or emotion. Many people use mostly white flowers for a funeral, but you can actually have plenty of other colored flowers, too. Just remember, it’s important to know the symbolism of flowers when ordering them for a memorial service so the message you want to send in saying goodbye to a loved one is appropriately conveyed.
- Chrysanthemums – A flower that represents death or a passing more so than any other is the Chrysanthemum. In many Eastern and European cultures, mums are used only as funeral flowers because they symbolize death. In the U.S, however, Chrysanthemums represent truth, love, and happiness which is a great way to honor someone who lived a full life.
- Lilies – A popular choice for funerals, lilies symbolize innocence restored to the soul of the departed.
- Carnations – White carnations represent pure love and innocence, pink carnations symbolize fondness and remembrance, and red carnations reflect admiration.
- Roses – Another popular funeral flower, roses carry different meanings based on their color. White roses express innocence and reverence, pink roses represent love and grace, red roses symbolize deep love and courage, crimson roses signify grief and sorrow, and yellow roses stand for friendship. (Note: Yellow flowers are strongly connected to death in Central and South America and are only used for placing on a grave – not for a service.)
- Orchids – Orchids for a funeral are beautiful and unique. White and pink orchids traditionally denote sympathy and eternal love when used in a funeral service. Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis orchids are more appropriate choices for sympathy flowers.
When to Send Flowers
Timing varies greatly depending upon several factors, but a good rule of thumb is to order funeral flowers at least 24 hours in advance of the funeral or memorial service, and even 48 hours for larger pieces like wreaths or sprays. Many funeral homes prefer to have the flowers in place several hours before the ceremony, so the earlier you order, the better. This also helps the florist by reducing the number of deliveries they need to make.
Sympathy flowers that are intended for the family and not the service may be sent directly to the home. The timing of these deliveries isn’t particularly as important, so any time after the service is over is appropriate.
In Lieu of Flowers
There is often some confusion when obituaries contain the phrase: “In Lieu of Flowers.” Contrary to popular belief, this terminology does not mean that the family does not want flowers. If that were the case, the phrase “please omit” would be used instead. It does, however, indicate that you have the option of making a donation instead of – or in addition to – sending flowers. Unless specifically stated, flowers are always an appropriate symbol of sympathy.
Other things to consider
With so many different types of memorial services and so many other variables based on religion, cultural, or family preferences, understanding funeral etiquette is not always a simple task. At Moravian Florist, we’re here to help you make an appropriate selection and choose a thoughtful gift when filling your funeral flower order.
When Words Just Aren’t Enough…
The most important thing to remember is that a gift of flowers can make a big difference for grieving family members and friends. It can often speak louder than words and lets them know you are thinking of them during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
Your friends at Moravian Florist will help you find the right type of arrangement, and we are happy to offer guidance and suggestions if you’re unsure which style or design you wish to send. After you order, you can rest assured knowing that we will handle all the details to make sure your flowers are delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.