Funeral and sympathy flowers are both sent to offer your condolences. We encourage you to do what feels right for you when deciding to send flowers but offer a few guidelines to make it easier to choose when and what to send.
Before making any decisions, we suggest you read the obituary. In some, you may see a line that reads, “In lieu of flowers …” In these circumstances, the family is requesting that you donate to a cause the deceased was supportive of, that is related to their passing, or that the family believes in. While that indicates their preference, you can still opt to send flowers.
If you did not know the deceased well or alternately, the family of the deceased, or the family’s religion, you can contact the funeral home to check what is acceptable regarding sending flowers. For example, never send flowers to a Jewish funeral; however, for a Buddhist ceremony, floral wreaths are commonplace.
If you want the entire family to have the flowers, you can send them to the funeral home, where you can expect the whole family to be. If you’re going to deliver them yourself, be sure they’re a free-standing display. If you arrive with cut flowers, Country Hills tries to have vases available, but they could already be in use or there may not be time to get your flowers included in the service. Being self-contained also makes it easier for your flowers to be taken to the family’s home after the services.
If you knew the deceased well, you could choose to honour their floral preferences with your choices. For example, if the service is for a person who loved pink, you can send pink flowers. You can also choose something a grieving family member prefers. The exact type of flower and colour is not the primary consideration – it is to send your respects and honour the person you have lost. You can also opt for any arrangement from baskets to vases and casket spreads to wreaths – usually, they are all acceptable.
If you are sending flowers specifically for the departed, send the flowers to the funeral home. If your relationship is with the grieving family members, sending them to the funeral home is perfectly acceptable, and will be directly to all of them. If you have a relationship with one specific family member, you can opt to send the flower arrangement directly to their home; this ensures the person you want to acknowledge receives your message. There is never a right or wrong as to sending flowers to the funeral home or a residence; your relationship and desires will make that decision.
On the card, you can be as brief as you want, with a simple “Our condolences” message, or you can attach a card with a longer note, a story, or a personal message. This is a place to be yourself and say what you mean. If you are sending flowers with a longer personal message, consider sending them to a residence before or after the service; this will allow your sentiment to be read privately and reflected upon at their leisure.
You may be invited to leave a flower on the casket or take a flower from an arrangement; the funeral director will provide these instructions or follow the family’s lead. It is not appropriate to ask to take an arrangement home with you. However, if you can help take flowers to the funeral reception or the family’s home after, they are sure to appreciate the help.
If you have more questions about flowers, services, or options, we are happy to assist you at Country Hills. Please refer to our FAQs for common questions, or please feel free to reach out to us directly at 403-274-0576.