For many, floral arrangements are considered a must when sending on your condolences at a funeral. Choosing the right arrangements requires tact and attention to common etiquette.
1. What Type Is Appropriate?
Certain flowers are most associated with funerals than others. Generally, lilies, chrysanthemums, and roses are considered appropriate and are often the centrepiece blooms in any funeral arrangement, but don't feel as though your choices are limited to these. It's also appropriate to choose a flower that was the favourite of the deceased, or one that has deep cultural meaning to the family.
2. Is Colour a Concern?
Much like flower types, certain colours have traditionally been associated with funeral flowers. White is perhaps the most popular colour for funerals, but other muted colours like pink and pale blues are also commonly used. It is also entirely appropriate to choose flower colours that reflect the deceased's preferences in life, or a colour that has special meaning for the deceased or their family.
3. Are There Style Considerations?
Flowers going to the home of the bereaved are best kept to small arrangements that are already in their own vase, as you do not want to impose any effort on the part of those grieving. For those sent to the service, small wreaths, vase arrangements, and sprays are nearly always appropriate. Avoid large wreaths, casket sprays, or fancy arrangements such as those in the shape of a cross unless you have been asked to provide such, as space for display may be limited.
4. Should Attendees Provide Flowers?
As a basic guideline, a funeral arrangement is an appropriate way to show support for the bereaved and respect for the one that passed on in the event you cannot attend the actual service. If you will be attending the service, sending flowers is considered optional and it is not a breach of etiquette to forego an arrangement. Of course, it is also completely appropriate to attend and send flowers, if preferred.
5. Where Should Flowers Be Sent?
These arrangements can be sent directly to the funeral home for display during the service, or you can send them to the home of the bereaved as a token of comfort. If you are close to the bereaved, you may even opt to do both. Your florists can help you choose the most suitable style depending on whether your arrangement is intended for the service or to be sent to the home.
Contact a florist if you need more assistance with navigating funeral arrangement etiquette.