Funeral Flowers: The Most Appropriate Funeral Flower Arrangements
Funeral flowers play an important part of a funeral service. I ask you to picture a funeral chapel or church filled with grieving friends and family and an urn or coffin at the front with no floral tributes surrounding it. That picture seems so cold, does it not?
For the grieving individuals, a certain amount of comfort can be derived from a few well designed floral tributes.
For example, if the deceased person's passion was fishing, then to adding a fishing lure into an arrangement is quite appropriate. Suppose the late deceased collected a certain kind of porcelain figurine? Add one their favorites into the middle of a floral arrangement to pay tribute to something they truly loved in life.
Years ago when I first started in the floral industry people would spend hundreds of dollars on large and showy pieces of funeral flower arrangements. Not anymore. Gone are the days of flower shops being emptied of every last bloom -- all ordered for a funeral. Today, most people send smaller arrangements and give funds to the charity of the grieving family's choice. I agree that giving to the charities is a great idea, but I still feel "scaled down" floral arrangements are appropriate to send -- along with a contribution.
Here's another advantage of sending "scaled down" funeral flowers...
If the grieving family receives a lot of flowers, they can decide to donate some of them to local nursing homes or hospitals. A scaled down arrangement looks like an "everyday" bouquet and therefore would not look "out of place" in a hospital or nursing home. In other words, smaller arrangements have a useful purpose after the funeral is over. The grieving family may even decide to take your arrangement home and enjoy them for themselves.
"In lieu of flowers" is a phase that has become common in most death announcements it is almost automatically added in by funeral homes. The request does cause confusion for most people, as they feel a need to send flowers to pay their respects to the family members. But if the family has requested you do not do this, please respect their wishes. There are exceptions, of course. If you have a special relationship with the deceased's relatives, you may want to have flowers sent directly to the most appropriate residence. If it has been a sudden unexpected death, do not disturb the family at their home with flowers -- or anything else for that matter. They will need their privacy.
If it is a large family that has experienced the loss, consider sending a fruit basket and flower
Do not send anything that could make the family more upset.
For instance, there was a family that lost their son in a horrible car accident. His friends called the flower shop and wanted to have some flowers arranged in a beer stein and sent to his funeral. Unfortunately, the individual who lost his life had been impaired and at the wheel of his vehicle when the accident happened. I felt such an arrangement was inappropriate and would upset the family. I delicately expressed my concerns with the friends and in the end they decided not to send the beer mug.
When writing the message for the sympathy card keep it simple. There are a few phases that can express how you feel to the family...
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time"
"With our deepest sympathy" or "In loving memory"
And of course, make sure you sign the card with all the appropriate names.
Or, if you feel that a larger card with a longer expression would be better, send one to the family after the funeral service is over.
Sending flowers to a funeral is and always will be appreciated by the grieving
family (or families) as a heartfelt expression of sympathy.