If you've ever been curious what flowers you should send to a grieving person(s), or where to send them, this post will be a beautiful resource for you. I go over some insightful points that will help guide you in your decision making. You can also listen to my podcast episode titled All About Funeral Flowers by clicking here if you'd rather listen than read about this topic.
What to gift:
Your local florist will have a lot of different designs to choose from. It could possibly feel overwhelming if you aren't aware of the standards. To me, there's just a few things to be aware of when choosing a floral design to send. Once you understand these few points, you'll have enough insight to choose the perfect design to gift.
Casket Sprays – These are flowers that lay directly on the casket. These designs are purchased by the person that was closest to the deceased, usually a spouse or close family member. The colors and styling of the design should represent the person/be their favorite color/etc. These designs are coordinated through your florist to deliver to the funeral home or wherever the memorial services will be taking place.
Urn Display – Same rules as casket sprays. This is purchased and gifted by the person that was closest to the person who has passed. These designs will surround the display urn that is filled with the person's ashes and should represent the person by their favorite colors, favorite flowers, etc. These designs are coordinated through your florist to deliver to the funeral home or wherever the memorial services will be taking place.
Photo Display – In lieu of a casket and urn for display, some people prefer that a photo be displayed in a way to honor and remember them. This design is similar to an urn display, but the flowers will be styled around a framed picture instead of the urn. It bring beauty to the space and should be gifted by the person that is closest to the deceased. Representing them with their favorite flower varieties and colors, etc. These designs are coordinated through your florist to deliver to the funeral home or wherever the memorial services will be taking place.
Easel Wreaths + Easel Sprays – These could be gifted by close family, close friends, and the person's company /coworkers. Persons in the deceased's life who were close to them and spent a lot of time with them. Each person can gift an easel design all on their own, or a group of friends or a group of coworkers can pitch in together to go in on a design together. These designs usually incorporate some sort of labeling on them that represents who the person was to the gifter. For example, if all the grandchildren pitched in on a design to have displayed at their grandmother's services, they could ask the florist to please include sticker letters on ribbon that spell out her nickname "meemaw". The personalization on these pieces can be really special. These designs are coordinated through your florist to deliver to the funeral home or wherever the memorial services will be taking place.
Baskets + Flower Arrangements – These are gifted by everyone else. Friends, church members, neighbors, coworkers, etc. These designs are always appropriate by anybody and should be gifted at anytime. You may choose to have these types of arrangements sent to the funeral home for the services or to the bereaved home for them to enjoy. I recommend sending to the funeral services so that they can be displayed there. The family will often take these flowers home to enjoy them there too. Your flowers will be enjoyed in multiple locations.
Potted Plants - Some florists offer potted plants for delivery and you may choose to gift a plant instead of a cut flower arrangement. I have an unpopular opinion on this that gifting plants is gifting someone a chore, but for a big plant lover, this could be the perfect thing to send. You can send plants to both the funeral home for the services and to the bereaved home. Whichever makes the most sense to you.
There are also gravesite flowers that people will purchase on anniversaries of a death or memorial day. Some florists will even deliver and place them on a headstone in a cemetery for you if you live out of state or can't place the flowers yourself.
When to Gift:
As soon as you hear about the death, send flowers to the family's home. If you want flowers to be at the funeral service, send them to the funeral home and coordinate that with your florist when ordering them. Sending flowers a few weeks after the death works really great too. It shows the family that you’re still thinking about them.
Where to Send Them:
Home vs funeral home. Try not to show up to a funeral or memorial service with the flowers, you’ll want to coordinate it with the florist to deliver them to the funeral home for you. Then the funeral director can style the flowers for the service. It can just be awkward if you show up with a random arrangement or spray or something and the director now needs to fit it in last minute. If you really want to show up with flowers, try to be early enough to coordinate their placement with the funeral director. Sending flowers to the bereaved home is always a good idea.
Additional Things to Note:
Culture - Sending flowers is not customary in Jewish traditions. Buddhist and Asian cultures don’t want to see red flowers because they can be a bad omen or represent happiness. And in some Indian cultures, an all white arrangement is the only appropriate thing to gift. Make sure to consider these cultural values so you can pay the most respect and not offend.