Sending funeral flowers is a good way to show your support for grieving loved ones. But not all flower types are appropriate for funerals. For example, tulips are a no-no. And red roses? Don’t even think about it.

There are a few major dos and don’ts when it comes to condolence flowers. We can help you pick the right sympathy flowers to send – and avoid major mistakes.

Choosing the Right Color for Funeral Flowers

Choosing the Right Color for Funeral Flowers

One of the biggest factors in what makes a sympathy bouquet “right” or “wrong” comes down to color. Some colors have very strong associations with emotions or values that are not appropriate for funerals – like passion, love, romance, or celebration. Here are a few examples of flower colors to avoid for funeral bouquets:

  • Reds – this color family is exclusively symbolic of love, romance, and passion.
  • Bold Blues, Greens, Purples – dark or brightly saturated colors are often associated with fun and celebration, so these are not the best choice for funerals.
  • Exotic, Decorated Flowers – similarly, any roses that have additional adornment, like sparkles, are too fun and playful for funeral flowers.

When the wrong color is selected for sympathy flowers, there’s a big risk of offending the family and/or friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one. This is one decision you really don’t want to mess up!

Tone is extremely influential in determining if a color choice is appropriate or not. While dark purple roses may be too bold, light lavender roses are more appropriate. Any colors that fall into the realm of pastel tones are much better adapted for funeral flowers.

Here are the best colors for funeral flowers;

  • White – this is a classic choice. White represents hope, purity, and everlasting life, making it the perfect choice for condolence flowers.
  • Creams and/or Ivory Flowers – very similar to all-white roses, cream and ivory are perfectly appropriate for funerals.
  • Pastel Flowers – soft color tones are always a safe bet. Consider peach roses or pink roses for funeral flowers. Likewise, lavender roses are a pretty and appropriate way to express your condolences to the grieving family.

Choosing the right color for funeral flowers is absolutely essential. Still need help? Check out our curated collection of bouquets for showing sympathy.

Popular Funeral and Condolence Flowers

In addition to color, there are certain flower types that are better for funerals than others. Fresh roses are always welcome, so long as they fall within the right color range for funerals. Roses are classy and sophisticated, which makes them a good choice for more sincere occasions, like memorials and funerals.

In addition to roses, fresh Peruvian lilies are another great flower variety for sending to those who have recently lost a loved one.  Lilies often symbolize hope and rebirth – sentiments that can be particularly consoling when grieving the deceased. Because of their association with rebirth – and their use during the Christian holiday Easter – lilies may have a bigger impact for faith-based funerals.

Sending a bouquet of lilies alone is beautiful, but if you want an even more striking arrangement, consider a mixed bouquet that features both lilies and roses, or a bouquet of lilies, roses and hydrangeas. This helps the bouquet have a more robust presence and greater visual depth.

Where to Send Funeral Flowers

Once you’ve picked out the perfect bouquet, how do you know where to send the funeral flowers? It’s best to start by finding out if, when, and where a funeral service is going to be held for the deceased. This could be a wake, visitation, or special memorial service. It may take place at a place of worship, at a funeral home, or at the family’s home.

When you find out the details of the service, be sure to confirm with the organizer (funeral home director, pastor, etc.) whether or not it’s a public event. Some families feel more comfortable grieving in small, closed circles. If that’s the case, respect their wishes by sending the flowers for delivery rather than showing up with them.

In almost all cases, funeral flowers should be delivered through a third party (the flower delivery company), rather than delivered in person. Exceptions to this may be for individuals who were extremely close to the deceased, such as a sibling. Otherwise, arrange for the delivery to be carried out by the floral provider.

Always check with the funeral home organizer first, as they will be able to inform you whether the family has a preference for flower deliveries to the family home or to the funeral home. Bothering the family to find out where to send the funeral flowers is the last thing you want to do.

When Not to Send Flowers

There are some situations where sending funeral flowers is not recommended. Always familiarize yourself with the unique cultural customs of the deceased one’s family, as this will be a good guideline to know whether or not condolence flowers are appropriate. For example, Jewish funerals typically do not have flower deliveries. If your cultural background views funeral flowers differently, it's best to put the deceased one’s customs before your own.

Another situation in which sending funeral flowers is not appropriate is when you are not seen in good favor among the family of the deceased. Examples of this could be a mistress/mister or individuals who were involved with the person’s death. If your presence is distressing to the grieving family, your flowers probably will be, too. In these cases, it’s best to step back and wait for emotions to cool down before re-evaluating how/if you can show your sympathy and support in a way that isn’t upsetting to surviving family members.

Writing a Card Message for Funeral Flowers

Many people struggle with what to say after someone has died, and there is a certain level of funeral etiquette that individuals should be aware of. The same dilemma comes up when writing a card message to go with your sympathy flowers. If you’re not sure what to say, let the funeral flowers speak for themselves and keep your note sweet and short.

Here are a few simple ideas for writing a message to send with funeral flowers:

  • With sympathy and love.
  • Thinking about you during this difficult time.
  • My strongest condolences for your loss.

Remember, the funeral flowers alone will show that you care, so there’s no need to write a lengthy message. With that in mind, here are a few common phrases that people are often tempted to say – but never should. Avoid writing these phrases in your card message:

  • He/she is in a better place now.
  • The pain will go away with time.
  • I know how you feel.

These ideas can be very upsetting to individuals who are in a raw state of grief. They can also trigger strong, negative emotions, like “How dare you think you know what this feels like?” These phrases can also challenge certain belief systems. For example, an atheist may not want to hear that their loved one “is in a better place now” if they do not believe in an afterlife.

The moral of the story? Keep it short, and let the funeral flowers themselves express your feelings and emotional support.

Rosaholics has a wide range of fresh bouquets that are ideal for funeral flowers. With nationwide delivery, it’s easy to pick the perfect sympathy flowers and have them sent exactly where you need them to go.

Send Funeral Flowers for Delivery

June 22, 2023 — Alexandr Oleynik