A Complete Guide To Sending Sympathy Flowers

Flowers are appropriate for many occasions. We often send them to mark celebratory events—such as birthdays, anniversaries, and babies—yet arrangements can also provide much-needed comfort to grieving families. Sending sympathy flowers is appropriate and thoughtful, and knowing the proper etiquette for online flower delivery can let the recipient know that you genuinely care. 

Sympathy Flowers vs. Funeral Flowers

Often, upon hearing of someone’s passing, we long to offer comfort. We make a phone call, mail a card, and send flowers for bereavement. However, it’s essential to know which type of condolence flowers to send. Being proactive can save a bit of headache, especially when it comes to etiquette. 

To clarify, there are various kinds of funeral flowers used in both types of arrangements, which can include lilies, roses, mums, and carnations. However, it’s critical to know the difference between a sympathy floral arrangement and a funeral arrangement—which comes down to two fundamental differences. 

The flowers are arranged differently. 

Funeral flowers have a few particular shapes. Some are designed to drape over the casket and are typically chosen by the family. Other pieces, such as sympathy wreaths and large arrangements, are designed to be displayed on stands surrounding the coffin at a funeral home. Conversely, sympathy plants and bouquets are smaller and are intended for a single person or family to enjoy. 

sympathy funeral flowers

The location of the flower delivery varies.

Simply put, a sympathy bouquet arrives at the home of bereaved family members. The design of condolence flowers is ultimately meant to bring comfort to the home of the bereaved after the service. Conversely, funeral flowers show respect beside the casket and typically go to—and are often left at—the graveside. Because funeral flowers are intended to be displayed during the service as a tribute to the deceased, they should be delivered straight to the location of the viewing or service.

Etiquette for Sending a Sympathy Bouquet

Bereavement is often a difficult time to reach out to loved ones who are grieving. Sometimes we don’t know what to say or do to offer comfort for those who are grieving. Sending sympathy flowers is a great start, and here are answers to a few questions on how to do it right. 

Are colorful flowers appropriate? 

In years past, white—to symbolize innocence and honor—was the most popular color for sympathy flowers. It’s still popular today, yet it is also appropriate to send colorful fresh flowers. Delivery of tonal arrangements, such as our yellow and purple Impressionist bouquet or our pastel-hued Perfect Rose Combo, can breathe life into a grieving home. Although, a classic white, such as our Loving Lilies arrangement, is beautifully suitable, too.

lilies sympathy funeral flowers

What types of flowers are fitting?

Honestly, any flowers are a delight, but there are a few classic sympathy blooms. Most noteworthy are roses (symbolizing love, respect, and grace) and lilies (denoting peace), which have stood the test of time. Our Snow White (a stunning bouquet of all-white roses) and Good Morning Lilies (featuring pink and white lilies) arrangements feature traditional flowers. 

When should a sympathy flower arrangement be sent?

Ideally, the sooner, the better reigns true when sending sympathy flowers. Delivery should happen as quickly as possible, but don’t fret if that isn’t feasible. You can still send flowers for bereavement up to a month afterward, once things calm down for those who are grieving. If you want them sent immediately, we offer free next-day delivery to ensure that your sympathy bouquet arrives promptly. 

sympathy flowers and card

What about sending sympathy flowers when they want donations instead?

Whether it’s the wishes of the deceased or the grieving family, it’s best to honor them. Often, the family asks for monetary donations towards a charity in place of funeral flowers. Therefore, pay your respects with a monetary gift, but if you still would like to send a more personal sympathy bouquet, wait a few weeks to ship your flower delivery after donating. 

Who should receive flowers for bereavement?

If it has crossed your mind to use online flower delivery to express your condolences, then chances are you were close enough to the deceased or their family. When in doubt, do. More specifically, here are a few instances where it’s necessary or appreciated.

  • Family - Sending sympathy gifts to family members is appropriate, except when you are one of the people that should be receiving flowers. For example, if a parent passes, you don’t need to send flowers to your siblings, although it may be a nice gesture to have flowers delivered in the weeks following simply to brighten their day. In contrast, if your aunt dies, sending your uncle and cousin condolence flowers would be a nice gesture. 
  • Those Who Have Influenced You - Sometimes we feel led to send a sympathy bouquet for a meaningful role model. Whether it’s your favorite high school teacher or the longtime postman that passes, letting their family know that the individual impacted your life, or you will miss seeing their smile as they deliver your mail, is meaningful.
  • Close Friends, Neighbors, and Business Associates - There are others in our lives that we will miss—the people in our friend circle, the neighbor who waves every morning, faithful clients, and even that quirky coworker. You can honor their memory in a meaningful way by sending sympathy flowers to their family. 

tombstone flowers for sympathy

What do I write in a sympathy card? 

It’s important to remember to send a sentiment along with your sympathy gifts. Not only should a condolence flowers message say who the arrangement is from, but it also needs to contain a memo expressing your condolences. 

Simply saying, “with deepest sympathy” is appropriate, yet there are situations where you want to write a more personal message. We’ve included a few sympathy card messages below. 

  • I am so sorry for your loss. 
  • My thoughts are with you during this time. 
  • Wishing you comfort and peace in your time of loss. 
  • He/she will be deeply missed. 
  • You are in our thoughts and prayers. 
  • I hope you feel the love that surrounds you during this time.

Of course, if you knew the deceased personally, adding an anecdote or small memory of that individual would be an excellent addition to a sympathy card. 

A Word on Funeral Flowers Delivery

Our expert floral team has hand-selected our sympathy flower arrangements. Each bouquet is prepared with care by our in-house artisans. A premium condolence flowers message and personalized gift wrap accompany your flowers. In short, sympathy bouquets are a lovely way to express that you care during a time of need. View our full line of flowers for bereavement here