Sympathy Flowers, What to send?


Whilst flowers are sent for various occasions, it could be tricky to understand the etiquette of sending flowers for Sympathetic occasions. However the best way to remember is that its traditionally all whites or pastel colors with nothing fancy with it.


A wreath symbolizes eternal life. Funerals can still be fairly traditional and there can be a lot of cultural respect you have to abide by. If you are unsure whether it is appropriate to send flowers for a funeral, check with the funeral home, religious leader or family of the deceased and they will advise you. Remember it is more important to ask and be sure than to disrespect someone’s cultural/religious values as well as last wishes.

One definite no-no is never send wreaths or casket sprays to the departed’s family home. Only ever send wreaths or casket spray to the funeral home. A wreath symbolises eternal life and is very specific in its use and a casket spray is designed to go on the casket.
Traditionally the placement of flowers on the casket is reserved for family members and loved ones. Ask the family before ordering flowers for the casket.
Lilies, especially Arum Lilies, are the traditional funeral flower and white roses are another common favourite.


Never send a wreath or casket spray for sympathy. Both have a very specific purpose as stated above.
So what should you send? Bouquets are great for most occasions but at this sad time they can be a bit of a burden by requiring the family to find a suitable vase for the flowers. If you do want to send a bouquet, make sure you send a vase as well (you can order vases as extras in the ordering process). Instead of a bouquet why not try an arrangement as they come in a water holding container pre-arranged, so no fuss.
Or as a symbol of life you may like to send a living plant.
A lot of people are unsure what colour flowers should be sent on sad occassions. There is no right or wrong answer here but as a gentle guide the following may help you make the right decision:
Bright = “I want to cheer them up”
White = “They are a traditional family” or “They are a European family”
Pastel = “I just want to gently let them know I am here for them”
If you are really unsure the safest bet is a pastel mix.
But what do I say on the card? There are some simple yet effective ways to express what you are trying to say when really ‘no words will do’! Why not try one of the below options if you are stuck or use it as a starting platform to create your own individual message:
“Dear XXXX and Family, Just a small token to let you know we are thinking of you at this sad time. With our deepest sympathy, The ABCD Family”


Many hospitals have rules regarding what type of flower arrangements they will allow inside the hospital. These rules need to be respected as they are in place to protect patients and staff.
Arrangements sent to hospitals need to be:
Not too big there is limited room in a patient’s area so it is important not to send an arrangement that is too big. Tall slim arrangements are always good if you want to send something large and impressive.
Contained in a water source if you send a bouquet a vase (or container) needs to be found for the flowers to be put into. This is not always possible for the nurses to do straight away and a hospital vase may not compliment the bouquet.
Not containing soil a potted plant is a lovely gift, however most hospitals will not allow them in case the soil they are potted in contains bacteria, germs or other contaminants that could interfere with the well being of patients.
NOTE: If a patient is in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) flowers may not be allowed. You are welcome to call the hospital before placing the order to make sure they will be accepted. If it is not possible for you to do so our standard procedure is to do this on your behalf (the patient is not notified of the intended delivery so the surprise is kept in tact). If they will not accept the flowers we call the next day, and the next day, until the patient is moved to a recovery ward where they can have the flowers.
Article published from media and web clippings and to portray a general idea for those who do not know what flowers go for such occasions.
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