When you are trying to express your sympathy to someone who has experienced a loss, one of the best ways to do so is with flowers. But with so many different types of sympathy flowers available, it can be tough to choose the right ones. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you make the best selection:
Understand the Different Types of Sympathy Flowers
Buying appropriate sympathy flowers for anyone mourning a loved one or friend is critical. While it’s common to want to buy the prettiest flowers, not all blooms are suitable for a funeral or memorial service. To make the process easier, here is a guide on the different types of sympathy flowers and their meanings:
- Lilies are perhaps the most popular choice for sympathy flowers. They come in many colors, but white lilies are most often used to symbolize purity, innocence, and youth.
- Carnations are another popular choice for sympathy flowers. They’re very versatile and come in many colors, each with its own meaning. For example, red carnations represent love and respect, while white carnations represent purity and luck.
- Chrysanthemums are often used in sympathy arrangements because of their bright colors. They can be found in white, yellow, pink, and red. Each color has a different meaning, but overall they represent truth, faith, and love.
- Finally, roses are also a popular choice for sympathy flowers. Like carnations, they come in many colors, each with its own meaning. For example, red roses represent love and respect, while white roses represent purity and innocence.
Consider the Relationship You Have with the Bereaved
You’ll also want to ask yourself what type of relationship you have with the bereaved. Are they close friends or family members? A colleague or acquaintance? The closer your relationship, the more personal your gesture should be. For example, you may wish to choose a more personal, intimate arrangement for close family members, while for friends or colleagues, you may opt for a more traditional bouquet.
What matters most is that your gesture is sincere and respectful. Avoid anything that might be interpreted as insensitive, such as choosing flowers that are too festive or colorful. When in doubt, ask a florist for guidance on what type of arrangement is appropriate and how best to express your condolences.
Consider the Personality of the Bereaved
When you are selecting sympathy flowers, it is important to also think about the personality of the bereaved. If they’re someone who’s very private and doesn’t like being the center of attention, then a large arrangement of flowers may not be appropriate. In this case, a more understated design would be better. Alternatively, if the bereaved is outgoing and expressive, a more dramatic design would be ideal.
A vibrant, outgoing person may appreciate a brightly-colored arrangement, while a more subdued individual may prefer a more muted palette. It’s all about knowing the personality of the bereaved and selecting flowers that will be in keeping with their character. The last thing you want is to choose something that the bereaved will feel uncomfortable with.
Gauge the Emotions You Want to Express
When you think about the relationship between you and the deceased, what emotions come to mind? Are you and the deceased close? Were you more like acquaintances? The answer to these questions will help guide what kind of flowers you send. For example:
- If you were very close to the deceased, you might want to send flowers that express more than just sympathy, such as a standing spray or casket arrangement.
- If you were more like acquaintances, then a simple bouquet of flowers might be more appropriate.
Other emotions you might want to express include hope, gratitude, and admiration. Once you’ve determined the emotions you want to express, choose the right flowers, arrangement, and color to get your message across and support the bereaved.
Deliver the Flowers in Person or Send Them to the Funeral Home
If you know the funeral is going to be a large gathering and you live some distance away, flowers delivered to the funeral home prior to the service may be your best option. The family will appreciate your gesture, and everyone will get to enjoy them. If you are unable or prefer not to deliver the flowers in person, most funeral homes will be happy to accept them on your behalf. Just be sure to call ahead and let them know when you will be delivering the flowers and who they are for.
If you opt to deliver the sympathy flowers in person, you can do so either before or after the funeral service. If you choose to deliver them before, keep in mind that the family will likely not be at the funeral home during this time. You may want to consider leaving a note with your flowers, letting the family know how sorry you are for their loss. Doing this shows you care.
Give It Some Thought Before Sending Those Flowers
Giving some thought to what you’re trying to say with your flowers and who you’re sending them to is key in giving the right sympathy flowers. There’s no need to spend a lot of money, but taking the time to find the right arrangement or bouquet will mean so much more than just buying anything. With these insights, you’ll be able to choose the right sympathy flowers every time.