The Etiquette for Sympathy Flowers: 4 Do’s And 3 Don’ts

Sympathy flowers are an important part of expressing your feelings during difficult times. Whether you’re sending sympathy flowers to express condolences or as a token of appreciation, understanding the etiquette associated with these gifts can help ensure you are respecting cultural norms and traditions while showing your support. The appropriate meaning behind sympathy flowers can be surprisingly complex.

It is important to show respect and consideration for the deceased and the bereaved family, so it is beneficial to understand the appropriate etiquette when sending funeral flowers.

The Dos of Sending Sympathy Flowers:

• Do take note of any cultural or religious customs associated with death and funeral services when selecting your arrangement or type of sympathy flower. Make sure that you are respectful of these customs.

• Do select long-lasting blooms as an appropriate tribute to the memory of the person who has passed away. Carnations, lilies, and chrysanthemums are all ideal options for sympathy bouquets.

• Do attach a personalized card with an appropriate message expressing your condolences on the gift before sending it to other family members or friends who may be grieving in another city or state than where the funeral will take place. Make sure that it is signed by everyone in your family who will be using it as a means of expressing sympathies.

• Do contact local florists near where the bereaved family lives and where the funeral service will occur if you have difficulty getting out of town to attend services in person. Local florists offer a convenient way for those distant from their loved ones to receive prompt delivery services that help express their sympathies during their time away from home at such a hard time in life.

The Don’ts of Sending Sympathy Flowers

While sending flowers is an appropriate way to show your respect and love for the deceased, some gestures may be perceived as being too forward or even disrespectful. To ensure that your offer of consolation is well received, here are some of the key don’ts to keep in mind:

• Do not send lilies or any strong-smelling flowers. Some cultures hold the belief that lilies and other fragrant blooms will attract evil spirits. Refrain from sending any flower arrangements that contain these particular blooms to be respectful of their beliefs and traditions.

• Avoid colorful bouquets with a mix of different flower types, as too much variety can look overwhelming and signify disregard for the situation. Opt for white, cream-colored arrangements with a single type of flower instead to show sympathy and distinction of death.

• Select blooms that are not decorated with colorful ribbons or anything related to happy celebrations like balloons or confetti as these items also fail to recognize the solemnity of death. Some funeral homes may also prohibit such behavior so be sure to check with them beforehand before placing an order for flowers online or in person at a florist shop.


When selecting sympathy flowers, it’s important to keep in mind the preferences of the bereaved. Take care to avoid any flowers or colors that may be inappropriate for particular cultural or religious traditions. Also, keep in mind the decor of the home is usually where a funeral service is held, as any arrangements should fit with the individual style and taste.

If there are limitations on your budget, don’t forget that other creative mementos such as a photo collage, special prayer cards, or simply a heartfelt letter can always commemorate a loved one.

Ultimately, it’s important to give sympathy flowers with love and sincerity in order to convey your respect and empathy for those in grief.

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