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Your Essential Guide to Sympathy Flowers

Funerals and flowers go hand-in-hand. The average funeral home receives 113 calls every year. The home may plan two funerals every week. It’s rare to walk into a funeral and not see sympathy flowers. But that does not mean that you can just bring any flowers to a funeral service. What are the best sympathy flowers you can give? What are the best types of funeral flowers? How can you present them in an arrangement and with a card? Answer these questions and you can find the perfect flowers to meet your needs. Here is your quick guide from Helen Olivia Floral Design for all things sympathy!


Types of Funeral Flowers


Some flowers have gained prominence for mourners and families. These flowers have unique symbolic meanings that suggest close connections between the person giving them and the deceased.

Lilies are common gifts at religious funerals. Their white color and delicate petals suggest that a person’s soul has become renewed in the afterlife. Yet they also indicate new beginnings, reminding a family that they can have a new outlook on life.

For secular occasions, you can give roses. They are classic symbols of love and affection. They are best for close friends or family members.

Lilacs symbolize youth and innocence. This makes them a good gift for mourners of a child or a teenager.

Birth flowers can acknowledge the beauty and importance of someone’s life. Make sure you select the right birth flower, as giving the wrong one can seem inattentive.

Keep in mind that a flower can have multiple meanings. Some Asian cultures regard chrysanthemums as symbolic of grief. But some European cultures see them as symbols of death, so they can offend a family of European descent.


In addition to the types of flowers, the colors can have different meanings. Many people associate funerals with darker colors, so it may be appropriate at face value to give dark flowers.

Purple flowers can indicate your commitment to the grieving family. You can suggest that you will be with them and you will respect them. Purple is a traditional symbol of royalty, so you are also suggesting that the family is powerful through your color choice.

Dark blue flowers suggest affection, hope, and the beauty of the natural world. They are good choices if you want to be comforting and respectful. Family members and friends of the deceased can give them.

Black flowers are very rare. They usually indicate death, and many people find them morbid. You should try to avoid giving them.

Yet you are not limited to dark flowers. White flowers like lilies indicate purity and innocence. Yellow flowers are given between friends, so they are good choices for the funeral of a friend.

You do not have to give just one color of flowers. You can find a bouquet that combines different colors, though you should be attentive to how the colors clash. Putting white flowers next to purple ones can be jarring to the eye.



A bouquet is a simple and easy way to arrange your flowers. You can wrap the stems of your flowers in paper or plastic. You can also put the flowers in a vase or basket.

But you can opt for another kind of arrangement. If you are giving flowers to a Christian family, you can get a cross arrangement. Your flowers will be erected on a cross base, which can stand on the ground or lean against a wall.

You can also select a standing spray. A florist will arrange the sympathy flowers on a stand, but they will not have a particular shape. You can tie ribbons or attach photographs to the stand.

Also, you can place small ornaments or objects inside your arrangements, and even add a crucifix to your cross arrangement. Try to keep presents and other things separate if you cannot fit them inside your arrangements.


You can attach a card to the flowers you send. You are not obligated to do so, but it can be a nice touch to clarify your support for the family.

There are many condolence cards you can choose from. But you can take a blank card and write the name of the recipient on the front. A card with elaborate graphics or text may seem excessive.

You don’t have to write an entire paragraph inside the card. “My thoughts are with you during this time” is a simple and effective statement. Make sure you sign the card so the recipient knows where it came from.



Sympathy flower delivery is available, including same-day delivery. It is okay to give flowers before or after a memorial service.

You can buy the flowers and present them yourself. If a service is at a funeral home, you can go to the home and give them to the funeral director. They can then find a place for them during the service.

It may not be appropriate to present the flowers directly to the family. You should only do so if you have close ties with family members and you can speak with them briefly. Try helping the family set the arrangement up so others can see the flowers properly.


Have more questions about the overall presentation of your sympathy flower arrangement? Contact the Helen Olivia Floral Design team today!

The Essentials of Sympathy Flowers

Sympathy flowers are diverse for good reason. Traditional types of funeral flowers include lilies and roses. Yet you can branch out into birth flowers. Purple and dark blue flowers are good conservative options. But white flowers can symbolize purity, especially in a religious sense. Bouquets are satisfactory arrangements, though you can use standing sprays. Make sure to write a card that expresses your well-wishes and get the flowers to the family in a timely fashion.

You don’t have to forage for great funeral flowers. Helen Olivia Floral Design serves the Washington, DC area. Stop in our shop, or keep it simple and order same-day flower delivery today!

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