Sympathy flowers have been a part of funeral and memorial traditions in nearly every culture throughout history. Flowers add warmth, beauty and dignity to the service and, for many, symbolize eternal life.

Some of the terms used by florists for sympathy arrangements:

  • Wreath/Circle – Symbolizes eternal life.
  • Floral arrangement – A mix of fresh flowers in a vase, basket or other container.
  • Spray – Flowers designed for viewing from one side only. Often, sprays are placed on an easel.
  • Casket spray – Flowers designed for the top of a casket, usually ordered by the family.


I am part of a group. What are some suggestions?

Presenting a single floral piece as a group can make for a more special display and make a greater statement. Some great group options are standing sprays and wreaths.

Sometimes I see a charity mention “in lieu of flowers” in the death notice. Is it still appropriate to send flowers?

Because flowers often help you say what is difficult to express, they are always appropriate and in good taste. People can express their sympathy and respect for the deceased in a variety of ways, including charitable contributions, food donations, a helping hand, or cards and flowers sent to the family or funeral home.

Flowers also play a functional role, adding warmth to the service and providing the visible emotional support that the bereaved find helpful during this time.

What pieces are appropriate for cremations?

A tastefully done floral tribute adds beauty to any type of memorial service; whether it’s a traditional burial or cremation.

Because cremation is increasingly common in some areas, families often opt for a piece designed to complement the urn. Another popular option is an arrangement that can be enjoyed in the home after the service.

I found out about the death after the funeral was over. What can I do?

A floral arrangement received at the home after the activity surrounding the funeral can be a comforting and welcome reminder that friends haven’t forgotten.

In fact, research shows that bereaved family and friends appreciate being thought of in the weeks or months after the funeral. A personal note or “we are thinking of you” message with the flowers would be especially nice.

Any support you can offer during the grieving process will let them know you care.