Here are a list of the most frequently asked questions concerning funeral home flowers and etiquette.
When should the floral tribute be sent?
Often a family will be available to receive visitors and condolences at the funeral home the evening before the service. Generally, flowers are sent prior to the funeral service for this visitation. However, most funeral directors will accept flowers up to one hour prior to the scheduled service time. If you would like to send your floral tribute directly to the family's home you may do so anytime, including after the services are complete.
Should I send flowers to the church, funeral home, cemetery or family home?
Most flowers are sent to the funeral home. The funeral directors will transport the floral tributes to either the cemetery or the family's home depending on the wishes of the family. Many churches now accept floral tributes when there are no formal services being held at a funeral home. However, most prefer floral tributes be delivered to the funeral home when possible. Floral tributes are only sent directly to the cemetery if there is no visitation or formal services prior to burial. Floral tributes may be sent directly to the family's home anytime, including after the services are complete. This is often done when you are notified of their loss after the services are complete or when they have attended services out-of-town.
Is it appropriate to send a floral tribute to a co-worker at work?
Yes. This is a wonderful way to offer condolences and support, especially when the co-worker has been away attending funeral services out-of-town.
Should I send a basket or a standing easel spray?
Either are appropriate and appreciated. Traditionally, easel sprays are sent by family members, companies, and those closest to the deceased. While standing easels are large and showy you may keep in mind where the flowers are going when making your selection. If there will not be a burial you may want to select a basket so the family may continue to enjoy the flowers following the services. If the floral tribute will be on display for an extended period of time we also recommend a basket because it contains a larger water source for the flowers. However, there are no formal rules. This is your opportunity to send a tribute to the deceased and is a highly personal choice.
What is the difference between a funeral arrangement and a funeral basket?
Generally they mean the same thing. However, most arrangements are made in a wicker basket.
Can I send a floral tribute in a vase?
Traditionally, vased floral arrangements should be sent directly to the family home. However, we have recently seen an increase in requests for vased arrangements, including dozen rose vases, sent to the funeral home. While florists are equipped to transport vased arrangements, many funeral directors are not. Vased arrangements are rarely transported to the cemetery for burial services. Most are delivered to the family home by the funeral director following services.
What is the difference between a wreath and a standing easel spray?
In many parts of the country these terms refer to the same type of floral tribute. Technically, a wreath is circular shaped and can be covered with flowers, ribbon, or greenery. Wreaths are most popular in the Northeastern states in the U.S.
What should be sent for a military service?
Any floral tribute is appropriate. However, you may want to request flowers and/or ribbons be done in red, white, and blue or have a flag included when the deceased is affiliated with the military, a fire department, or public safety organization.
Can I put a Ribbon/Banner on my floral tribute?
Yes. Common sentiments include "Rest in Peace", "Loving Mother / Father", "Beloved Grandmother / Grandfather", etc.
Can I still send flowers if the obituary says "in lieu of flowers"?
Occasionally, the family requests this phrase in their obituary. More often than not, the funeral directors are sending a form letter to the newspaper that includes the "in lieu of flowers" phrase and the family did not make this specific request. While making a donation to charity is a wonderful way to honor the deceased, flowers are always an appropriate and appreciated sympathy tribute as well.
What do you recommend sending other than floral tributes?
Fruit Baskets, Gourmet Food Baskets, and Baked Goods Baskets are often welcome sympathy tributes. We recommend sending these directly to the family home.
What if I do not know the deceased name or want to deliver to a specific family member?
Often you are not directly associated with the deceased, but are sending a floral tribute to someone in the family. The florist will need to know the deceased last name in order to ensure your floral tribute is received as intended. Often floral tributes are sent to "The Family of John Smith" or "The Smith Family". If you would like to send them to a specific family member you may sent them to "Mary Jones c/o The Family of John Smith" or include a message on the card such as "Mary, our thoughts are with you and your family".
What is the difference between funeral services and memorial services?
Often the terms are often used to mean the same thing. Generally, funeral services means the deceased is present and services include burial/interment. A memorial service is held when this is not the case, such as when the deceased is cremated.
Should I send flowers if there will be no burial?
Yes. However, we recommend you notify the florist so a floral tribute can be designed that will be appropriate for the family's home following the services. Generally, the funeral directors transport the flowers for the family following the services.
What does "graveside services" mean?
Graveside services means that all services will be held at the cemetery at the time of burial/interment directly at the grave site. Floral tributes are delivered directly to the grave site the morning of the services.
What does "private services" or "private interment" mean and should I send flowers?
Private services are reserved for family only and those issued a personal invitation. Floral tributes may be sent to the funeral home or the family home.
What is a Rosary Service?
A rosary service is a formal Catholic ritual performed the evening prior to formal funeral services and burial. Usually held at the funeral home, it is open to all who choose to attend. The family is usually available at this time to receive visitors and condolences. The rosary is often performed during the "vigil service" or "wake".
What is a Funeral Mass?
A funeral mass is a formal Catholic service performed prior to burial. Usually held at a church, it is open to all who choose to attend, unless specified as private. The family often proceeds directly to the burial site following the mass. However, a funeral mass may be held in memorial when burial/interment is not a part of their funeral service.
What is a Vigil Service?
A vigil service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. It is open to all who choose to attend. The family is usually available at this time to receive visitors and condolences. It is often referred to as a wake.
What is a Wake?
A wake usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. It is open to all who choose to attend. The family is usually available at this time to receive visitors and condolences. It is often referred to as a vigil service.
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