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What is the Difference between Sympathy Flowers and Funeral Flowers

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09Apr 2021

What is the Difference between Sympathy Flowers and Funeral Flowers

All About Funeral and Sympathy Flowers

The terms sympathy flowers and funeral flowers are often used interchangeably. However, they have very distinct purposes when it comes to expressing grief and respect for those who have died. In very simple terms, sympathy flowers are those that you send to the family of the deceased. They are intended to show that you are thinking of them during a sad time.

Funeral flowers, on the other hand, are delivered to the funeral service and intended as a mark of respect for the deceased.
These two forms of flower delivery have different purposes and meanings, so it is useful to know some of the differences in how to send and choose the right flowers for each situation. Below we look at some of the common differences to be aware of:

When to Send

Sympathy flowers are typically sent very soon after a death. Ideally, we recommend sending sympathy flowers within a week of hearing about someone’s passing.

Funeral flowers, however, are sent and delivered at the time of the funeral. This may be very soon after someone has died, or it could be several weeks, or even months, depending on the circumstances. It is important to make note of when the funeral is being held as this will tell you when you need to organise funeral flower delivery.
Who to Send Them To

Sympathy flowers are for the bereaved, in most cases, this will be close family. However, this can include a lot of people such as parents, children, siblings and so on. Depending on your relationship with the deceased and their family, you may choose to have sympathy flowers delivered to all the different family members or just one group. It’s common to include a message to indicate you are thinking of everyone affected.

With funeral flowers, these will be sent directly to the funeral home or venue where the funeral is being held. This information is usually found on the memorial notice or funeral invitation.
Where to Send

As sympathy flowers are intended to provide comfort and express love to the bereaved, it is traditional to have them delivered to their home. As highlighted above, you may choose to send sympathy flowers to several members of the family, or have one bouquet delivered to a central location. You may choose to deliver the bouquet in person or have them delivered via courier or similar. This decision will typically depend on your relationship with the family, as well as practical considerations such as where they need to be delivered and whether you have time to do it or not.

As stated above, funeral flowers will be delivered directly to the funeral venue. However, it is common for a florist to organise the delivery for you rather than deliver them yourself. If you are unsure of how this works, it is best to speak to your florist directly.
Choosing the Most Appropriate Bouquet

As well as differences in how sympathy and funeral flowers are delivered, there are also differences in what type of flowers to choose. With sympathy flowers, lilies are the most traditional bouquet for bereavement. Other common choices include chrysanthemums, roses, or posies.

For funeral flowers, however, you may choose a traditional bouquet like those mentioned above, or you may choose something more bespoke. This will depend on your relationship with the deceased. With funeral flowers being a mark of respect for the deceased, it is advisable to select an arrangement that has special meaning to you and reminds you of your loved one. This could be based on their favourite colour and flower, or some other trait you want to highlight.