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Funeral Flower Etiquette: Frequently Asked Questions

Funeral Flower Etiquette: Frequently Asked Questions

It can be hard to know what to do when a loved one passes away. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, especially when you want to make sure you’re making the right choices and being sensitive towards the family who is organising the memorial service.

There are so many details to consider, and sending the right flowers is a central part of honouring a life. To help clear up some questions you might have, we’ve put together our advice on traditional etiquette when it comes to sending funeral flowers.

1. Which flowers should I send for a funeral?

Sending flowers is a popular way to express your condolences, and while some families are happy for you to send whichever flowers you feel are most suited to the recently deceased, there are some flowers that traditionally represent sympathy.

Our guide should help you determine which flowers to send:

  • Lilies – the most traditional funeral flower, lilies symbolise the soul of the departed and the hope that the renewal process can bring.
  • Carnations – thanks to their scent and long-lasting characteristic, carnations are popular sympathy flowers particularly for services that last more than one day.
  • Roses – roses have a universal meaning of love and respect.
  • Gladioli – often used to remember someone who showed a great deal of strength and character in life.
  • Orchids – a simple, modern flower that says “I will always love you”.

2. At what stage should I send flowers to a grieving family?

There are many different opportunities to send sympathy flowers to a family. You could address them to the home of immediate family members during the lead-up to the funeral, or you could bring them to the funeral itself. Just be aware that the family may receive a lot of flowers at this time, and it’s normal for them to leave some behind or not notice they’re there.

You may also be able to take flowers to place on the grave in case of a burial.

3. What colour roses should I send for a funeral?

If you’re choosing to send roses, keep in mind that each colour traditionally represents something slightly different:

  • Red roses symbolise love
  • White roses symbolise remembrance
  • Pink roses symbolise admiration and gratitude
  • Yellow roses symbolise friendship

4. What funeral flowers are appropriate for different faiths?

Before sending flowers, consider the faith and culture of the deceased person; some flowers are appropriate in one culture, but not others. Read our simple guide, or check with the family if you’re unsure:

  • Christian – most types of flowers are acceptable
  • Mormon – most types of flowers are acceptable, but flowers arranged in a cross format should be avoided
  • Eastern or Greek Orthodox – white flowers are usually favoured
  • Jewish – traditionally, sending flowers is not preferred – check with the family or send fruit to their home instead
  • Buddhist – most types of flowers are acceptable
  • Hindu – most are acceptable, but garlands are the most popular
  • Muslim – many Muslim families prefer that you send money to a charitable cause instead of sending flowers, but do check with the family

Contact Fry Bros

Fry Bros is a family-run funeral service business in Maitland, and we’re here to answer your questions, whether you’re planning a funeral or attending one. Please feel free to give us a call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) on 02 4933 6155.

48 Banks Street
East Maitland, NSW 2323

97 New England Highway
Maitland (Rutherford), NSW 2320

61 Port Stephens Street
Raymond Terrace, NSW 2324

Acknowledgement of Country

We are in the country of the Worimi, Gamilleroi, Wonnarua, Gweagal, Darkinjung, Biripi and Awabakal peoples.
Fry Bros respectfully acknowledge their Elders, celebrate their continuing culture and the living memory of their ancestors.