Sympathy flowers
Photo by DeltaWorks on Pixabay.

Etiquette guide for choosing and sending sympathy flowers

When you lose a loved one, you need all the support you can get. Others express their love and support by sending a bouquet of sympathy flowers. It surely does not bring the loved one back, but it provides some form of comfort and shows some thoughtfulness to a very sad moment.

When it comes to sending sympathy flowers, any type of flower is ok. Customs and values usually determine the bouquet you can select. In giving sympathy flowers, you should consider the colour and the meaning behind your bloom.

Even putting together a flower arrangement as the organiser can be very hard. We have put together a guide to give you the etiquette for choosing and sending the perfect sympathy flowers to a grieving family. The article will look at the meaning of the colours of flowers, types of flowers, arrangements, religions, and cultures that don’t accept flowers.

Meaning of colours in flowers

Before selecting the type of flowers you want to give, you must consider the different colours and their meaning. When creating the sympathy arrangement, you want to make sure you know what it means. Choosing the correct colour for your flowers is a very important step. We will look at what different colours in flowers symbolise.


If you know someone who has lost someone significant in their life, you should send red flowers. Red usually symbolises love and beauty. If a family loses a loved one, they show your love and support.


Although flowers aren’t always going to cheer the grieving family, they could show support and hope. Yellow flowers are usually a representation of hope and light in dark times. These also show warmth and friendship, so you might want to present a bouquet with yellow flowers if someone loses a friend.

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Sunflower Bouquet

20 Stems with Blue Modern Vase US$69.99
20 Stems with Clear Vase US$66.99
10 Stems with Sunflower Pitcher & Sunflower Wall Décor US$59.99
10 Stems with Clear Vase & Sunflower Wall Décor US$56.99
10 Stems with Sunflower Pitcher US$54.99
10 Stems with Clear Vase US$51.99
10 Stems, Bouquet Only with Sunflower Wall Décor US$44.99
10 Stems, Bouquet Only US$39.99


White is a common colour in sympathy arrangements. The white colour usually signifies remembrance and new beginnings. They are usually great for funerals because they will show how much you remember the one who has passed on. In the case of losing a child or a younger person, they signify innocence and purity.


Purple represents respect and loyalty, which in most times, is a very important factor in family relationships and friendships. These types of sympathy flowers will show the family that you will always be by their side and that you love and care for them.

Screenshot 2022 03 16 141304

Daydream Bouquet™

Extra Large US$79.99
Large US$69.99
Medium US$59.99
Small US$49.99


Pink can come in many shades; it can be subtle and smooth and bright and bold. This colour usually symbolises femininity and beauty and makes a perfect gift to a family that has lost a wife or mother.

Types of flowers

Since you know what colours in flowers mean, you can select your flower. If you’ve selected a bouquet for any other occasion, you know that the type of flower means something. Flowers carry a unique meaning or emotion. There are usually certain flowers requested by people to send for sympathy.


Orchids usually come in pink and white colours. The types of orchids to use as sympathy flowers for a funeral are phalaenopsis and dendrobium.

Screenshot 2022 03 16 142553

Picturesque Purple Mini Orchid

• 6-10 Inch Orchid Plant
• 4 Inch Diameter Pot


Lilies represent the restored innocence of the departed and are common in funeral arrangements.


In the US, chrysanthemums represent truth and are a happy symbol to honour someone who lived their life to the fullest.

Screenshot 2022 03 16 142957

Sunny Pastel Bouquet

• Mini Peach Gerberas
• Peach Alstroemeria
• Mini Peach Carnations
• White Matsumoto Asters
• Yellow Button Spray Chrysanthemums
• Solidago
• Pink Leptospermum
• Myrtle
• Green Ivy
• Glass Vase


Gladiolus is an ancient plant with sword-shaped leaves and spikes with brightly coloured flowers. They are tall and majestic and convey the strength of character, moral integrity, and sincerity.


Roses are the most common and popular flower used for any occasion. The beauty of roses is that they also come in various colours. Red roses show respect and love, pink roses signify love, gentleness, and grace, and yellow represents friendship and sorrow.


Carnations come in a range of colours. They come in white, red and pink. The guide on the colour meanings will give you an idea of which carnations you can use in your next arrangement.

Types of arrangements

In modern times, flowers serve a dual purpose: bringing comfort to the family and honoring the life of the one who has passed on. There are also several choices when it comes to selecting a funeral arrangement.

Wreaths, crosses, and hearts

These usually come in large arrangements and are displayed near the casket. These are the best for family and close friends. The round shape of a wreath represents eternal life while hearts represent love and crosses represent faith. These are usually taken to the gravesite and left there.

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Rainbow Sympathy Wreath

Celebrate a colorful a life well lived with friends, loved ones, and so many memories. Sending this standing wreath is a bold and beautiful way to remember a happy life.Rainbow Arrangement Includes:
• Gerbera Daisies
• Carnations
• Alstroemeria
• Roses
• Yarrow
• Button Poms

Standing sprays

Standing sprays are typically displayed near the casket or on an easel. Funeral sprays are usually sent to the funeral home and delivered to a church for the service.

Funeral baskets

These come in several sizes and are a great presentation to the bereaved. These can be sent to the church for the religious service, the funeral home, or even the family’s home. The family can use them for a wake viewing.

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Juniper Bonsai in Reflection Pool

Water pots are special dual pocket containers; one side encloses the soil and tree roots while the other surrounds a small reflective pool that mirrors the detailed bonsai features. This beautiful Juniper bonsai plant is delivered right to your lucky friend or loved one’s door, making the perfect gift for any occasion! Unfortunately, Agricultural Regulations prohibit us from shipping Junipers to California.

• Green Mound Juniper Plant
• Approximately 8 – 10″ Tall
• Ceramic Water Planter
• Personal Card Message

Dish gardens or plants

These are usually arranged in a basket or decorative container. These are suitable to be sent directly to the family’s home. This particular arrangement is usually comprised of green plants and some colourful flowers.

When should you not send flowers?

As much as sending flowers is a lovely gesture, some religions and cultures don’t accept flowers at funerals. The Jewish and Islamic are one example where flowers are not accepted. In a Buddhist funeral, white is the colour of flowers that is accepted. Red and any other colour are considered poor funeral etiquette.

In a Hindu funeral, mourners should arrive empty-handed bearing no flowers or gifts. It’s always a great idea to ask the funeral home or funeral director what the family expects.


A lot goes into creating a sympathy arrangement. It’s not always easy picking the perfect arrangement, also considering the occasion. Funerals are a sad occasion, and when picking the arrangement, you don’t want to look or sound insensitive with your actions.

Sometimes checking with the funeral director can help avoid any mistakes. We hope this guide has shed some light on picking the next sympathy arrangement to comfort the bereaved family.


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