Choosing the Right Funeral Sympathy Flowers to Send

Choosing the Right Funeral Sympathy Flowers to Send

Funeral flowers have long been a part of funeral services and are meant to show love, respect, and sympathy, as well as provide comfort to those in mourning.

Even if they are unable to attend the service or be with friends and loved ones during these difficult times, many people choose to send flowers to express their condolences and emotional support.

We’ve created this quick little guide to help you better understand the flower types in order to assist you in your decision making process.

Funeral vs. Sympathy flowers

One of the most common questions we are often asked is “what is the difference between funeral flowers and sympathy flowers?” Most times, the distinction comes down to the size and type of floral arrangement, which to send, and where to send it.

Funeral Flowers

Traditionally, Funeral flowers are selected by family members or close friends of the family, however, there are a few types that are certainly appropriate for anyone to send as well. Funeral pieces are often larger in size, such as sprays and wreaths, and can usually be viewed from anywhere in the viewing room at the funeral home or from further back in a church. You can read about the common types of funeral flowers a little further down this page.

Funeral flowers are usually sent to the funeral home to be displayed at the viewing, not to the private residence of the family. They may also be sent to the church, BUT, you must contact the church or the funeral home to inquire about permission to do so as many of the local churches greatly limit the amount of flowers to be present if they allow them at all.

Sympathy Flowers

Sympathy flowers can be sent by anyone. They are often smaller floral arrangements or plants, most commonly made in vases or baskets, and are meant to express your condolences and let the grieving family or friends know you are thinking of them during this difficult time.

These flower arrangements are meant to last many days after the services. They can be sent to the viewing at the funeral home in which case the family can take them home after the services, or they can be sent directly to their private residence at any time including months after the services have taken place. 

Types of funeral flowers

Casket Spray

Selected by the immediate family of the deceased, a casket spray is a large floral arrangement that adorns the top of the casket. Visit our Casket Spray Collection.

Flower Arrangements for Cremation Urns

Selected by the immediate family of the deceased, these are simply floral arrangements which frame or accent an urn holding the ashes of a loved one. These can be made in a variety of ways, but are usually made to be placed on a table in the viewing room of the funeral home. We will be writing a separate article about these particular pieces very soon. Visit our Cremation and Memorial Collection.

Standing Spray

A large one-sided display of flowers mounted on a free standing easel and usually positioned near the front of or to the sides of the viewing room. Standing sprays are made in a variety of shapes and styles and are an appropriate piece to be sent from friends or family. Visit our Standing Spray Collection.

Funeral Basket

Traditionally, a one sided arrangement in a large container and displayed on the floor near the front of the viewing room or at the base of the casket. Funeral Baskets are made in a variety of styles and are an appropriate piece to be sent from friends or family. Visit our Funeral Basket Collection.

Funeral Wreath

Selected by the immediate family or close friends of the deceased, funeral wreaths, as well as floral hearts and crosses, are one sided floral tributes mounted on easels and displayed in the front of the viewing room.Visit our Funeral Wreath Collection.

How important is the type flowers or colors that I send?

This is a common question we are often asked. If one were to speak with different people or even search the internet, one would find a plethora of information on this query alone ranging from ‘the meaning of each flower,' to ‘spiritual or religious significance,' ‘color theory,' and even answers based on opinion.

Here at Petal Street Flower Company we believe it is simply a matter of personal preference.

With that said, here are a few points to consider when choosing flowers:

  • Did the deceased have a favorite flower or color?
  • Were they a gardener? Did they just love all flowers?
  • Does the family have a favorite flower and/or color?
  • What style does the family prefer? Modern, country, nautical, etc.
  • Want to play it safe? When ordering, ask us to match or compliment the funeral flowers the family ordered.

How much should I spend?

There is no definitive correct answer to this, and plenty of information can be found online about what a proper budget for funeral or sympathy flowers may be. Pricing varies with the different types of floral pieces. Many times choosing the type of arrangement you would like to send will bring into focus a budget or price range.

Another way to think about it would be to ask yourself "would I like to send something that will last for many days, that they may have at their home after the services?" Then a sympathy arrangement of any size/price will do. Or, "do I want to send a larger more showy piece just for the viewing/services?" Then a traditional funeral arrangement (funeral basket, standing spray, etc.) may be the way to go.

Remember, budget is different for each individual, and one’s amount of love or caring should not be measured on how much money was or was not spent. Petal Street Flower Company offers a wide range of price options to fit most budgets comfortably.

Always send from your heart

At Petal Street Flower Company, we honestly believe choosing flowers to have sent for ANY occasion is a matter of personal preference, if it comes from your heart, you cannot make a wrong decision.


We hope this article has given you more knowledgeable about funeral and sympathy flowers, as well as more confidence when choosing what to send.


Visit our Funeral Flowers Collections to view the pieces we discussed above. You can order online when you ready, or if you are still have questions, we are always happy help you navigate the ordering process in person in our shop or by phone (732) 295-0600.


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