What Flowers to Send When Someone Dies: A Complete Guide to Sympathy Flowers Etiquette

Losing someone close is incredibly tough, and knowing how to show your support can be even tougher. Sending the right flowers can convey your heartfelt sympathy and provide comfort during such a difficult time.

In this guide, you’ll discover the most thoughtful and appropriate flowers to send, ensuring your gesture is both meaningful and respectful. Keep reading to learn the best ways to express your condolences with flowers and bring some comfort to those grieving.

what flowers to send when someone dies

Understanding Sympathy and Funeral Flowers

Sympathy flowers and funeral flowers both play crucial roles in expressing condolences and honouring the memory of the deceased. However, there are distinct differences between these two types of floral arrangements that you should understand to ensure your gesture is appropriate.

Sympathy Flowers:

Sympathy flowers are intended to offer comfort to the grieving family members and are typically sent directly to their home. These arrangements are often smaller and more personal, including sympathy flower arrangements designed to be displayed in the home.

Sending sympathy flowers can be done days or even weeks after the funeral service, providing ongoing support to the grieving family.

Funeral Flowers:

Funeral flowers are meant to honour the deceased during the funeral service. They are usually sent to the funeral home. These arrangements are often larger, such as funeral wreaths, sprays, or casket covers. It is essential that funeral flowers are delivered in time for the funeral service.

Etiquette and Considerations:

When sending flowers, it is essential to consider cultural and religious practices. Different faiths and customs may have specific preferences or restrictions regarding funeral flowers. The needs and preferences of the grieving family should be your primary concern. If in doubt, a simple arrangement of white flowers is often appropriate.

Understanding these distinctions will help ensure that your flowers provide comfort and respect the family’s wishes.

Best Flowers to Send for Sympathy

Best Flowers to Send for Sympathy

Choosing the best sympathy flowers involves understanding the meanings behind different blooms and selecting those that convey the right message. Here are some of the most appropriate flowers to send when expressing your condolences:

1. Lilies:

Lilies, especially white lilies, symbolize purity, innocence, and the rebirth of the soul. White stargazer lilies are particularly popular for sympathy bouquets due to their elegant appearance and profound symbolism.

2. Roses:

Roses are versatile and deeply symbolic flowers. White roses represent reverence and remembrance, making them a fitting choice for a sympathy arrangement. Red roses symbolize love and respect, conveying deep emotions towards the deceased. Although less common in sympathy arrangements, yellow roses can signify friendship and a celebration of life.

3. Carnations:

Carnations are valued for their longevity and the wide range of colours they come in, each with its own meaning. Red carnations denote admiration, while white carnations symbolize pure love and innocence. These flowers are commonly included in sympathy arrangements due to the flowers long lasting beauty and significant symbolism.

4. Chrysanthemums:

Chrysanthemums hold particular significance in European and Asian cultures, where they represent death and mourning. White chrysanthemums are often used in sympathy arrangements to convey grief and respect for the deceased.

5. Orchids:

Orchids are a unique choice for condolence flowers, symbolizing eternal love. They are available in various colours, with white and pink orchids being the most common for expressing sympathy. Their long-lasting nature makes them a thoughtful gesture of remembrance.

6. Peace Lily:

Peace lilies are popular potted plants that symbolize peace and rebirth. They make a thoughtful, long-lasting gift that can continue to provide comfort to the grieving family.

7. Gladioli:

Gladioli are tall, elegant flowers that symbolize strength and integrity, making them ideal for honouring a loved one with a strong character. Their striking appearance adds a sense of dignity to any sympathy arrangement.

8. Cut Flowers and Bouquets:

Mixed floral arrangements can convey multiple sentiments by combining different flowers. Popular flowers like lilies, roses, and carnations can be mixed with other blooms to create a beautiful bouquet that adds depth and meaning.

When selecting sympathy flowers, consider the personality and preferences of the deceased as well as the feelings of their family. For a wide range of options, including customized floral arrangements, visit our flowers shop in London. Choosing the right flowers can provide comfort and express your heartfelt condolences effectively.

Choosing the Right Colours

Selecting the right colours for sympathy flowers can significantly impact the message and comfort they convey. Each colour has its own symbolism and can be used to express different emotions and sentiments.

White flowers are the most traditional choice for sympathy bouquets. They symbolize purity, innocence, and reverence, making them appropriate for almost any situation. White lilies, roses, and carnations are popular options for creating a serene and respectful floral arrangement.

Red flowers convey deep love and respect, making them a fitting choice for someone with whom you had a close bond. However, it is important to consider the cultural context, as red can symbolize different things in different cultures. When sending sympathy flowers, red roses or carnations can add a touch of heartfelt emotion to your bouquet.

Yellow flowers, such as yellow roses, symbolize friendship and hope. While they can brighten a sad occasion, it is essential to use them thoughtfully, as they may not always be appropriate for every grieving family. Light pinks, on the other hand, represent grace, gentleness, and sympathy, making them a versatile and gentle choice.

Choosing flowers in the favourite colour of the deceased or their loved ones can add a personal touch to your arrangement. This thoughtful gesture shows that you remember and honour their preferences and personality. Mixing different colours can also create a beautiful arrangement that reflects the complexity of emotions during this difficult time.

In any floral arrangement, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic and ensure it conveys the right emotions. For a wide selection of sympathy flowers, visit Handy Flowers London to find the perfect bouquet that expresses your condolences with care and respect.

Sympathy Flower Arrangements by Relationship

Choosing the right sympathy flower arrangements can depend significantly on your relationship with the deceased and their family. Different relationships call for different types of arrangements to appropriately express your condolences and support.

For close family members, such as parents, siblings, or children, more intimate and personalized arrangements are suitable. Larger arrangements, such as a casket spray or a funeral arrangement, may be appropriate if you are involved in the funeral planning. For immediate family members, sending flowers to the funeral home ensures they are part of the funeral service, providing a visual tribute during the ceremony.

When expressing sympathy to a grieving family, consider sending sympathy bouquets directly to their home. This gesture can provide comfort long after the funeral has passed. A beautifully arranged sympathy flower bouquet, thoughtfully selected to suit the family’s preferences, can serve as a gentle reminder of your support during their difficult time.

For friends, a sympathy flower arrangement can be a meaningful way to show that you are thinking of them. Sending flowers to their home or the funeral home can help express your condolences. If the deceased was a close friend, choosing flowers that reflect their personality or favourite colour can add a personal touch to your gesture.

In professional settings, such as for a co-worker or an acquaintance, it’s best to keep the arrangements more modest. Smaller sympathy bouquets or simple floral arrangements can be sent to the funeral home or directly to the family, showing your respect without overwhelming them during their time of grief.

Regardless of the relationship, it’s important to adhere to proper flower etiquette. Ensure your floral arrangement is appropriate for the cultural and religious practices of the grieving family. For instance, certain traditions may favour specific types of flowers or colours, while others may prefer a charitable donation instead.

Ultimately, the goal is to express sympathy and provide comfort. A well-chosen floral arrangement can convey your heartfelt condolences and offer solace to those who are mourning.

Sympathy Flower Etiquette

Understanding and adhering to sympathy flower etiquette is essential when sending flowers to express condolences. This ensures your gesture is both respectful and appropriate, offering comfort during a difficult time.

When you send sympathy flowers, it is crucial to consider the cultural and religious practices of the grieving family. For instance, at a Buddhist funeral, white flowers are typically preferred, while red flowers should be avoided as they symbolize happiness. Certain Protestant branches may favour plain and simple arrangements, reflecting their modest traditions. Always research or inquire about these practices to ensure your flowers are suitable.

Choosing the right sympathy bouquet involves selecting flowers that convey your heartfelt emotions without overwhelming the grieving family. Traditional flowers like lilies, roses, and chrysanthemums are popular choices due to their symbolic meanings of purity, love, and mourning. It’s also essential to write the right words on the accompanying card, expressing your sympathy sincerely and respectfully.

Sending flowers directly to the family home can be a thoughtful way to provide ongoing comfort after the funeral service. This gesture shows that your support continues beyond the immediate aftermath of the loss. Additionally, working with a funeral director can help ensure your flowers are delivered appropriately and on time for the funeral service.

Practical Tips for Sending Sympathy Flowers

Sending sympathy flowers requires careful planning and consideration to ensure your gesture is well-received and meaningful.

First, decide whether to send sympathy flowers to the funeral home, the family home, or both. If you’re unsure how to send flowers to a funeral, consulting with a funeral director can provide clarity and assistance. Sending flowers to the funeral home ensures they are part of the service, while sending them to the family home can offer comfort in the days and weeks following the funeral.

When choosing the flowers, opt for a sympathy bouquet or arrangement that reflects the personality and preferences of the deceased or their family. Popular flowers like lilies, roses, and chrysanthemums are often included in sympathy arrangements for their symbolic meanings. For a more personalized touch, consider including the favourite flower or colour of the deceased.

Ensure your flowers are delivered on time. For funeral services, flowers should arrive before the service begins. For home deliveries, it’s best to send them a few days after the funeral, providing ongoing support to the grieving family.

Always include a heartfelt message with your flowers. Finding the right words can be challenging, but simple and sincere expressions of sympathy are always appreciated. If in doubt, a brief message expressing your condolences and offering support is suitable.


Expressing sympathy through flowers is a timeless tradition that offers comfort and support during a difficult time. By understanding the differences between sympathy and funeral flowers, choosing the right colours, and following proper etiquette, you can ensure your gesture is both respectful and meaningful.

Whether you send flowers directly to the funeral home or the family home, your thoughtful gesture will be appreciated by those mourning their loved one.

Remember, the goal is to offer support and express your heartfelt condolences in a way that respects the family’s wishes and traditions. With these guidelines, you can navigate the process of sending sympathy flowers with confidence and care.