Sympathy Flower Etiquette
Sympathy flowers and sympathy plants are
traditionally sent to the funeral home, church or mortuary once
the news of the loss has been announced. Most funeral homes,
churches and mortuaries have a “wake,” “visitation” or “viewing”
where friends, family and associates come to pay their respects
to the family. Proper sympathy flower etiquette is to send
flowers or plants to the funeral home, church or mortuary prior
to the first visitation hours.
If you are late in sending flowers and can not have flowers
arrive in time for the first visitation it is still appropriate
to send flowers as long as they arrive prior to any additional
visitations. If you have not sent flowers in time for them to
arrive prior to the last visitation you may want to consider
sending flowers or a plant to the family of the deceased at
their residence. Some people insist upon sending last minute
flower orders to the funeral home, church or mortuary and some
people insist upon having last minute flower deliveries made
directly to the graveside service.
This is not considered proper etiquette as it is very disruptive
and inconsiderate to have flower deliveries arriving during the
service. In many instances, last minute flower orders are lost
in the commotion of moving the flowers from the funeral home,
church or mortuary to the graveside service and in other
instances funeral directors will not accept last minute flower
deliveries in attempt to avoid the negative events mentioned
If you have missed the visitations and the
funeral service it is considered very proper etiquette to send
flowers or a plant to the family of the deceased at their
residence. In fact, it is considered appropriate etiquette to
send flowers or plants to the family of the deceased up to a
month after the funeral service. Some people even prefer to send
flowers and plants at a later date because it is a great way to
let the family of the deceased know that people are still
thinking of them even after the funeral service has passed. Many
people who have lost a loved one find this very comforting.
Here are some additional tips
concerning sympathy flower etiquette:
Sympathy sprays are appropriate for delivery to the funeral
home, mortuary or church. These beautiful arrangements are
displayed on a standing easel and make a spectacular
Wreaths and Specialty Arrangements
Wreaths and specialty arrangements such as crosses, bibles etc.,
are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or
church. Wreaths and specialty arrangements are displayed on a
standing easel and give maximum presentation.
Flowers Board/ Stikwerk (In Indonesia)
Flowers Board are appropriate for delivery to the
funeral home, mortuary or church. These beautiful flower
arrangements are displayed in decorative baskets or containers
and make a lovely presentation. These arrangements can also be
sent to the residence, but are typically sent to the funeral
home, mortuary or church.
Green and Blooming Plants
Green and blooming plants are appropriate for delivery to the
funeral home, mortuary, church, residence or place of business.
These beautiful plants are displayed in a pretty pot or in a
decorative basket and are appropriate to send to any location.
Vase arrangements are appropriate for delivery to the residence.
They are also appropriate to send to a place of business of a
friend or family member who has lost a loved one. Arranged in a
beautiful vase or decorative basket, these arrangements are a
tasteful way to offer your condolences.
Not sure how to compose your sympathy
message? Here are a few tips:
As a general rule of thumb, keep sympathy
and bereavement messages relatively short.
Some commonly used phrases in sympathy
Our thoughts and prayers are with you
“Name of deceased” will remain in our
Our deepest sympathy
With deepest sympathy
With heartfelt condolences
“Name of deceased” will always be in our
hearts and memories
Please accept my condolences
I am sorry for your loss
If the deceased is a person that you knew
very well, it is proper etiquette to convey how much that
person meant to you and how much you will miss them (ex.
Aunt Jackie meant the world to me and I will miss her
If you did not know the deceased very well,
keep the card short and simple (ex. Our thoughts and prayers
are with you. Jack Skinner and Family).
Acknowledging the loss of the person who has
died is acceptable etiquette (ex. Please accept my
condolences on your loss).
Use your last name when signing the message
(ex. With Love, Carmen Johnson). Even if the person you are
sending the card to is a family member who knows you very
well, it is still a good idea to sign your last name because
there may be other friends or family members with the same
first name as yours.
Do not include phrases such as “Time will
heal all wounds” or “It was his time to go.”
Sympathy Card Examples
Below you will find examples of sympathy card
messages from Friends and Family and from Co-Workers and
Sympathy Messages Coming From
Friends and Family
Suzanne, Bill and Family,
Our deepest sympathies during your time of loss.
Please know that we are here for you.
With Love, Joanne and Todd Knapp and Family
In loving memory of Aunt Bernice, she will be
Love, Jason and Lisa Nolan
Dear John and Sue and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult
We are sorry for your loss.
Love, Brenda, Bob, Ellen and Mike Trumbaugh
Please accept my condolences on the loss of your
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
John will always be in our hearts and memories.
With Sympathy, The Harper Family
Sympathy Messages Coming From
Co-Workers and Business Associates
With deepest sympathy for your loss.
The Staff at Vision EyeCare
With deepest sympathy, our thoughts and prayers
are with you.
From all of your friends at Penny Road Elementary School.
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
From all the staff at AT&T.
Please accept our condolences on the loss of
From all your friends at Blinky’s – Sarah, Scott, Mark, Sarah
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From everyone at Samuelson Printing Company.
(See also: Sympathy Card Etiquette)