What's the difference between "funeral flowers" and "sympathy flowers"?

Flowers for the funeral service go directly to the funeral home. These floral arrangements are often large and formal. They provide decoration and serve as a tribute to the deceased. Due to this, they look best in a funeral home and at graveside services. Funeral flowers are usually not addressed to a particular loved one of the deceased but are intended, instead, as a way to pay respect to the deceased themselves. Sympathy flowers go to the home of the deceased. They should be addressed and sent directly to a loved one of the deceased (family member, friend, acquaintance or business associate) who has suffered a recent loss. They are usually smaller or mid-sized floral arrangements that look good on end tables or used as centerpieces. Plants also make a great sympathy choice because they provide a lasting reminder of your thoughtfulness and serve as a keepsake in memory of the recipient's loved one.

Is it appropriate to send flowers for the casket?

The tradition of adorning the casket with fresh flowers is typically reserved for the closest family members, often the deceased's children or those making the funeral arrangements. For that reason, it's recommended that you inquire with the family before ordering a gift of flowers for the casket.

 
 

I just heard the sad news…is it too late to send funeral flowers?

No matter when you hear the sad news, sending flowers is always appropriate. If you still have time, you can choose to send a flower arrangement to the funeral service, or if you already missed the funeral, then you could send a plant, food basket or sympathy flowers to the home of the surviving family members.

The obituary says "In lieu of funeral flowers," but I still would like to send flowers – is this appropriate?

As part of making funeral arrangements, family members sometimes request a charitable donation is made "in lieu of flowers". We think you should make the contribution; however, it is also acceptable if you decide you would also like to send flowers to the funeral service. Your donation will honor the family request and the flowers will add beauty, fragrance and life to a somber event.