There are some guidelines that are typically followed for floral gift-giving. These are some suggestions which you can decide to go on the traditional route or choose something out-of-the-ordinary.
Funerals are fairly traditional and there may be some cultural respect to be followed. If your not sure what is appropriate, you may always call the funeral home as they may have more information on the family, or you can contact a religious leader or the family of the deceased.
The importance of taking the time to ask questions if you don't know, is to avoid any disrespect of someone's cultural and/or religious values.
What to send?
Vase Arrangements - Usually placed on the tables in the lobby, displayed on tables, or inside the service
Standing Sprays - Usually placed along a row before the entrance or displayed inside as a background for the service.
Casket flowers (called "casket sprays") - Do not order unless otherwise requested by the family, this is usually reserved for family members to decide.
Common Flower and Color choice: White Lilies, White Roses, White Carnations
Typical arrangements in a vase, designer container, or as a symbol of life you may like to send a living plant.
A lot of people are unsure what colour flowers should be sent on sad occasions. There is no right or wrong answer here but as a gentle guide the following may help you make the right decision:
Bright = "I want to cheer them up"
White = "They are a traditional family" or "They are a European family"
Pastel = "I just want to gently let them know I am here for them"
If you are really unsure the safest bet is a white or pastel mix.
But what do I say on the card? There are some simple yet effective ways to express what you are trying to say when really 'no words will do'! Why not try one of the below options if you are stuck or use it as a starting platform to create your own individual message:
"Dear Martha and Family, Just a small token to let you know we are thinking of you at this sad time. With our deepest sympathy, The Jones Family"
"Dear John, Mary was such a wonderful and warm person who will be sadly missed but fondly remembered. Our thoughts are with you. Love Michael and Family"
Many hospitals have rules regarding what type of flower arrangements they will allow inside the hospital. These rules need to be respected as they are in place to protect patients and staff.
Arrangements sent to hospitals need to be:
- Not too big there is limited room in a patient's area so it is important not to send an arrangement that is too big. Tall slim arrangements are always good if you want to send something large and impressive.
- Contained in a water source if you send a bouquet a vase (or container) needs to be found for the flowers to be put into. This is not always possible for the nurses to do straight away and a hospital vase may not compliment the bouquet.
- Not containing soil a potted plant is a lovely gift, however most hospitals will not allow them in case the soil they are potted in contains bacteria, germs or other contaminants that could interfere with the wellbeing of patients.
NOTE: If a patient is in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) flowers may not be allowed. You are welcome to call the hospital before placing the order to make sure they will be accepted. If it is not possible for you to do so our standard procedure is to do this on your behalf (the patient is not notified of the intended delivery so the surprise is kept in tact). If they will not accept the flowers we call the next day, and the next day, until the patient is moved to a recovery ward where they can have the flowers.
There are always a lot of question about what to send someone who has just had a baby.
Something for everyone: Flowers for mum, a teddy for baby and chocolates for dad… you can't go wrong with a little of everything.
Something for Mum: If you want to spoil mum, sending pamper products is always a nice gift and remember mum hasn't been able to have a drink for the last 9 months so why not let her celebrate with a nice bottle of champagne or wine?
Something for Dad: If you don't think dad is the type to really enjoy flowers what about chocolates, wine or you may like to go all out with a nice hamper of goodies, lets just hope he likes to share!
Something for Baby: Many people choose to send their joy for the miracle of birth by showering the baby with gifts. A teddy, balloon or even a complete baby hamper is ideal for this purpose.
Something for the big Brother or Sister: While a new baby brings lots of joy to everyone we cannot let the siblings feel left out or 'second best'. What about a gift for them… depending on their age this could be quite fun! Teddies, kids pack hampers or even their own little pot plant can really make them feel just as special as we already know they are and lets them get a little attention too!