Life Events

Advice from our designers about some of the most important occasions in one's life.

 Life Events: Funerals

Funerals are one of the most difficult events in life. The passing of a loved one is often marked by grief and sadness and the sending of flowers is time honoured tradition to let the family and friends of the departed know that they are supported and remain in your thoughts. Knowing the proper etiquette will go a long way to reassure you that your sentiments are communicated correctly and will end up comforting those in mourning.

In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.
Kakuzo Okakura, The Book Of Tea

The type of funeral arrangement to send is based on various factors, so here's how to navigate this difficult time:

The funeral is a ceremony designed to respectfully celebrate the life of the departed, so avoid sending balloons or plush animals, and if possible, a handwritten note goes a long way in showing your support.

If you are a member of the immediate family, then a casket spray or funeral wreath is the appropriate choice. Options for spouses, children, or parents also include sympathy crosses, table arrangements, and heart shaped arrangements.

If you are a member of the extended family or a close friend then there are a wide range of suitable options available. A traditional standing spray is a common choice, with white flowers, especially lilies, being the primary flower, as they represent purity. Larger arrangements in disposable vases are also appropriate for this occasion. These can also be transported to the cemetery following the funeral.

If you are a close to the family or deceased, options range from arrangements in baskets, vase arrangements, plants, wreaths, or standing sprays. These can be sent to either the funeral home or directly to the family's home.

If you knew the deceased as a business associate, you can also have sympathy flowers in a container sent to their workplace.

Another factor to consider is the cultural and religious context in which the ceremony is taking place:

Chinese Funerals: send white and yellow lilies or chrysanthemums, fresh or silk, arrangements to the funeral home. Red is an inappropriate colour of flower to send.

Baha'i: Primarily white arrangements are appropriate to send to the funeral home.

Buddhism: Sending primarily white flowers to the funeral home is becoming a more accepted expression, however it is best to check with a close family member to confirm whether or not the family will be accepting flowers.

Orthodox: The sending of flowers to a funeral home is a welcomed sentiment.

Hindu: The sending of a spray of funeral flowers is a welcomed gesture, however it is not traditional or required.

Judaism: Jewish traditions do not accept any form of floral arrangements, it is best to send a fruit or kosher food basket to the home of the family.

Mormon: Practitioners of this faith appreciate funeral arrangements and sprays, however do not send them in the form of a cross design.

Islam: Charitable gifts are preferred over floral arrangements, it is best to consult a member of the family prior to sending.

Christian: All Christian religions appreciate austere, primarily white floral arrangements.

Catholic: Roman Catholics will welcome all types of floral arrangements to the family home, funeral home, church or cathedral.

We at Ottawa Flowers appreciate you choosing us to be your funeral florist, and please do not hesitate to contact us for any floral delivery information or guidance with options.

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