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A Guide To Ordering Funeral Service Flowers

A guide on what and when to order sympathy flowers. Anyone can order flowers to send to a funeral home,church, or graveside service. Friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, etc. Three different choices of arrangements can be sent. A traditional sympathy arrangement is one sided, and is appropriate for all the above listed locations. Keep card messages brief and to the point (ex. With sympathy, The Smith & Allen Families)
A sympathy arrangement someone can take home after services is also appropriate. Vases, baskets, centerpieces all fit this category. A third choice is a green plant or planter of many green indoor plants that a family member can take home, or that you can designate should go home with a specific person ( for Aunt Mary to take home) on the back of the card.
All flower types and colors can be used. There are no set rules that only subdued colors are appropriate, etc.
Avoid overly personal messages or lengthy messages on cards sent to the funeral home or services. Brevity is key. A grieving family will see the card but not always digest your carefully thought out message at that particular moment- with so many other things happening to them. I say this from experience as a florist AND a Widow.
It is not appropriate to send silk/ artificial arrangements, plush animals or balloons unless specifically asked/directed to do so by the immediate family. 
If services are private- respect the family's wishes and do not send anything to the funeral home. This results in burdening the family with visiting the funeral home YET AGAIN to pick up flowers, etc. Respect their grief.
"In Lieu of Flowers" means if you want to send something besides flowers, these organizations are the family's preferences. It does not mean zero flowers at the funeral home.