Flowers have been sent to express ones sympathy for centuries. There is a
definite psychology involved. It was not that long ago that it was
customary for ones house to be the gathering point for those who wished to
express their sympathy to the family and view the body for the last time.
It is now customary to allow a Funeral Home to provide this service.
The sending of flowers has had several functions over the years. It is
believed the most valuable of these functions was to allow the family of
the departed member to realize the passage of time before having to say
their final goodbyes. It was not uncommon for a wake to be spread over a
much longer period of time than we are accustomed to today as it took
family members and friends longer periods of time to travel to pay their
last respects. Flowers that were received as a show of sympathy for those
who were unable to make the trip served two functions. It
represented the individuals that were unable to attend and the
perishability of the cut flowers signaled a significant passage of time
from the date of death to the graveside ceremony.
Today's customs have changed significantly. Long wakes are no longer the
norm. In fact, there has been a significant shift to no wake at all. Only
a memorial service is given. How does this affect the sending of flowers?
Professional florists often hear "I don't like sending flowers because
they just die". Actually, that used to be the very reason for sending
flowers, to visualize the passage of time. With today's shorter wakes, one
should not expect their floral presentation to perish before the final
service. There are a few exceptions for flower varieties that have an
extremely short expectancy but generally, that statement remains true. In
an effort to provide a variety of options, professional florists have
several categories to accommodate different intentions of the sender. They
Traditional Funeral Arrangements focus on giving a maximum amount of
size and show for each dollar spent. They include arrangements made in
large containers, on easels, or set pieces made in the shape of hearts,
crosses, etc. The term traditional is because for many decades, these were
the only styles of arrangements that were sent for funerals. It was a way
of separating sending of flowers for a funeral from that of happier
occasions. If bigger is better, this is the choice you will want to make.
Table Arrangements became popular for two different reasons. First,
because they usually do not provide the size and show of a traditional
arrangement, less materials are required to make one. This allowed the
minimum cost to be under that of a traditional arrangement. Second and
most importantly, they are designed in a style that would be appropriate
for someone to take home after the service is over and enjoy in their
homes. With today's shorter wake time, this became an added value.
Plants and Dish gardens have grown significantly in popularity over the
past two decades. While they provide the smallest presentation at the
funeral home, they will last the longest after the service is over. This
is mostly a good thing but for some situations it can be a bad thing. It can be bad if
one dies suddenly and prematurely, looking at this plant for an extended
period after the service only rekindles the shock and loss that a loved
one experiences. While this is an unusual circumstance, it does happen
with occasion so you need to ask yourself if this is possible for your