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. Funeral flowers are usually not addressed to a particular loved one of the deceased, but are intended as a way to pay respect to the deceased themselves.
Sympathy flowers go to the family 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 a centerpiece.
Plants make a great choice in either regard, as the loved ones of the deceased tend to take them home after a service and they serve as a lasting tribute of the deceased.
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.
Are there certain types of flowers that are not appropriate for sending to a funeral service?
Every flower, when tastefully arranged, is appropriate for expressing condolences. Designs that are going to a memorial or funeral service usually have larger flowers to create a dramatic tribute. Small-scale flowers in mid- to small-size designs are usually used for sending to the home.
I'd like to send a colorful, less somber arrangement that celebrates life.
A funeral service is as much about gaining closure following a death as it is about celebrating the delight and energy the deceased brought to life. For that reason, selecting vibrant, colorful, and bright funeral flowers are just as appropriate and can add a joyful note of remembrance to an otherwise somber occasion.
I am unsure on what to say and how to sign the card.
Most enclosure cards can be signed with messages like "With Deepest Sympathy" or "Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time." A message such as this can be signed as is with your name. You should use your first and last name to avoid confusion for the family. If you are sending flowers on behalf of a group or company, make sure to include that as well.
You may also take a look at this page for other suggestions on writing sympathy card messages.