It might sound very strange but some of our best read blogs are about Sympathy Flowers probably because folks don't know what is appropriate to send. Whether it's for an immediate family member, friend or business associate, there are "rules" that dictate what type of arrangement you should be sending. This first blog post in a series I'm going to write deal with ordering flowers for placement on the casket. Let me say that flowers are always appropriate, even if you are asking for donation in honor of your loved one. Link here to read our blog about what "In Lieu of Flowers" Means.
Is there going to be a casket? If so then you will need something for the top of the casket. These can be tricky to order but this is a good place to let your florist confer with your funeral director. If the casket is full open or fully closed, these require similar floral designs but need to be styled differently. Is the casket going to be only half open? The a floral piece would be placed at the foot of the casket. Types of caskets can vary depending on the part of the country you live in but a quick call the to the director and your florist will know exactly what to do. Below are a few examples of Casket Sprays.
This piece was designed for a full closed casket in feminine colors using garden variety flowers such as roses, orchids, lilies, mums, larkspur and lisianthus. There is no right or wrong with regards to flower selection and colors but your florist can advise as as what would look pretty given the season and the casket colors.
This design above was created for a man and was placed onto a casket that was going to be half open. Featuring fall blooms such as sunflower centers, mums, lilies and even Kale.
Here's another 1/2 open casket spray done in pretty pale colors. This piece included flowers that were her favorites such as roses, carnations and gerbera daisy.
If you notice this piece pictured above is both long and deep, this piece was created for a fully open casket and was going to be hung from above. You'll notice that it includes ribbons with special message, which is a nice touch for a casket spray. These ribbons say Beloved Nana, Mom and Wife.
Now let's assume your loved one is being cremated. If so, you may want a piece like this one, which is a wreath that goes all the way around the urn. This can also be done in any color and include an message ribbon. White is always a safe choice but don't feel that you have to limit yourself. Bright and vibrant colors can help to celebrate the person's life and add a touch of warmth and beauty to the room.
Now let's talk a bit about price. Remember, these piece need to be big to look appropriate on the casket. The pricing can change depending on the overall size of the desired piece but more importantly the lushness of the design and types of flowers used. Different flowers have different prices so the more costly each bloom the most expensive the floral design will be. Greenery costs less than flowers but even unique foliage can add to the cost. A good budget for a 1/2 open casket spray is to start at $200 but can go up from there. Full open and Full closed pieces need to be larger so we recommend budgeting at least $400 for these pieces. Casket Sprays of all roses can cost $700 and do you love the idea or orchids or gardenias? Those can cost $1,000 or more. However, don't worry, there are plenty of flower choices that will allow for a stunning floral design that won't break the bank.
Another piece that is often sent by a spouse is the Bleeding Heart like the piece shown below. Keep in mind that no two designs we make are ever exactly the same. We love customizing them just for you and your loved one and above and below are 2 examples - one for a Husband and one for a Wife.
This design is so elegant and often stands at the head of the casket or urn. These piece take lots of flowers and depending on if we create them with all roses or all carnations, these pieces start at $300.
Look for part 2 in our Funeral Flower Blog Series, which will talk about piece sent by immediate family that do not go on the casket. Feel free to read our past sympathy flowers blogs like this one here and as always, feel free to call us if you have any questions or need flower advise.