Someone we know has lost a family member and I would like to send some flowers. Frankly, $50 is more than I can afford. I thought of delivering my own, but I'm not sure where I would take it, the church or the funeral home, and what would be the best time.
A: Yes, I have! Funeral customs vary so much by region, but I do take my own flowers when I need to make that statement.
I usually find food a better use for my dollars. I take a homemade fruit and cheese platter or a basket of sandwiches to the funeral home just before the visitation. There is usually a break room for families, and often, very little for them to slip away and eat during that time. I include a card with our name on the tray.
Now, funeral flowers are something different. They offer a tangible goodbye to the deceased, brighten the atmosphere, and remind the family that you were there. Why else would they be set around the room with such visible tags?
You can definitely bring your own flowers, even if you cannot attend the funeral or visitation. Bring them in the "business" side of the funeral home. There is usually a side door or a back door for deliveries (no, not THOSE deliveries).
If I am going in to see the family, I give the flowers to one of the employees first. They typically record deliveries so the family can write notes later. Then, they will take the flowers into the room and set them in an appropriate spot. This strategy works whether you hand carry a pre-arranged Kroger vase or if you have created a beautiful garden tribute.
Some tips for making funeral flowers look more professional:
- Attach one of your family's calling cards, or make a flat (not folded) white card that says "With sympathy, the X family." Ask for a clear plastic card holder when you buy flowers, or use a hole punch and thin ribbon around the vase.
- What to buy: long-stemmed flowers and a tall vase, or even a large tropical plant from Lowes, placed in a yard sale basket. Remember, most florists send sprays of flowers on stands, and you want yours to be equally visible.
- Specific suggestions: long-leafed greenery such as palm fronds, wispy pine boughs, etc. paired with 3 stems of showy Oriental lilies or an odd number of long-stemmed carnations or gladiolus.
- Colors: I prefer all white or yellow flowers. They seem to stand out best in softly lit funeral homes. You can also use fewer blooms because white and yellow create a greater contrast against the greenery. If you feel that the arrangement looks sparse, add a large white bow around the vase for added color. Funeral flowers are not always known for good taste.
I hope that these tips are helpful to someone! I am curious what you do when you need to send funeral flowers on a tight budget. People tend to have very strong opinions about funeral customs.