Funerals are always a sad and difficult time for all family and friends that knew the individual who has passed on. Everyone involved in servicing the funeral arrangements is trained and usually well experienced in dealing with grieving people. This excellent service should not exclude florists when you are purchasing flowers for the funeral or wake/visitation.
Chances are your florist has a lot of experience in putting together beautiful arrangements specifically for funerals. They can also help work with you to determine the type of arrangement that you should be sending. There are different shapes and sizes as well as purposes for floral arrangements that are traditionally handled by family and close friends.
If you are a close member of the family and you are unsure of what your expectations are as far as purchasing flowers you can always ask the funeral home for any advice on who they recommend to help you buy flowers. Or ask them if they offer that service as part of a package, for instance, to supply the casket covering arrangement.
The immediate family is typically responsible for providing the casket covering flower arrangement. This is typically a large spray type of arrangement that sits on the casket itself. The deceased is usually buried with this arrangement or might have some of the flowers plucked out of it and placed on the casket by those attending the actual burial. The casket covering comes in a full or half casket size depending if the casket is intended to be open or closed. If it is an older parent that has passed away, discussing with the next of kin siblings is a good idea to get this important floral arrangement handled properly.
When purchasing your flowers for the funeral there are many different options that you can go with. You can choose to have flowers presented in a nice basket or sent with a nice vase. These are more traditional flower arrangements. Other options include going with different shapes. Some shapes options are wreathes or hearts, and these would often be hung in a nice place or placed on a table leaning against some pictures or something else. Another option for the religious type is to go with a cross. Pretty much all of the arrangements have a wide variety of flowers that can be used.
The florist will be able to help you with selecting the flowers that can be used for various arrangements that you wish to go with. They will also work with you should you have a desire for a particular flower for whatever preferential reason you might have.
One question that always comes to mind is how much to spend. There is of course no right answer. Keep in mind sending flower arrangements to a funeral can be expensive. There is almost always a delivery charge that will be included in the price, as you do not show up with flowers when you attend the wake. So be sure to keep that in mind when ordering the flowers. Spend what you feel comfortable spending keeping in mind how close you were to the person. At this time of grieving no one is going to notice how large or small the flower arrangement you sent was. It can be pretty surprising when you arrive at the funeral home and look for the flowers you sent to find it is much less than what you thought you would get. Keep in mind, as mentioned before, the fees for delivery and of course the urgent nature of your request. As funeral flowers are often needed at very short notice, a lot of florist have to make them a top priority, hence the additional fees.
Often times once an obituary is posted in the paper or online, the family writing the obituary will request that people do not send flowers but would instead prefer you to donate money towards a cause instead. This can be because there are plenty of flowers already sent to the funeral home. Some just see it as money better spent to donating to a better cause. It is okay to do both, send flowers and donate to the cause. Often times the cause is related to how the family member passed away.
If you are concerned that the flowers will go to waste, do not fear, after the visitation time is over, the grieving family will take some of the flowers home and others will be taken to the burial or cremation site. The rest are often donated to retirement homes and hospitals so they do not go directly to waste after only being used for a few days during the visitation time.