How to Send Flowers to Funeral out of State: A Full Guide

by Jennifer

Sending flowers to a funeral is a timeless way to express condolences and offer comfort to grieving families. However, when the funeral is out of state, the process can seem daunting. This guide will walk you through the steps of sending flowers to a funeral out of state, ensuring that your gesture is both appropriate and timely.


Understanding Funeral Flower Etiquette

Before diving into the logistics, it’s essential to understand the etiquette surrounding funeral flowers. Different types of flowers and arrangements convey various sentiments, and being aware of these can help you make a thoughtful choice.

Types of Funeral Flower Arrangements

Standing Sprays: These are large arrangements displayed on easels and are often placed around the casket. They are typically sent by close family members or groups.

Wreaths and Garlands: Circular wreaths symbolize eternal life and are common at funerals. They can be placed near the casket or on stands.

Funeral Bouquets: These are smaller than sprays and wreaths and can be placed on tables or stands around the funeral venue. They are suitable for friends and extended family to send.

Casket Sprays: These are large, flat arrangements that cover the casket. Immediate family usually chooses these.

Inside Casket Flowers: Small bouquets or arrangements placed inside the casket with the deceased. These are often chosen by close family members.

Appropriate Flower Choices

Different flowers carry different meanings, and choosing the right one can convey your message effectively:

  • Lilies: Symbolize the restored innocence of the soul of the deceased.
  • Roses: Each color has a different meaning; red symbolizes love and respect, white represents purity and innocence, and yellow signifies strong ties and friendship.
  • Chrysanthemums: In many cultures, these are specifically associated with death and are used exclusively for funerals.
  • Carnations: These flowers are often used in funeral arrangements. Red carnations evoke admiration, while white carnations represent pure love and innocence.
  • Orchids: These signify eternal love and are a beautiful, sophisticated choice.

Timing and Delivery

Timing is crucial when sending funeral flowers. Ideally, flowers should arrive at the funeral home or church before the service begins. If you’re unsure of the service time, contact the funeral home for details.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sending Flowers Out of State

1. Gather Necessary Information

To ensure the flowers are delivered correctly, you need to gather specific information:

  • Recipient’s Name: Ensure you have the full name of the deceased.
  • Funeral Home or Church Details: Obtain the full address, contact number, and the name of the person handling the arrangements.
  • Service Date and Time: Know the exact date and time of the funeral service.

2. Choose a Local Florist

Opting for a florist near the funeral location has several advantages:

  • Familiarity with Local Customs: Local florists are often familiar with the specific requirements of funeral homes in the area.
  • Timely Delivery: A local florist can ensure the flowers arrive on time.
  • Better Communication: If there are any issues, it’s easier to communicate with a local florist.

You can find local florists by searching online or using floral delivery networks like FTD, Teleflora, or 1-800-Flowers, which partner with local florists nationwide.

3. Select the Right Arrangement

Based on the relationship with the deceased and the gathered information, choose an appropriate arrangement. Here’s how to decide:

  • Immediate Family: Consider large arrangements like standing sprays, casket sprays, or wreaths.
  • Extended Family and Friends: Opt for smaller arrangements such as bouquets or funeral baskets.

4. Place Your Order

When placing your order, provide the florist with all necessary details:

  • Recipient’s Full Name: Ensure this matches the name on the funeral home’s records.
  • Funeral Home Address: Double-check for accuracy.
  • Service Date and Time: Specify the exact time so the florist can ensure timely delivery.
  • Special Instructions: If there are any specific requirements, such as flower preferences or ribbon messages, communicate these clearly.

5. Include a Thoughtful Message

A card with a heartfelt message can add a personal touch. Here are some examples:

  • “With deepest sympathy as you remember [Name].”
  • “In loving memory of [Name].”
  • “Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.”

Keep the message brief and sincere.

6. Confirm the Order

After placing your order, confirm all details with the florist. It’s a good idea to follow up a day before the funeral to ensure everything is on track.

Considerations for Special Circumstances

Cultural Sensitivities

Different cultures have unique traditions surrounding funerals. Be mindful of these when choosing your floral arrangement. For example:

  • Jewish Funerals: Traditionally, flowers are not sent. Instead, consider sending a fruit basket or making a donation to a charity.
  • Hindu Funerals: White flowers are preferred, as they symbolize purity and peace.
  • Buddhist Funerals: Flowers are appropriate, but avoid red flowers as they are seen as too festive.

Long-Distance and International Deliveries

If the funeral is overseas, the process becomes more complex. Here’s how to handle it:

  • International Florist Networks: Use a floral delivery network with international partners.
  • Customs Regulations: Be aware of any customs regulations regarding the import of flowers.
  • Time Zone Differences: Account for time zone differences when scheduling delivery.

Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Delivery

Double-Check Details

Accuracy is crucial when sending flowers out of state. Double-check all the information provided to the florist.

Choose a Reliable Florist

Research and select a florist with good reviews and a track record of reliable service. Look for recommendations and testimonials from other customers.

Communicate Clearly

Ensure clear communication with the florist. Confirm all details and provide any special instructions in writing.

Follow Up

A follow-up call to the florist a day before the service can help confirm that everything is on track. This extra step ensures peace of mind.

Consider Additional Options

If you’re concerned about the logistics of sending flowers, consider these alternatives:

  • Monetary Donations: Some families may request donations to a charity in lieu of flowers.
  • Sympathy Gifts: Items like memorial candles, personalized keepsakes, or sympathy cards can be thoughtful alternatives.
  • Virtual Condolences: In the digital age, sending a heartfelt message or video call can provide comfort to grieving families.


Sending flowers to a funeral out of state is a meaningful way to express your condolences and support. By understanding the etiquette, gathering necessary information, and choosing a reliable florist, you can ensure your gesture is both appropriate and timely. Remember to consider cultural sensitivities and special circumstances to show respect and thoughtfulness. With careful planning and attention to detail, your flowers will convey your heartfelt sympathy and provide comfort to those mourning their loss.


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