Keep it fresh. Sympathy flower arrangements must often stand at room temperature for as long as 48 hours until all services are concluded. If you use fading flowers in your sympathy pieces, that will be evident to both families and funeral directors.
Don’t be a drip. Dripping floral-foam forms can stain carpets and are constant problems for funeral directors. The best solution is to set designs created in these forms upright in your shop for a few hours so excess water can be eliminated. Although plastic-foam forms alleviate the dripping problem, funeral directors generally prefer arrangements with water sources so flowers look their best for the duration of the services.
Balance is critical. Another reason to place sympathy set pieces upright in your shop is to ensure proper balance so nothing topples over in the funeral home. Take care that all your arrangements, including baskets, vases, and even easels are stable and will stand securely.
Beware of sharp points. Because sympathy pieces are commonly moved several times for the various services that compose a final farewell, wire and sharp-pointed picks can be hazardous to funeral directors. Make sure that they are not exposed or, at least, that they’re covered.
Remember that vehicle space is limited. If possible, casket sprays are left atop caskets when they’re placed into hearses. Sprays that are too high or mounded will not fit some hearses, so check the amount of clearance with each funeral director.
Smaller may be better. Excessively large floral pieces are often difficult to display and cannot be taken home by family members and friends after the services. Smaller designs and even potted plants are more versatile and are often welcomed by family members.
Keep directors informed. If families request large or unusual pieces, let funeral directors know about the arrangements in advance, and inform them of sympathy pieces that may need special care or other accommodations.
Don’t be late. Funeral directors try to have everything in place long before families arrive, so flowers should be delivered to funeral homes at least two hours before the families are scheduled to be there (the amount of time may vary from one funeral home to another). Last-minute deliveries of flowers or deliveries of flowers during visitation or services make display difficult if not impossible. And flowers from family members should always be delivered first so they can be positioned closest to the casket.
Make the call. If you need to make a late-evening delivery the night before a service, call ahead. Funeral directors are usually happy to make accommodations if they are notified in advance.
Be courteous. Fostering good relationships with funeral directors is valuable to both your business and to the families you serve. Keep the funeral directors’ needs in mind, and if you’re not sure, ask. Funeral directors will always appreciate your willingness to help them better serve their clients.
PO Box 4368
Topeka, KS 66604