June 13, 2009

Flowers at a Funeral - Question



I attended a funeral parlour last night for the visitation of my husband's aunt. We'd had a week to adjust and, as sometimes happens, the event turned into a pleasant family reunion.

I also got to see what the $100 I spent on flowers looked like. I was deeply disappointed. Truly, I could have gone to my corner grocery/flower shop and bought the same arrangement and stuck them in a glass vase for under $25.00. My question is: has anybody brought their own flowers to a funeral parlour and gone without the middle-man?

I have a feeling in the extremely polite and hygenic North American funeral system it's probably not "done".

I don't want to sound cheap, but Aunt Mary deserved more than the meager display the florists sent. For my $100 I could have made something spectacular.

Do any of my gentle readers have experience in this regard?

Sorry, I can't remember where I lifted this picture from but I assure you it was not the flower arrangement I'm bitching about.

20 comments:

orange sugar home said...

I think it happens more often than not that the money we spend on the flowers is not made evident in the arrangements actually sent. I like your idea of doing it on your own. Why not?? Like you said it could have been much more beautifully arranged with greater variety and care. Something for all of us to keep in mind.

Premium T. said...

I just love that you asked this question, although I have no clue as to how to answer it.

On questions of etiquette, I can always go to one of my five sisters, the oldest one in particular, who has all the answers. Want me to ask her?!!

giulia said...

well, I've tried to comment several times.......even cut out a ton of words...but it's not having it.

Yes, this has happened. Yes, I take my own.........

The Clever Pup said...

Sure P.T., ask away. I'm interested to see what she says.

Hazel

Brian Miller said...

i find that most times i buy my wife flowers, i am better off doing it myself. they never come out like the online pics...so much smaller and just not right. As far as taking them to the funeral...why not? but maybe thats just me.

willow said...

First of all, I must say I love the pic of flowers you show here. They look just like my Eden roses!

I see nothing wrong with taking the flowers yourself. In fact, I think it's much more personal. When my grandfather passed away two years ago, I took my own vase of pink peonies and left them on my grandmothers ajoining grave at the buriel. It was much more meaningful for me than ordering from a florist.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Hi Hazel,

I have never heard of anyone doing that, but I think it's a great idea. Sorry to all the floral workers out there, but they really have you over a barrel when it comes to funerals.

Hazel, thank you for your uplifting comment. It was very much appreciated. So many unbelievably kind people out there. It just blows my mind.

Catherine

California Girl said...

I recently ordered flowers for a funeral of a friend. I called the florist and asked what I could get in a vase, not arranged, for $35. He said "Oh, you can't do anything for less than $45+ delivery." Well, now I felt cheap so I asked about several varieties I like: lilacs (on order) hydrangeas (too early) purple iris (yes) cornflowers (no). I eventually asked for something in blues, purples, yellows and white. I said I'd spend $50 + delivery. When I saw the flowers at the service, I was very disappointed. And I'm in a small town. I would be really PO'd if I'd spent $100 and been disappointed. The same idea crossed my mind, that is to bring my own. I would have picked up the flowers but the florist insisted on delivering. I don't know that it matters though.

dogimo said...

I would just work it out with the funeral parlor beforehand: "I arrange flowers, and I have a display for the viewing. What time before the service can I come by and set it up, it won't take a minute."

Penney said...

Why not make your own if you have an eye and feel good about your bouquet? They charge way, way too much for something that should be so special and simple. Shame shame//
Penney

artslice said...

I don't have any personal experience in bringing flowers... but who's to stop someone from bringing their own creation. One could always claim, 'I grew them myself... or I love flower arranging and thought he/she deserved something especially from me.') I will file this story away for unwanted (but sooner or later needed) future reference!

lettuce said...

how frustrating and disappointing

For my mothers funeral, we all brought flowers from our own gardens to decorate her casket - it was a wonderful thing to do. But we had very sympathetic and flexible funeral directors....


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Margaret Gosden said...

I like it when, living far away, one is given the option to donate to a favourite charity instead. I remember watching Princess Diana's funeral and being so touched by the way people were just throwing flowers on, and in the path of the traveling coffin.
If attending a funeral service (and not going to the cemetary), why not just bring a single flower, or two, to place beside the photograph displayed?

Ima Wizer said...

I'd say, take your own arrangement! It's the thought that counts and if the family can't understand that, then don't go to the funeral (I hate them and try never to go). The deceased person won't mind, I promise.

tony said...

I Am sorry To Hear Of Your Loss.
As to 'etiquette 'I'm really not sure.In the UK it would be fine to bring your own I think.But the US?
A lot of funerals I have been to recently in England have asked for "Family Flowers Only" ie only close Family give flowers.Others donate the money to a chosen Charity...which is no use regarding your situation [!], but does show that it's best that more than one option Should exist.

Baino said...

All the funeral directors do is order flowers from their preferred florist so I don't see why you couldn't either do your own arrangement or arrange for your own florist to provide casket flowers. Although out here the equivalent of $100 US would buy a decent arrangement here ... do your own. It's personal and heartfelt and value for money.

Poetikat said...

We sent flowers to Nova Scotia when my aunt died. I used an online site and selected the flowers from their online catalogue. The pictures looked good - nobody suggested they were anything other than lovely from that end.
When my father died we selected flowers from a catalogue and we were very pleased. I don't see why you couldn't 'cut out the middle man' and bring your own flowers to a wake. As long as you handed them over to the director or assistants I should think they might be construed as even more thoughtful and personal.

Kat

Tina said...

I say take your own, but arrive a little early to place them on the alter? (or give them to the funeral director?)


(forgive me darling, but the last line of your post made me laugh. you are funny as well as clever. xoxo)

Nancy said...

During a period when I was out of work I used to go by and help a friend at a florist shop. She told me that funeral arrangements are generally done with the oldest flowers since they generally don't have water (like the casket flowers). Saying that she always tried to do the best she could but felt badly when the order placed was for out of town funerals. She said she couldn't control what the other place gave them. Connie always tried to make every look nice. I suspect it depends on the florist. She always told me to come in, pick them out and then take them to the service.

sallymandy said...

Etiquette be damned. Who's going to call someone out for bringing their own flowers to such a personal event as a funera? As someone who works as a freelance floral designer in "the industry" whenever I have the chance, I nevertheless buy my own flowers at the grocery store. I don't think there's an appreciable difference in quality. You pay for personal design services at a florist. Sometimes this is worth it, but other times clearly not.