We've been doing quite a bit of sympathy flowers as of late. There's something very touching about having the opportunity to design for people who are being honored and those that are grieving their passing. I realize the majority of our readers are brides, but for those that may be anticipating the need for sympathy flowers in the near future, may I suggest seeking out a florist who is willing to go the extra mile and incorporate meaning and/or symbolism into these special arrangements. For those that may be in the position to make requests based on the deceased individual's life or family circumstances, don't be afraid to do so. I've found that a sympathy arrangement means so much more and is infinitely more appreciated when designed to pay specific tribute to the deceased.
A few examples:
This tribute wreath was ordered by a group of grandchildren for their late grandmother. The floral medallion contained nine yellow roses to signify the nine grandsons, eight pink sweetheart roses to signify eight granddaughters, and fifteen white spray roses to signify fifteen great-grandchildren. As you can imagine, their grandfather was very touched.
This grand arrangement was an interesting one because it was sent to the funeral services being held for a local florist. In this kind of instance, a traditional piece simply will not do! She was a regal, stately woman who also had quite the colorful streak. I think she would have enjoyed this piece immensely.
The vessel for this tribute arrangement was provided by the daughter-in-law of the woman being honored. Apparently it was used (and saved) at the mother-of-the-deceased's funeral many, many years prior. I decided not to touch-up the vessel at all, but rather to leave it in its original condition so that it could be recognized by the woman's siblings during her service. Because she enjoyed gardening, I designed this piece to look like a lush flower bed.
It's very hard to get a good shot of a casket spray, but this particular spray was designed for a baby girl. Her mother wanted something very pink with touches of green to signify her birth month. She also did not want something excessively juvenile (infant caskets often are covered in white daisies, etc.), but rather elegant, much like the flowers she would have had at her daughter's wedding. In fact, the pink roses found in the spray were the same variety found in the mother's bridal bouquet years before.
I'll be posting sympathy work from time to time on the blog simply because I'm learning to find a lot of beauty in these pieces. They don't carry the same bravado as event work, but I feel they shine all the same.