5 Appropriate Sympathy Bouquet Ideas for a Friend


Supporting someone in their grief is one of the kindest, most supportive things you can do as a friend. Losing someone is never easy, and it can be challenging to find the words to say to share your care and concern. 


Sending a sympathy bouquet is a thoughtful gesture to show someone you’re thinking of them when words fall short. Here are five appropriate sympathy bouquet ideas you can send a friend when they lose someone they care about.

White Lilies

White lilies are a traditional funeral flower. These stunning flowers symbolize peace and innocence and are often viewed as a tribute to the soul of the departed. White lilies are beautiful to look at, acting as a source of comfort in the challenging times ahead. 

There are a few considerations when choosing a white lily arrangement. While these sympathy bouquets sometimes come in small and simple bouquets, they can also be large and elaborate. The larger bouquets are typically meant to be display pieces at the funeral. Smaller bouquets are more personal. Choosing the right option will depend on your relationship with your friend and who passed away.

White or Pink Carnations

Carnations are one of the most versatile floral options. People can use these bouquets for everything from anniversary celebrations to celebrations of life. Like white lilies, white carnations symbolize peace and innocence. Pink carnations, on the other hand, symbolize remembrance. 

Carnations are also a traditional funeral flower, dating back to the times when funerals took place at home. These fragrant blooms are long-lasting and were often used to cover the smell of embalming fluid. This flower also tends to be a reasonably affordable option for those with budgetary constraints. 

Assorted Roses

Roses are another versatile flower that carries plenty of symbolism. While often viewed as a romantic flower, the color you choose changes the meaning of these traditional petals. While red roses convey love, deep, darker crimson shades symbolize profound grief. These are ideal bouquets for a friend who has lost their partner. 

Yellow roses are a traditional symbol of friendship, which makes them a great option for a “thinking of you” bouquet during trying times. If you opt for a bouquet of lilies or carnations, you can also include a single rose to symbolize the love of someone who has died.


The name alone indicates why forget-me-nots are a great flower for funerals and bereavement. These delicate petals are softer and more subtle than some of the more common sympathy flowers. These wildflowers come in an array of soft shades, ranging from white to violet.

Forget-me-nots are also the symbol of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia. If your friend has lost a parent or loved one to one of these diseases, the forget-me-not is a loving symbol to show your support. For a lasting memento, you can get forget-me-not seeds as a fundraiser for many Alzheimer’s and dementia non-profit organizations.


Daffodils are another non-traditional sympathy flower that holds a deeper meaning. These blooms are often associated with cancer awareness, making them an ideal gift if your friend lost someone to cancer. This option is also a nice alternative to some of the more traditional colors, as the brightly colored petals are uplifting and symbolic of better days ahead. 

Daffodils come in both white and yellow shades, making them even more suitable for a friend, as white symbolizes innocence and purity, and yellow symbolizes friendship.

Sympathy Bouquet Etiquette

Once you’ve determined which sympathy bouquet is right for your friend, there are a few considerations in terms of appropriate delivery to keep in mind. 

First, try to get the bouquet delivered within two weeks of the person’s death. This traditional etiquette advice was designed to have the flowers in place for the funeral and visitation. However, you might decide to send the flowers to your friend a few weeks later, after the other gestures of support are gone. This option is a nice reminder that you’re still thinking of them and there for them.

The next thing to consider is the message attached to the flowers. Sometimes, less is more when attaching a sympathy card. Try keeping it simple with a brief note sending your condolences, signed with your full name.

Any of these sympathy flower options are ideal for letting a friend know you care during their time of need. Choose one that you find appropriate for the situation.

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5 Appropriate Sympathy Bouquet Ideas for a Friend
Any of these sympathy flower options are ideal for letting a friend know you care during their time of need.
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