Modern Etiquette in Flower Giving

All types of etiquette evolve over time.  Think about dating etiquette, for example—in the past, suitors called upon women very formally, met with her father before the date, and wouldn’t dream of doing anything more than a kiss on the hand for quite some time.  Today, that etiquette is gone, and dating is a much more informal activity.  The etiquette about giving flowers, however, hasn’t changed quite that much, but it has changed.

In the past, there were specific rules about what flowers to send.  Today, it’s more about conveying a personal sentiment.  Roses were once reserved only for romance, but today, different colored roses may be sent as a sign of friendship or familial love.  Select flowers that the recipient likes or flowers that are their favorite color.  This is a good rule of thumb when thinking about “Thank You” and “Congratulations” flowers.

When sending flowers to a new mom, etiquette usually dictates that boys get arrangements based on the color blue and girls get arrangements based around pink.  Usually, pastel flowers are used—nothing too bold or dramatic.  Sometimes pale yellow flowers are used, especially if the mom doesn’t really like blue or pink.

If you’re sending apology flowers, you want to go with something soothing.  Lavender and pale pink are popular choices here.  Proper etiquette says to keep the card simple and follow up with either a phone call or an in-person apology.  Do not email or text your apology.

Flowers sent to say “get well!” are normally bright and cheery.  There’s no real rule here.  Once again, going with the recipient’s favorite color is a good idea.  Bright colors help cheer people up, so be bold!  Be sure to include a personalized message and have all the information necessary if you’re sending the flowers to the hospital (patient name, room number, etc.).

If you’re sending sympathy flowers, knowing where to send them is an important bit of etiquette.  Sometimes, the flowers are sent directly to the family, but other times, they are sent to the funeral home or church.  You also need to make certain the family has not requested donations in lieu of flowers.  Even if you mean well, sending flowers when the family has specifically asked for people not to do so is a major breach of etiquette.

For many events, proper etiquette states that you send the flowers within a day or two if you are going to send them.  If you’re sending a congratulations bouquet for a promotion, for example, sending it a week after the promotion was announced will make the person wonder about your real feelings.  If you were late in hearing about the occasion, be sure to mention that.

Have more questions about flower etiquette or want to send an arrangement today?  Let us help you with  sending flowers in the Roanoke and Salem VA areas.