Saturday, November 14, 2015

Etiquette and Floral Faux Pas

When sending flowers for a special occasion, pay attention to the flower type and its color.

Avoiding Floral Faux Pas

Discuss floral meanings and flower colors with your florist to avoid sending any unintended messages along with an
 arrangement. Giving a hardworking assistant a dozen red roses for helping you meet an important deadline may convey feelings of romance as opposed to a message of gratitude.  Considering some basic etiquette rules before sending flowers helps to ensure that your gift is received in the spirit which you intended.


Although the use of flowers to convey messages had been used in Persia and the Middle East, it was during the Victorian Era and the publication of flower dictionaries explaining the meaning of plants, flowers and herbs, that the tradition began to spread throughout England. Soon it became popular to use flowers to send secretive messages. Though often portrayed to relay positive messages of interest, affection and love, flowers could also send a negative message and at times, the same flower could have opposite meanings depending on how it was arranged or delivered.

Before sending flowers, consider the cultural background of the recipient. Different cultures have specific rules for gifting flowers. In China, four and the color red are both associated with death. White represents death in Indian culture. Muslims and Jews do not have flowers at funerals, so flowers if sent, should be sent to the family home.

"Get Well Soon"

Be sure to consider the type of flowers in your get-well gift, too. Tulips and gerbera daisies are ideal selections for hospital delivery—they are fragrance-free, bright and cheerful, and extremely easy to maintain.

Avoid sending highly fragrant flowers such as freesia, lilies, or lilacs as get well gifts, especially to someone who is ill as opposed to injured. Instead, choose assorted iris arrangements, daffodils, and sunflowers. These flowers are bright, cheery, and light on scent, which make them great "pick-me-ups" for loved ones, no matter what their symptoms may be.


If a charitable donation is requested, in lieu of flowers, it's best to respect this wish. Mourning is a delicate and emotional time. A breach of etiquette can hurt or offend a grieving friend.

If you still wish to send flowers
send them to the family to express your sympathy well after the funeral. The grieving are many times left alone in the weeks after the funeral. A surprise bouquet can be a welcome gift. Be careful to consider the religion of the family when you choose the flowers to send.

Special Occasion Flowers

When sending flowers for a special occasion, again, pay attention to color and flower type. Red flowers typically convey romantic feelings. White flowers are perfect for family members. Yellow flowers are reserved for close friends.

Avoid sending flowers to the hospital room of a new mother. A beautiful arrangement waiting at home means the family has much less to take from the hospital.

Personal Tastes

It is acceptable to disregard convention if you are aware of an intended recipient's favorite flower or color. Take into consideration any personal tastes of a recipient over the accepted rules of etiquette.
– From ProFlowers. com

ProFlowers sells a wide variety of fresh-cut flowers, mixed bouquets and potted plants, shipped fresh from the grower. 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J .Graber, is the Editor and Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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