The method you use to express thanks after receiving flowers depends on the situation. For sympathy flowers following the death of a loved one, a short, handwritten note is appropriate. For other situations, you may respond with a note, an email or a phone call. Of these options, a traditional piece of mail is the most formal.
After a death in the family, it’s common to receive flowers from people who wish to express their sympathy. The Emily Post Institute suggests responding to this gesture with a handwritten note, but your note doesn't have to be long. A couple sentences in which you express thanks and say the flowers have provided comfort are more than adequate. If you’re in too much grief to respond, it’s acceptable to have a family member or close friend write the note on your behalf.
Write by Hand
Giving flowers requires effort and money, and reciprocating with a handwritten note shows how much you appreciate the gift. The body of the note should focus on expressing your thanks and explaining why you appreciate the flowers. For example, you might write, "Thanks so much for the beautiful flowers. As you know, I've been feeling a little down lately and the blooms have added happiness to my day."
Stay on Topic
One of the keys to writing a successful message is to stay on topic. If you talk excessively about your life, the note loses its effect. Keep the message succinct and focused on expressing thanks. Toward the end, you may mention you’re looking forward to seeing the person soon. End the message warmly by writing "Many thanks" or "Sincerely" before you sign your name. Send the note promptly. Typically, it’s best to send a note of thanks within a few days of receiving a gift.
Other Ways of Saying Thanks
A phone call, text message or email is an acceptable way to say thanks for flowers, although these methods don't show as much effort as a handwritten note. One instance in which an informal method of thanks is appropriate is upon receiving flowers is when you don’t have time to respond adequately. In this case, express your thanks for the flowers and explain why you’re responding briefly. Pledge to yourself to follow up with a handwritten note as soon as you can.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.