Anthropology and History

The Strange Phenomenon of Weddings Held in Funeral Homes

Funeral homes don’t have to be all about the dead. They can also be events centers and become immune to the economic hardships now facing businesses everywhere.

posted on 03/04/2011
Asher Kade
Scribol Staff

funeral home weddingPhoto: missy_1074

During the peak months of the year, it’s nearly impossible to get your wedding booked at a church or other venue. The economy is in the toilet and the costs for a wedding are already outrageous as it is. Further, you want a nice place to have this special day at.

Why not have it at a funeral home? They have flowers, priests and a very nice building. They have limos, grand reception rooms and the best yet, they are never booked! Think about it, how many caskets go down the aisle of any given church? This isn’t much different.

funeral home weddingsPhoto: arrianne

Because of the poor economy worldwide and the recent Funeral Rule passed into law, funerals are losing a great deal of revenue. Before this law was enacted, funeral homes put together lavish funeral packages that would mark up the prices of up to 500%. Now, they are no longer able to do so, even being required to give families of the deceased an itemized list of their services so that they can choose what they want and don’t want.

Made in America, buried in America is no longer the rule of thumb either. Caskets are more cheaply slapped together abroad. Retail chains like Costco and some Wal-Marts have online casket shopping at the consumer’s disposal. This hurts the bottom line for funeral homes.

cheap casketsPhoto: bendibble

Because of environmental concerns, rising cost of land, lack of land and the affordability of alternative burial types, traditional funerals are going out of style. It is estimated that by 2025, more than half of all funerals will be arranged through cremation, states the NFDA.

weddings at funeral homesPhoto: lukasz-dunikowski

To keep a funeral home afloat and not go under or file for Chapter 13, funeral homes are now revamping their buildings to suit weddings and other events – at least 50% have done so in America alone. Funeral homes now find themselves packed with bridesmaids and lovebirds, eager to save thousands by saying their vows in funeral homes. Traditional wedding chapels and banquest halls, oddly, are disappearing because of the economy. However, there are no shortages of deaths, and having a beautiful building attracts those who want to have a lavish wedding on a strict budget.

funeral homePhoto: mpwillis

You will find that some people and/or guests can’t get past the graveyards, caskets and urns. However, these weddings are tastefully done and no corpses make it to the invite list.

Some states do have laws against food in funeral homes (even if not prepared there). The reasoning behind this is unclear and a bit bizarre. However, funeral homes, as stated previously, have gone around this nagging detail to provide areas especially designed for weddings and gatherings that don’t incorporate funeral events. Charity events, cocktail parties, group meetings and murder mystery dinners are also featured services for the modern funeral home.

This novel idea of having weddings at funeral homes is not only eco-friendly and saves us from urban blight (where businesses close down and leave an empty building to rot), but it is also economically sound.

Asher Kade
Scribol Staff