Looking for something different and adding a little more to the wedding vow “Till death do us part”? Try having your wedding at a funeral home.
According to eziFunerals owner Peter Erceg, “Funeral home weddings could be the next big thing’. Sure, it sounds a touch unusual, but really, why can’t a funeral home host a wedding?
Funeral homes were once seen for one reason only: to have a funeral. But now they’re being used for all kinds of things. “The appeal of funeral home weddings is easy to understand with more adults not identifying with a particular religion.”
“People aren’t as religious as they once were … and their attitudes toward death are changing. It is commonplace now for bereaved families to hold memorials that celebrate a loved one’s life rather than focus on sadness or despair. It is in this vein, the lure of funeral home weddings can seem attractive. Weddings, too, are a celebration of life and love”, he says.
Photo: Funeral home reception area courtesy of Chapter House, Melbourne
‘Till Death Do Us Part’
In some ways, getting married in a church is no different from getting married in a funeral home. After all, both venues celebrate life and death, with many churches also sharing space with a cemetery. Perhaps the biggest difference is that in a church, the room next door doesn’t contain coffins for sale.
Nonetheless, some funeral homes can offer just as beautiful a space as any alternative venue. Funeral homes are cheaper than traditional wedding venues and are much more readily available. The average funeral home isn’t booked solid for months and years in advance. Many of them also offer modern facilities, such as digital media, catering facilities and reception areas.
“Most of our member funeral homes would rather see their venues utilised, than let them sit empty, regardless of their intended use. “Instead of letting this empty reception space go unused, why not let families use it? “It could be a wedding or a birthday party or any kind of event”, he says.
Walking through his funeral home in Melbourne, Troy Upfield, owner of Chapter House, can easily imagine hosting a funeral one day, a business luncheon the next day and a wedding on a weekend.
Yes, the times are changing in the funeral industry as baby boomers age, more families opting for memorial services, and funeral services taking on more of a “celebration of life” tone. In a changing world, it makes a lot of sense. “They are shifting to a different way of celebrating a loved one’s life — there’s no question about that,” Upfield said. “We are, to a certain degree, becoming events planners.”
Erceg says, “Although funeral home weddings may seem odd to some, they should be embraced rather than frowned upon. We will always associate funeral homes with death and bereavement, and it is certainly justified to mourn the life of a loved one we’ve lost.
However, it is arguably more important to celebrate their life and the love that we had for them. And that’s what’s so wonderful about weddings: They are celebrations of the love and life together that the couple will share, ‘till death do them part’.
The funeral industry is opening its doors to life events as well as death events these days. The latest trend–funeral home weddings. What do you think of this latest trend? Let us know in the comments.
Learn more about funeral planning in Australia
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company.