Save Money: Get Married In A Funeral Home

Superficially, weddings and funerals have a lot in common: everyone’s dressed up, families get together, some people are crying, and the guests of honor ride off in fancy vehicle to an uncertain future. Funeral homes, though, are large and beautiful spaces that provide a cheaper alternative site for wedding receptions and/or ceremonies.

Looking for new streams of revenue, some funeral homes are adding multi-purpose community centers, which can be used for community meetings, after-funeral receptions,

Although people may think it morbid to start a marriage in a place surrounded by sadness, it would be no different than doing it at a church — where both caskets and newlyweds occupy the aisles throughout the year, says Sue Totterdale, national chairwoman of the National Association of Wedding Professionals. “A banquet hall is a banquet hall, and a chapel is a chapel,” she says. “If you can get past the driveway and the cemetery, it’s going to be beautiful.”

Would you hold or attend a wedding in a funeral home? Realistically, is it any different from holding your wedding in a house of worship where all kinds of ceremonies take place?

Funeral homes find new life by hosting other events [USA Today] (Thanks, Casey!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Kind of appropriate considering the amount of sex many of us got after marrying the girl of our dreams.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I wouldn’t have a wedding at a funeral home, and I would rather not attend a wedding there either. It actually is different than having a wedding at a house of worship because most people use a funeral home to conduct a burial, but not everyone decides to have a funeral at a church, and many people opt to have the burial separately and use the church as a place for gathering for extended family and friends.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      I agree. My kitchen has a sink and paper products to wipe up with, as does my bathroom, but I’m not about to conduct bathroom business in the kitchen. If the vibes aren’t a deterrent, the smell should be. Funeral homes smell funny. Hospitals have a smell. Auto sales facilities have a smell. Funeral homes have a smell, and I certainly don’t associate it with anything other than the deaths of my friends and family. Sorry, I’ll pass on that venue.

      • nodaybuttoday says:

        you’ve obviously never lived in an apartment in Manhattan. You can flip your pancakes while sitting on the toliet and watching tv in your living room/bedroom…

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      I don’t know if it’s a Catholic thing or what but none of the funerals I’ve been to have actually had the burial at the funeral home. There is the wake at the funeral home, the service at the church, then everyone drives to the cemetery where the body is buried. I would think that it is similar for non-churchy ones, right? Where maybe the funeral is at the funeral home and then you have to drive to the cemetery? If the cemetery were right there I could see why that would freak some people out.

      But hey, if it’s a cheap place to rent and a clean space I’m down!

    • teke367 says:

      I imagine it might take some time to work, if it ever would. But if they are talking about becoming Community Centers instead of funeral homes, maybe over time the stigma of death goes away. If they can get people to think of it as a community center, perhaps years from now, people will think, “this is a place where we could have a number of ceremonies, funeral just being one of them.”

      Not sure it would work, but definitely worth a try, its not like there is too much risk, besides change the signs from Funeral Home to Community center, all the stuff is already there.

  3. nbs2 says:

    I don’t think I’d have gotten married at a funeral home, but I’d probably go to a wedding there. The biggest issue, for me, is that I find the funeral home people to be a skeezier lot than the clergy or banquet directors. Others may disagree.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Most of the funeral home directors and employees I have known have been super nicer and friendly whereas the church people are often a little self-important and stuffy. I think it all depends on where you go.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      used to work at a hotel that hosted an annual convention of funeral home directors. like any other group they were a mixed bunch. but the casket motorcycle trailer that one of them had was both creepy and cool at the same time. he’s probably already on the wedding-at-the-funeral-home bandwagon

  4. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    I knew a couple that got married in a cemetary on halloween. Marriage lasted about a year, as I recall.

  5. FangDoc says:

    I live around the corner from a gorgeous mansion, built in 1919, that 5 years ago became a funeral home. I personally would be thrilled to attend a wedding or any other occasion there; I hope the owners become part of this trend.

  6. Larraque eats babies says:

    Go get married in a funeral home, emo kid.

  7. FangDoc says:

    This also points out something I have always wondered: weddings and funerals both involve a venue, flowers, family & friends attending, and food. Yet why does it take a year to plan a wedding, while a funeral can be thrown together in 2-3 days?

    • Larraque eats babies says:

      Because women are crazy.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because it’s logistics. Funeral homes are built for immediacy – who knows when you’ll die, so you can’t really plan too far ahead on that one. Weddings are based on planning for the future. People also usually invite more people to a wedding than they do to a funeral. More people means you need to plan more.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        I dunno… the thing is, people should spend more time planning their death.

        Their death have more of an impact of the people they left behind. While their marriage is a one or few day event. And the couple has some stuff after the wedding but those stuff doesn’t really involve the guests at the wedding.

        People should have a will and update it every year. It’s should be an on going plan.

        In my culture, the people at the wedding is the same amount at a funeral. Plus, we celebrate the person who passed away at least 3 different events, while a wedding it a one time event.

        When I was 18, I had a will, just type something up saying who gets my money in my bank account, my car and my computer. When I graduated college, I added a few more things and ask for certain things to be done so that’s it would be a simple funeral if I die.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Everyone should plan for the inevitable, but most people don’t get to choose how they reach that inevitability. It sucks, but a lot of times it’s sudden and not anything people expect to happen. That’s what I mean by “it’s logistics.” Sometimes you have to put together a funeral in a week and funeral homes are prepared for that.

    • Beeker26 says:

      Because when you’re dead you really don’t care about what you’re wearing, what’s being served, who is sitting next to whom, and where you’re going for the next two weeks.

    • econobiker says:

      Weddings take so long to plan because there is a bride involved in a wedding as the center of attention. The deceased usually doesn’t care about table center pieces and about brides maid’s shoe color…

  8. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    I think this is a better idea than getting married at Walmart. At least in a funeral home it’s people who are dead, not critical thinking.

  9. floridarob says:

    I’m in El Salvador and yesterday noticed as funeral home that is also a real estate office, how about that?

  10. Rebecca K-S says:

    Better yet, just get married in the court house to save money.

    No, I wouldn’t have held my wedding in a funeral home. As someone already said, the express purpose of a funeral home is death. Yes, people also have funerals in churches, but that’s one of many types of events that take places there. (I wouldn’t have held my wedding in a church, either.)

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      What if we just combined all them together – Funerals, wedding, bar mitzva’s, quincienerra’s, brisses, confirmations, graduations, etc. – and had a “House of Transitional Life Events?”

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        Great Idea! I open next tuesday.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        I’m down. Let’s do it.

      • RandomHookup says:

        That’s what I was thinking. There are a lot of smaller (and specialized) churches that end up renting space from other churches. Having a congregation or two in this multipurpose space might make it a little more welcoming for most.

        And, for the record, I’d go to a wedding at a funeral home (and hope the reception was somewhere else).

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    “Get Married In A Funeral Home”

    Umm, No.

  12. Tim says:

    You know how there are occasionally posts here about being TOO frugal? This. This ought to be one of those posts.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Given the cost of funerals, this is definitely not about thrift. I’m sure it would turn out to be one of the pricier venues.

  13. Coelacanth says:

    A great idea for Goth couples, but perhaps not so much for the rest of us…

  14. Straspey says:

    Churches are often referred to as “Houses of Worship” = a place where people go to connect with the deity of their choosing, receive spiritual comfort, connect with other members of their church community, go on church outings, take part in volunteer activities – and yes – attend weddings and funerals.

    Children go to Sunday school or other religious instruction classes, take part in after-school activities, such as church-sponsored sports, go on outings or away to camps sponsored and run by their church – and grow up in and around their church community – so when it’s time to get married, they are in a milieu which has a rich tradition in their lives.

    Funeral homes are business establishments which provide an important service for many people – much like any other service-oriented business.

    I fail to see a connection.

  15. Hi_Hello says:

    how much of a saving are people talking about?? My culture have weddings at home.

  16. corkdork says:

    Why not get married at, say, a public park? My wife and I did that — it’s the next thing to “free,” we paid $75 for permits to reserve the park, a $50 fee to the officiant, and we hired a musician for $200. We put the money into the reception and honeymoon instead :)

    • Rachacha says:

      We had the wedding ceremony in a church, but we had the wedding reception in a small community center built in an old refurbished barn. In the day time it was kind of bland, but we dimmed the lights, made some centerpieces with candles for each table and it created a very unique ambiance. The cost to rent the hall was about $100, and we hired a caterer.

      We looked at several banquet halls, but they were too costly and again, the ambiance was very industrial.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Sometimes it’s just not feasible, though. I would have loved to have our wedding outdoors in a garden, but I wasn’t willing to stay heavily medicated the entire day because of my allergies.

    • Tevokkia says:

      We had our wedding at the community center in the complex my dad lives in. The ceremony was on the covered porch in front of a fountain (we had a lovely lake view) and we just went directly inside for the reception. It was $75 to rent the place (plus a $100 refundable deposit), and they set out however many tables and chairs we wanted the night before.

      Granted, it was a very small wedding (we spent less than $2k on the whole thing, dress and rings included) with about 30 guests, so we would have found a bigger venue if we had a 200 person affair.

    • econobiker says:

      “a public park?”

      Doesn’t work well say, in Wisconsin, in January…

      Brides typically don’t go for white snow suits…

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        Hmmm, doesn’t Wisconsin also have summers? And parks? Reserve early, get a nice spot at a park, the family people will LOVE being able to send the kiddos over to the play area when done.

        We had our 10th anniversary party at a park. One of the best parties we ever had, and we could invite everyone that came to our wedding plus our newer friends as well.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I knew someone who had their wedding at the city Memorial Hall, a venue with a stage, meeting rooms, etc. where city events and our school plays took place. Then they had the reception in the enclosed pavilion at the city park. Bought her dress used (and it was GORGEOUS), decorations very simple (fake flowers, bubbles for us to blow instead of confetti or rice). The cafeteria we worked for catered it. EXTREMELY nice and very cost-conscious.

      The wedding itself isn’t really the important part.

  17. Beeker26 says:

    Better yet, just wait for a relative to kick the bucket and negotiate a two for one deal.

  18. nodaybuttoday says:

    I would get married at a funeral home if they would stop calling it a funeral home… “Jane Smith and John Miller request your company at the celebration of their union at the Davis Funeral Home”… doesn’t sound very positive.

  19. Rachacha says:

    Couple of possible concerns that I have with this. Many of the funeral homes I have been to have multiple viewing rooms, so how strange and awkward would it be to have a funeral/viewing in one room and a wedding in the other. One group is morning the loss of a loved one, the other is celebrating a new life together. Makes for an awkward encounter in the restroom.

    Second, how would you like to have a funeral in the room next to the wedding? You are mourning the loss of your loved one and the wedding party breaks out into the Electric Slide or the Locomotion…although the thought of the wedding party coming into the funeral, and pushing the dearly departed around the room with his family in tow seems kind of funny (for a sit com episode). Perhaps five everyone a discount if you set up the open bar on the casket.

  20. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I could get past everything but the name. But given how much nicer funeral homes charge I can’t see this being a good deal.

    My mom ranted about people spending too much at the Dignity owned funeral homes and made it very clear that I should shop around when the time came. It came way too soon after that (unexpectedly) but we still made 5 phone calls. The difference in price for basic cremation with NO frills ranged from $850-$3500. The $850 place did slip a courier fee in for the death certificates (died in adjacent county) when they submitted it electronically (per certificate), but they were still WAY cheaper for exactly the same service.

  21. DrRamblings says:

    Better or Worse than getting married in a mall?

    • Rachacha says:

      In order of preference (hopefully I never need to go below my 3rd choice):

      Outdoor scenic location (or location of significance to the couple)
      Court House
      Banquet Hall
      Wegmans Supermarket
      Chapel in Vegas
      Funeral Home
      Shopping Mall
      At gunpoint in Hillbilly Hell
      Dunkin Donuts
      In a seafood processing plant (amongst all of the dead fish)
      Wal Mart

    • econobiker says:

      Maybe rent out a dead mall?

      We have a dead mall (Bellevue Center) in west Nashville, TN- completely empty but for Sears (go figure).

  22. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    They are very different events: One is eternal, the other lasts a few years at best.

  23. Invader Zim says:

    Well in the end you wind up there anyway.

  24. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Why yes I would like a Bettlejuice themed wedding.

  25. backinpgh says:

    They should just change the name of a “funeral home” to a “celebration venue.” Then they can rent it out for whatever they want! Just make sure nobody ventures down to the basement…

  26. Loridori4 says:

    That’s just creepy and weird. I’d rather get married at a park or someones house to save money, than at a funeral home.

  27. outoftheblew says:

    We got married outside, so I wasn’t looking for a building to get married in, but I wouldn’t discount a funeral home as a location for a wedding IF there were no funerals going on at the same time. For me, the only uncomfortableness would be if there were other families there mourning someone, while the wedding was a happy occasion.

  28. The Upright Man says:

    “The Schrutes have their own traditions. We usually marry standing in our own graves. Makes the funerals very romantic. But the weddings are a bleak affair.”

  29. cspschofield says:

    And for a little extra money to start off married life, video the process of selling the idea to the Mother of the Bride, and sell it.

  30. cete-of-badgers says:

    I guess the goths are getting married now.

  31. MaytagRepairman says:

    I would do it. The last funeral home I’ve been to was a actually a nice place. Except for a hearse parked outside you wouldn’t know it was a funeral home if there wasn’t a funeral in progress. It had a huge indoor fountain with a pool of fish and no casket show room (I think they may have had one in another building).

  32. delicatedisarray says:

    Save money! Get married in a state park. The location of my wedding cost me $25.

  33. Zydia says:

    As other people brought up, the name would look awkward on an invitation, and there would be an expense in shutting down the entire home so there are no bodies/viewings around. If you want to save on a wedding, I suggest avoiding telling the facility what you’re specifically using if for unless they straight out ask you. Or just get your marraige certificate and throw a fancy party somewhere.

  34. DjDynasty-Webology says:

    I’d rather have it at a funeral home…and be registered there for when I kill my husband for cheating.

  35. haggis for the soul says:

    The real question is, would GitEmSteveDave conduct a wedding in a funeral home?

  36. Kate says:

    It’s free to have your wedding at a park or a public beach. You can even have them at someone’s home. Why would you want a funeral home?

  37. minneapolisite says:

    My religion requires that, except in extreme circumstances, weddings take place in an appropriate place of worship. A “chapel” at a funeral home is not an appropriate place of worship, and “saving money” is not an “extreme circumstance” (especially when MOST places of worship charge $0.00 for a wedding ceremony).

    However, even though I wouldn’t personally get married in a funeral home, I would attend one. To me, a wedding in a funeral home is on par with a wedding on a beach. It doesn’t fit the requirements of MY definition of marriage, but whatever floats your boat! (Besides, it’s better than a Wal-Mart!)

    • Firevine says:

      I am of no religion at all and its awesome. I can do whatever I want to do! :D If I didn’t think marriage was an utter crock, I could get married IN A COMIC BOOK STORE!

      Man, holy crap, I might have just sold myself on this marriage thing…

  38. Conformist138 says:

    The people all weirded out by this are being a tad silly, IMO.

    The minister is probably going to be wearing his “Marry-‘Em and Bury-‘Em” suit anyway, so no need to be superstitious about the wedding/funeral crossovers.

    • RandomHookup says:

      We are now a society that segregates death from all other events. No more laying out Granny on the dining room table and having the neighbors to make sure she really is dead.

  39. magadorspartacus says:

    The second largest cemetary in the United States is on the other side of the street behind my house. I have noticed events at the funeral home that don’t appear to be funerals based on the time and length of event. Shoot, I could walk there on the super cheap if I held my wedding there.

  40. Firevine says:

    I’d get married in a funeral home, but I also have a warped/macabre sense of humor. I doubt my woman would go for it, no matter how much she yaps about getting married.

    I also want a hearse with real human skulls affixed to the front bumper, and a Trans Am with the cover art to Iron Maiden’s “Killers” painted on the hood, but she probably wont let me do that either.

  41. JulesNoctambule says:

    I wanted to get married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator, but we ended up having a wedding in a listed building in Charleston owned by a charitable organization. Our rental fee became part of a fund that assists low-income people in South Carolina, and I guess that in the end that’s better than Elvis.

  42. VaultDweller says:

    Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope no matter how much I loved Six Feet Under. Do it in your backyard, do it at a restaurant, don’t do it at a funeral home.

  43. BytheSea says:

    Oh hell no. This is how horror movies get started, people. Say NO to hexes on your marriage!