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January 20, 2022

Couples now marrying in funeral homes to save cash

One of the enduring principles of the recession, at least in theory, is that is was the kick in the butt we needed.

1229225_wedding_cake_1 Because we were so spooked, we’d finally get it: we can’t keep blowing our money on stuff we can’t afford! The downturn was lousy, but at least it would change our consumer behaviour for the better going forward.

Well, did it? By many accounts, of course not. Though it’s not entirely been a lost cause. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury …

According to USA Today, in a bid to save money, Americans have begun getting married in funeral homes.

Yes, just as Canadians are morons some of the time, it’s true. The paper notes that funeral homes, despite their morbid connotations, are “budding” in the wedding business because of their clean, elegant rooms and capacity to host hundreds of guests.

“At first, when I pulled up and saw it was a funeral home, it did concern me,” said one bride, married at an Indianapolis home last year. “But when we walked in and saw everything, it was overwhelming. I fell in love and thought it was the perfect place. It was breathtaking, so it didn’t cross my mind again.”

So, if the hurdle for funeral homes hosting weddings is the mental component (and, surely, it’s got to be), that’s a job suited for heavy marketing, which many outlets have taken to to change our social norms.

By the numbers, the shift is among us. Where five, six years ago funeral homes stuck mainly to celebrations of death, says USA Today, almost 10 per cent of U.S. homes said they now offer other services, including weddings, parties and community meetings.

How much a bride and groom could save with a funeral home wedding isn’t said, but if the average wedding cost of up to $30,000 in Canada is any indicator, it wouldn’t be tough beat the going rate.

And, as the Consumerist’s Laura Northrup notes, weddings and funerals might not be so different, after all: “Everyone’s dressed up, families get together, some people are crying and the guests of honor ride off in (a) fancy vehicle to an uncertain future.”

See? All in your head.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...