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Thursday, February 17, 2011

For Weddings and Funerals?

I know, it sounds beyond bizarre, but I thought I'd offer it as an option for those of you looking for a non-traditional (wow and it sure is that!) wedding and reception hall.  Have to admit when I first read about this in Bloomberg Busninessweek I was freaked out, but then, well, I guess different for those of you who might be interested, here's a synopsis of their article.
Funeral Home-- After Revamp
Since the profit margins have been shrinking on traditional funerals as more and more opt for cremation, funeral homes are starting to offer fancy full service event planning and all the perks that go along with it as a way to provide the baby boomer generation with the convenience of 'one stop shopping' for a memorial ceremony that is more a celebration of the loved one's life that includes it wasn't a great leap for many funeral homes to start renting out their spaces for other events—including weddings.
                       Funeral Home -- Before                                      
One funeral home in Oregon converted their chapel into a multipurpose center for families of any denomination thus offering  them the ability to accommodate secular families, Jewish families, Muslim families and more.  This family center has a catering kitchen that used to be a flower room as well as a huge screen for multimedia presentations.  The owners put in slate floors, a 7 foot fountain, a comfortable couch and used paint reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse.  Near the outdoor cemetery they added a gazebo and a waterfall.  These offer dual uses for scattering ceremonies or wedding ceremonies!
Family Center for Celebrations of Life
All Photos and Info from Bloomberg Businessweek

The owner's goal is to assist families wherever they plan to hold receptions.  His future plans include assisting with travel arrangements and adding partnerships with local hotels and travel agents.  If this sounds like the work of an event planner, much of it is, it is also where funeral directors see the greatest possibility for growth in their industry.  So moving into the wedding industry isn't a great leap for a funeral director who is willing to put the work into making the change from funerals to holding and planning family events of all kinds.


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