Til death do we start: The rising (and slightly creepy) trend for cemetery weddings
20:59 GMT, 30 July 2012
Funeral homes and cemeteries are catching on to a new trend in wedding venues, using their chapels and grounds for big celebration events like saying 'I do'.
City-based couples are increasingly searching for a wedding location with solitude and leafy surroundings, while others are looking for a sentimental venue, and graveyards are seamlessly ticking both boxes.
New York Marble Cemetery, which charges $2,500 for a wedding, has been called a 'one acre oasis of green.' But ten feet below the lawn are passageways with 156 vaulted rooms for the deceased.
Graveside weddings: City-based couples are searching wedding locations with solitude and leafy surroundings; while others look for a sentimental venue, and cemeteries are seamlessly ticking both boxes
Gothamist writer and New York City groom-to-be, Garth Johnston, revealed the East Village-located cemetery as the venue his up-coming nuptials, telling MailOnline: 'There were a number of reasons why we chose the New York Marble Cemetery – a major one being how difficult it can be to find such a large, private green space in Manhattan.'
Until recently, Mr Johnston wrote that the solemn site; hidden between Second Avenue and Bowery, where there are no gravestones, only the vaults of bodies that are labeled on brick walls; has been a 'treasure that has luckily stayed somewhat obscure as the neighborhood boomed'.
However recently it has been the location of four weddings, a Stella McCartney fashion event, a Vogue photo shoot, and the setting for films and television shows.
Mr Johnston, who grew up a neighbour to the cemetery, said he also liked the idea of getting married there for sentimental reasons.
'It was also attractive to us because we were quite
familiar with it and its caretakers – I actually grew up in a house that
overlooks it. So yeah, not worried about the deceased,' he said.
'It's difficult to find such a large, private green space in Manhattan'
to a survey conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association,
ten per cent of over 600 funeral homes in the U.S. offer their
grounds for events, which help cover the cost of deteriorating buildings
The New York Marble Cemetery trustees have allowed
events to be held on the grounds to pay for 'badly needed' repairs and
Caroline S. DuBois, one of the trustees, told the New York Times that their aim was to see 'how we could make the cemetery pay for itself.'
'That has morphed into a business,' she added.
Secretly solemn: Trustees of the New York Marble Cemetery (pictured) – where there are no gravestones, only vaults of bodies that are labelled on the walls – allow weddings to be held here in order to help pay for repairs
New York Marble Cemetery: Recently it has been the location of four weddings, including one earlier this month (pictured), a Stella McCartney fashion event, a Vogue photo shoot, and the setting for films and TV shows
Indianapolis, Indiana, Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers held ten
weddings in 2009; the site now has over 100 weddings booked into 2012.
Wisconsin Memorial Park cemetery in Brookfield, has also expanded their business to weddings. With five chapels, a reception hall, and kitchen, they realised that their facilities are suitable for more than just funerals; and handfuls of couples have already tied the knot amongst Wisconsin Memorial Park's headstones.
Cemeteries, while solemn, can also be seen as a permanent representation of the cliche that true love never dies. And for some couples, seeing husbands and wives lying next to each other for eternity can by very romantic.
Minnesota couple Diane Waller and Randy Kjarland, who exchanged vows in front of her parents' gravestones, said they enjoyed the solitude and peaceful surroundings.
The newlyweds told the Austin Daily Herald that they felt marrying next to her parents final resting place was the right way to include them in their wedding.