Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Survival of the Fittest in Troubled Economy

Across the nation funeral homes are converting their spaces for multifunctional purposes. In many of these facilities not only funerals, but weddings, birthdays, and other events are being held.

"A lot of (traditional wedding facilities) are shutting down because of the economy, while we (funeral homes) aren't going anywhere," he says. "In our community, two banquet halls closed because of the economy."

As we have seen many businesses fail in these troubled economic times in our country funeral homes are not one of them. For more reasons than the obvious, people always die (sorry it's true), but because they are making themselves more available to consumers. Now with the usage of their facilities to hold weddings birthdays and all types of events the wait for people to die is no longer an issue. Funeral homes can now take your money once a year on your birthday, on your wedding day, on your kids wedding day, hopefully for your sake on your grandkids weddings, and finally on your death day. Similar to greeting card companies making up holidays, such as mother's and father's days, to fill the gap between Christmas season, the funeral home industry has created a whole new market to appeal to. But really getting married next to a cemetery? Sounds creepy....

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."

Perfect! Problem solved! Now you can be baptized, celebrate all your birthdays, get hitched, and be buried and mourned in the same place! ("Kill four birds with one stone!"-Natalie Brown) The funeral home industry will always be here, this multifunctional use of space is completely economically sound and 100% profitable. I see a continual rise in the industry, but as always as the economy recovers the rest of the event industry recovers too. But can the event industry compete with such a multitalented funeral home industry?


  1. Why do you think the marriage industry is declining but the funeral industry industry is holding strong?

  2. Well Smith, it's quite obvious that the funeral industry will always hold a strong position in the market because people die everyday.... that's life. The wedding/marriage industry on the other hand is loosing business to the multifunctional funeral home companies and to society in the modern times. As we see more and more people staying single than ever before the marriage industry sees a decline in their profits which may not have been predicted twenty years ago, when marriage was expected and basically required in America.

  3. I think the funeral industry will obviously see profit from this new program, I don't see it completely replacing the other event planning organizations. Many couples choose not to get married in churches, wanting a more personal "romantic" setting. So the comparison of the church to the funeral may not work for this certain customer. Also, it may be functional and on the surface a good idea, but many people are still afraid of death and they will not want to be surrounded by that on their wedding day. A church may have funeral services, but they most likely won't be going on the same day as the wedding and they would certainly mask all evidence that funerals occur there for the day.

  4. I agree with Elizabeth on this one. It just seems like most people wouldn't want to get married inside of a funeral home. There are just so many other options out there that don't involve being surrounded by sadness. While the funeral homes are definitely increasing their business right now, I don't see them completely taking over the industy.