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Wedding Party in a CemeteryWhen you picture a wedding, you may envision an event that takes place in a religious venue like a church. You might even picture people tying the knot on a picturesque beach or in an old barn. However, a graveyard likely isn’t the first place to spring to mind. However, the cemetery wedding is far more popular than most couples realize. Though it can seem somewhat macabre, getting married in a cemetery is no different than conducting the ceremony anywhere else. Look over these points and learn more about what it takes to host this kind of event.

The Origin of the Graveyard Wedding

Unlike many modern marriage trends, tracing the origin of nuptials held in cemeteries is a bit difficult. Graveyards have been around as long as human settlements, so it stands to reason people have been using the space as a venue for thousands of years. Still, there are a handful of reasons that stand out when reviewing certain historical aspects of this decision. First, since lineages have often played a big part in family dynamics, cemetery weddings provide an opportunity to surround yourself with both your living relatives and those who have passed on.

Interestingly, there was also once a very practical reason for getting married in a graveyard. Research shows that it was used as a way of trying to ward off death. During the spread of the black plague, Jewish customs would center around conducting weddings in cemeteries. The idea was that surrounding oneself with death was a way of appealing to God in a humble manner. 

The Process of Hosting a Cemetery Wedding

As with any venue you select for your nuptials, you need to follow a certain process when arranging a graveyard wedding. First, reach out to the owners of the property and get explicit permission to host your nuptials. Management will need to be strict about scheduling your event at a time when there are no planned burials or funerals. Though it might be your big day, preferential treatment must always go to those who are in the cemetery for the purpose of saying goodbye to a loved one.

Additionally, you will only see approval when requesting the space for the ceremony. A reception is a very different type of event and can often create a rowdy crowd that is unsuitable for the setting. If you want to keep the reception local to the graveyard, review venue options in the community to find a suitable fit.

The Family Discussion

Just because you and your partner are excited about a cemetery wedding, it doesn’t mean your family and friends will be immediately on board. In fact, you may experience some significant pushback when you announce your intentions. Some people view this decision as an affront to the spirit world or as a way of inviting bad luck. However, superstitions and beliefs vary between cultures and even individuals. If you have no qualms with tying the knot surrounded by the dead, then explain your reasons to guests in a simple and honest way.

Keep in mind that some people might not come to the ceremony because they feel uncomfortable with your choice. Try to be understanding of your loved ones.

The Need for Respect

Finally, remember to be respectful during the entire process. Cemeteries are resting places for those who have departed the mortal realm. Don’t enter the space and treat it like you would a reception hall or similar venue; instead, remember where you are and show consideration.

While it can seem jarring at first, a cemetery wedding is not a bizarre concept at its core. If this is your preferred venue, learn more about how to best arrange an event that is as respectful as it is successful.

Category: Wedding Planning

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