Would you get married in a cemetery? Do you think it’s an ideal wedding ceremony venue or do you consider it morbid or creepy? Are cemetery weddings reserved for Gothic or alternative couples, or are they starting to become fashionable for all couples? Cemetery weddings are on the increase, and are particularly popular in America. Google ‘cemetery weddings’ and there are plenty available to view. For some couples, marrying in a cemetery isn’t for them, but for other couples it is an ideal venue.
Think of cemeteries and the thoughts of headstones, graves, death, sorrow and horror films spring to mind, but cemeteries are beautiful places filled with amazing architecture, greenery, flowers, birdsong, tranquillity and privacy. They are secluded and peaceful, naturally decorated with wild flowers, landscaped views and flanked by trees. Cemeteries are the final resting place for its residents, but certain groups of people are now wishing to include departed relatives into their big day. I recently asked a couple who had a cemetery wedding why they chose it and not a conventional venue. Their response was they wanted to include the Bride’s Father who had recently passed away into their ceremony. They felt as he couldn’t come to the wedding, they would take the wedding to him. This worked for them, but each couple have their own ideas as to how to spend their wedding day.
Mexico’s day of the dead, Dia de Muertos is a day of celebrating the lives of relatives and friends who have passed away and wedding ceremonies held at brightly coloured gravesites are a common occurrence. Other cultures and religions see the Bride placing her wedding bouquet on the grave of a family member after her wedding. Travellers visit graves after their wedding ceremony before their reception to pay their respects to deceased family members.
Gothic communities tend to be divided on the subject of cemetery weddings. Some view them as clichéd while others choose a cemetery for their wedding ceremony to embrace the calming atmosphere and nature there. Up until now, it has been mainly Gothic couples who see the beauty in a cemetery wedding. They arrive in hearses or horse drawn carriages and there are even accounts of Gothic couples arriving to their wedding in coffins. As an alternative wedding Celebrant, I have had enquiries about cemetery weddings from the Goth community and I love cemetery weddings. Although I am based in Birmingham, West Midlands, I do travel all over the country to perform weddings for couples looking for a bespoke and unique ceremony.
People marry in churches with graves around them all the time, and a cemetery wedding makes for some beautiful wedding photographs to look back on years later. My advice is to contact the cemetery you have in mind and get their permission to hold your ceremony there.
Whatever venue you choose for your wedding ceremony, define your day your way. If a cemetery wedding is for you are interesting in having a unique and personalised alternative weddings or ceremony, please contact me
Photography by Jessica Frey