You may have seen the blogosphere light up recently over Jason and Rachael Storm, who got married late this August in a funeral home. Jason wanted to get married there because he’s the funeral director at Starks and Menchinger, and Rachael likes being a little different (Power, sister!), so she jumped on board.
The reception was also held at the funeral home, including dinner (!) and dancing.
I will go ahead and say that I have been to a party at a funeral home before. This one was a Christmas party, and it was actually pretty fun. OK, my hosts, the family that ran the home, spent a lot of energy making sure we knew how TERRIFICALLY WACKY AND FUN AND NOT AT ALL GLOOMY they were. But other than that it was a good, normal party.
I can understand wanting to incorporate your work into your wedding – it’s a big part of your life, after all, and in a way I kind of like the feisty symbolism of it. Starting your new life in a funeral home is kind of a jaunty way of giving Death one in the eye. Like mooning the Reaper.
So I can see how it could be kind of cool as a special personal wedding for this particular couple. When I mentioned it to my friends, almost all of them said two things. 1) “Ew,” and 2) “Oh, my God. You’re not thinking about doing that, are you?”
Well, no. I’m the one who looked at the cheap apartment above the funeral home every semester of college and chickened out every single time.
But would I if I were less of a wuss and had a connection to funeral homes? I dunno.
I think the Storms’ wedding brings up an interesting point: Your wedding is supposed to be yours and special to you as a couple. But you’re inviting guests for a reason. They’re your friends and family. You’re including them in a special time. You’re joining two families. You’re not really supposed to creep them out.
So where is the line between making yourselves happy and rudely freaking out your guests?
In interviews, Rachael Storm said that a lot of their guests refused to come until she told them nothing oogy would be happening. I can’t quite blame them. (Jason Storm couldn’t see what the big deal was. He pointed out that most churches have had their share of dead bodies pass through. OK, yeah, but… I can’t tell you why that’s different. It just is, somehow.)
It’s a tough call for me. Presumably Jason’s family and friends, at least, were fairly used to the funeral home thing. But getting married in a funeral home does touch on some pretty big taboos. I can see guests not liking the potential bad mojo.
I do think part of your job, as a couple, is to make sure your family and friends are comfortable at your wedding. Or at least not crazy uncomfortable. On the other hand, it wasn’t too long ago that marrying someone of another race would have made your guests really uncomfortable. I can’t get down with that. Maybe a few of today’s taboos could still stand a little breaking.
In the end, I guess you have to gauge your level of wedding weirdness carefully. Is it really going to give your mom a conniption? If so, will it be worth it in ten years? I recommend running your best/worst ideas past your best friend or a sibling. Watch his or her face carefully when you do. If your Fun with Reptiles–themed wedding gets a smile and an eye roll, you’re probably in the clear. If his or her face crumples, it might be time to think about where you’re willing to compromise.
You can always bring the Gila monsters on the honeymoon.