Indianapolis • Danessa Molinder entered the courtyard wearing a white dress and matching veil. Her groom waited at the other end, in front of decorative doors and lattice work that blocked the view of a nearby cemetery with 73,000 graves.

Molinder’s June wedding was one of more than 50 that will be hosted this year at a $10 million events center run by the Washington Park East Cemetery Association in Indianapolis. The somewhat ironically named Community Life Center sits on cemetery land near a funeral home and also has hosted a prom, community banquets and even breakfasts with Santa.

“It’s such a beautiful building,” Molinder said. “That’s what really drew us to it.”

Funeral homes aren’t just for funerals anymore. Businesses that once focused almost entirely on honoring the dead are now open to an array of events as they seek to add revenue.

Cemetery and funeral home operators say they’re being squeezed as more people favor simpler, less expensive funeral services. Their businesses also are being pressured by the growing popularity of cremations, which can bring in less than half the revenue of a traditional casket burial.

Read the complete story at the source – sltrib.com – picture: The Associated Press

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