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What can funeral directors learn from wedding planners?

by | Sep 28, 2016 | Funeral Profession

A long table set with dinnerware and flowers

One thing a funeral director can learn from a wedding planner is how to increase profits.

Wedding planners have excelled at adopting additional services into their overall package and it’s helped them earn more revenue without raising the prices of their traditional services. It’s a common practice to raise a business’ bottom line known as cross-selling.

Why Cross-Sell?

It’s time funeral homes start looking for new revenue streams instead of simply raising prices. Families are moving away from traditional burials and the costs associated with them.

We’ve already seen the rate of cremation beat out burials in 2015. In the NFDA report, the cremation rate in 2015 was 48.5% percent. The burial rate was 45.4%.

And that number is only going to climb. By 2030, the traditional burial rate is projected to sit at just over 20% and cremation will hit more than 70%.

It’s not just cremation that funeral homes will have to compete with, either. Alternatives to traditional burial are popping up all the time and families are more open to these alternatives than ever before.

Cross-selling can help recoup earnings from declining burials and provide standout ceremonies for families.

How Do Wedding Planners Cross-Sell Services?

Here is a list of add-on services wedding planners provide to boost revenue:

  • Floral services
  • Design and production of printed materials
  • Making travel arrangements for visiting family and friends
  • Catering
  • Rental of other services including tables, chairs, tents, and décor
  • Service fees

There’s a reason this has worked well with customers using a wedding planner service. Planning a wedding can be stressful and it’s easier to get all the desired services from an all-in-one wedding planning service instead of working with multiple vendors.

How Can Funeral Homes Cross-Sell Services?

This model can easily translate over to the funeral home. It benefits your business because you aren’t raising the price of burials or cremations, and families will appreciate the option to have convenient services easily provided to them.

Floral Services

In addition to day-of floral services, offering an e-commerce flower store directly on your website allows family and friends to send flower arrangements from anywhere in the country. It’s a simple — and instant — way for your funeral home to add an additional revenue source.


Wedding planners will often tack on honeymoon planning to their services. In the same way, your funeral home can offer meaningful follow-up aftercare services that can help families heal long after a service.

Produce and Design Print Products

There’s a lot of stationery used at a funeral service. Instead of offering generic packages, why not personalize every aspect of it? By offering these ultra-personal prayer cards, service programs, and register books, you can create more value in your stationery packages.

The level of detail means more for families, and it means your funeral home can earn more. An all-in-one software suite is all that’s needed to start generating more from stationery products.

Offer Catering Service/Full Reception Service

It’s a growing trend. Some funeral homes are directly offering catering services, while other funeral homes are choosing to act as a liaison between the vendor and family and collect a commission.

Either way, it’s a win-win for families and funeral homes. For families, it takes the stress away from organizing a reception after the service. For your funeral home, it’s another way to get paid.

Travel Arrangements

This one might be a little out-of-the-box, but there’s no reason it couldn’t work. Today’s families don’t all live in the same hometown. They’re spread out across the country. The way wedding planners do this is by offering room blocks at certain hotels.

A funeral home could partner with hotels to offer reserved room blocks for families and the funeral home could earn a commission on each room. For your families, this service would save them the trouble of travel arrangements and let them focus on other aspects of the funeral arrangement.


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