Front Range funeral home branches out, offers weddings |

Front Range funeral home branches out, offers weddings

Monte Whaley
Denver Post

THORNTON, Colorado (AP) ” All that is missing from the Highline Circle of Life Center is a birthing center and an IRS agent.

Otherwise, Larry and Andrea Tabler have all of life’s major events ” both good and bad ” covered at their new venture.

The couple will conduct funeral services, cremations and weddings in the 6,000-square-foot building at 12144 Grant Circle in Thornton.

They planned a grand opening Sunday.

The Tablers say they are only using good business sense when they mix, inside the same walls, the starting of a new life with the ending of another.

“It’s the new paradigm in the funeral business today,” said Larry Tabler, who has been in the funeral-home business for 42 years.

“We have learned to be flexible,” added Andrea Tabler.

With the number of traditional burials declining while cheaper cremations are rising, funeral directors have to find ways to keep their bottom lines healthy, said Steffani Blackstock, executive director of the Colorado Funeral Directors Association.

Hosting weddings and receptions is the newest way to go, Blackstock said.

“Weddings and funerals are the two major events in life,” Blackstock said. “You use flowers for both; you use ministers for both; and it’s the one time when everybody comes together.”

The center, which opened in November, is small but stately. Funerals and weddings will be performed in the same chapel, which seats about 150 people.

“It’s not big and fancy, but it’s adequate,” Larry Tabler said.

A few paces away is the state-of-the-art crematorium. Inside the women’s bathroom is a small table where a bride can apply and fix her makeup.

Tabler hopes to perform about 300 funerals a year, and up to 50 weddings. Three weddings have been booked.

The Tablers say they cater to the wishes of their clients and that a growing number prefer a nondenominational service ” be it wedding or funeral.

“We work with families and help them with whatever they want,” Tabler said. “We take pride in that.”

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