A gravestone is a great way to remember and honor the loved ones we’ve recently lost. When choosing one, you’d want it to be special and more personalized. And that’s why taking the time to pick the perfect gravestone is important.
Selecting the perfect headstone for yourself or someone you love can be overwhelming, especially because there are several factors you’ll have to consider before finalizing your purchase. This includes the design, material, maintenance, and so much more.
To help you out, here are some helpful tips to guide you when choosing the perfect headstone.
1. Consider The Cost
Choosing the final resting place and the suitable gravestone for your loved one can both be an emotional and financial undertaking. While it is common for most people to want to make the memorial special, it’s still ideal that you consider the overall expense and what your budget allows.
Moreover, if you wish to add any extras to the gravestone, such as more letters, images, or colors, make sure to allot a budget for these as well.
2. Choose A Headstone Design
A headstone can be customized depending on what you want. There are various types and designs available to meet your preferences and requirements. In addition to that, headstones come in different shapes and sizes.
To help you start, here are some of the common types of headstones:
- Flat Marker – A flat marker or lawn level is laid flat on the ground. These markers are usually square or rectangular and are made of bronze or granite.
- Bevel Marker – Bevel markers, also called pillow markers, have a good appearance and are slanted so that the back edge is higher than the front edge. Bevel markers are similar to flat markers because they flush the ground.
- Aslant – Aslant marker is set upright, and they are made of polished stainless steel with rock pitch edges. They feature a serpentine top with a straight back, and they are installed on a concrete or granite foundation.
- Upright – The tablet-style monuments are usually mounted on a granite base which serves as the foundation. They come at different sizes, shapes, and prices like other memorials. However, some cemeteries require specific measurements to ensure the headstone will fit the space.
- Ledgers – Ledgers are grave marker stones that cover the entire grave space completely. Ledger grave markers have been around for many decades and are generally used to cover the whole area where a deceased loved one lies interred.
- Obelisk – Traditionally, obelisk gravestones are very tall columns, which originated in Egypt. They are mounted on four-sided square bases and are generally topped with a pyramid or statue. By nature, they are incredibly striking.
3. Check The Cemetery Rules
Understand the cemetery’s rules and guidelines about headstones and make sure your chosen headstone design complies with it before purchasing a gravestone.
It’d be good to note that some cemeteries have specific requirements regarding the types of monuments allowed on their grounds. For example, some memorial parks typically require flat grave markers to maintain a uniform appearance. While others only allow bronze or granite gravestones for maintenance reasons.
4. Check Which Material Is Best
Aside from the design and type, you can also choose which material to use for the gravestone. Gravestones could be made either from rock or stone, such as marble. Or in some cases, it can also be made from concrete. However, the most popular gravestone material is granite since it’s so easy to find, and engraving is very simple.
A good material does not only promise durability and longevity but can also contribute to the overall look of your loved one’s gravestone. For example, some people prefer headstones made of granite because of their elegant look.
Aside from the durability and aesthetic quality of the headstone material, you should also consider the maintenance needs of your chosen material. Will the upkeep of this headstone be easy and convenient? Or will it take a lot of effort to keep it in good condition?
5. Finalize The Inscriptions
Among the inscriptions commonly found in gravestones include the deceased’s name, the date of birth and death, short messages from the family, or in some cases, poems, scriptures, or quotes. Aside from texts, you can also add symbols or portraits. This can certainly help make the gravestone and memorial monument more personalized.
However, when finalizing the inscriptions and symbols to be added, keep in mind how much space is available on the gravestone.
Moreover, as with most engraved items, engravings may fade with time. For instance, the engravings in sandstone fade considerably more quickly than those in granite. In fact, in older cemeteries, tall headstones made of sandstone are usually pale grey with almost no inscriptions left.
6. Add Accessories
To make the gravestone more personalized, you can consider adding ornaments. Since flowers are not allowed to be planted due to maintenance rules at some cemeteries, some people add flower pot holders instead.
Other accessories that you can add include a flag holder, a ceramic picture, or a memorial light. However, these items are not usually included in the price of the gravestone, so make sure you check your budget and see if you can accommodate these additional expenses.
7. Ask For Recommendations
When buying a gravestone, make sure you consider all available options before signing off on a final design.
More so, when looking for a memorial builder, consider asking for referrals from your friends. You can also read company reviews to verify the accountability and expertise of the memorial builder. Once you were able to connect with a potential supplier, ask important questions such as their methodology and if they are offering a warranty for their service and product.
Choosing a gravestone for your loved one can be an overwhelming and intimidating process. In some cases, families exert effort in finding the perfect headstone as a way to keep honoring and remembering their loved one’s memory and life.
With the helpful tips and guide above, you can make a more informed decision when selecting the perfect gravestone.