February 11, 2021

Tips For Buying a Headstone

One aspect of a funeral that can sometimes be overlooked is the purchasing of a headstone. A headstone is the last piece of the puzzle to lay your loved ones to rest, so it’s important that you choose the perfect one to represent them. Deciding what type of headstone to pick out, what to write on it, and where it should be placed can be a daunting task. Since planning a funeral can be very stressful and emotional, here are a few tips to make buying a headstone easier on your family. 

Visit The Cemetery First 

The first step in your process of purchasing a headstone should be to visit the cemetery where your loved one will be buried. This can help you decide which type of headstones you like and dislike and if there is a common theme amongst the current headstones. Once you have some ideas on what you like, you can take it to the place where you’re ordering the headstone and feel confident in your selection. 

Don’t Let Emotions Drive Your Decision 

Immediately following a funeral, do not go and order a headstone. Your family will still be incredibly emotional and not in the right state of mind to make such a big decision. On average, you should wait for 3 to 6 months before purchasing a headstone for graves, monuments, and grave markers. Depending on your family wishes and traditions, this time can vary. The gap in time from burial to erecting a headstone can help mitigate impulsive purchases. In addition, it allows for the soil around the gravesite to settle, thus allowing for the headstone to be more secure once in the ground. 

The grieving process is very different from family to family. Ultimately, when you end up selecting a headstone, choose what words you would like to represent your loved one carefully. Depending on the size of your headstone, word count can be very limited. 

Things such as meaningful quotes, lyrics, or religious verses can be used if you can’t find the right words to say. 

Questions To Ask

Selecting a headstone is a detailed process that requires time and care. Ask these questions when you’re choosing the best one to represent your loved one’s burial spot:

What are the size requirements? Depending on the size of the plot, markers can accommodate various sizes – single, companion, infant, and cremation. Knowing the size of the plot and where the grave is located will help determine the appropriate sizing.

What type of material can be used? Some cemeteries will allow either bronze or granite headstone materials in a selection of various colors. Ask the funeral director to get the specific details.

What type of base can be used? Some cemeteries have a preference for the type of base they like to use. Headstones can be set on a granite base or it can be set in place with cement.

Are there any restrictions on the design? Oftentimes cemeteries will be limited on the space allowed for each grave plot, so check with them to make sure your headstone will fit in the spot you’ve chosen. 

Ordering Your Headstone 

When it comes to headstones or grave markers, there isn’t one size that fits all. Headstones and grave markers can vary in height, weight, design, color etcetera. 

Here are a few popular designs that you could choose from: 

  • Vertical Gravestone: Found in traditional cemeteries, this is the most common headstone that you will see, and it consists of two parts: the top and a base. 
  • Tilted Stone: Typically, the front is inclined and tilted forward to make it easier to read. It is placed on a granite or cement base and will usually be found within a family plot.
  • Tombstone Ledger: This is a thick granite, marble, or sandstone slab that covers the entire gravesite. This option allows for a large word count due to its size.
  • Bevelstone: This headstone is placed on the ground and is angled with the back being slightly higher than the front. It resembles a flat headstone, however, the beveled stone is placed several centimeters above the ground. 

We’re Here To Help You

Our staff at Wyuka knows how difficult the process of headstone selection can be. When you lose a loved one, the stress of funeral planning can be overwhelming for anyone. Through those difficult times, we’re here to guide you along the way. Come meet with our Funeral Directors for 1-on-1 help in funeral planning, end of life wishes, headstone selection, and anything else that you or your family needs help with. 

Give us a call and schedule a meeting today!



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