When making final arrangements for your loved one, there are several things that you need to consider when choosing their cemetery headstone. Here are a few tips to help guide you through the process.
1. Decide What Materials You Prefer
There are several materials that you can select when designing the headstone. Your ideal material will depend on your preferred placement of the headstone and your individual aesthetic preferences.
If you're considering a flat headstone that lies on the ground, concrete, bronze, and stone are some top options. While bronze is one of the most expensive selections for a flat headstone, it's highly durable and won't erode or decay when exposed to the elements.
However, if you prefer a traditional upright headstone, limestone, granite, and marble are some of the most common selections. Granite is a popular alternative thanks to its affordability and the wide variety of colors and finishes.
2. Pick a Finish for the Headstone
The headstone's finish will affect how the headstone looks. A polished finish yields a headstone that's shiny, reflective, and smooth, while a part-polished finish creates a shiny, smooth area only around the headstone's inscription.
A pitched finish creates an older look with rough, natural stone. If your headstone will be placed in a cemetery with a lot of older gravesites, a pitched finish will ensure that the headstone doesn't look out of place.
Honed finishes produce a smooth, unpolished look that isn't as shiny or reflective.
3. Choose a Shape for the Headstone
Headstones are available in several shapes to allow you to better remember your loved one. Some of the most common shape options include a heart, cross, book, tear, and serpentine (which creates a curved look at the top of the headstone). Highly intricate shapes are usually more expensive than a standard rectangular shape with a semi-circle edge.
4. FInalize the Inscription for the Headstone
A headstone inscription includes information that remembers or tells about the life of the deceased. You can keep the inscription simple and only include a birth and death date, or you may include a quote, epitaph, or special phrase that reflects your loved one's life. Some companies include the inscription for free with the purchase of a headstone, while others charge by the line.
Once you've chosen the inscription, you need to determine what font type and letter size you want to use for it. It's also possible to incorporate symbols into the inscription, like a leaf or heart.
Contact a local funeral home to learn more about cemetery headstones.