Obviously, when a loved one passes away, it’s a very difficult time. Surviving family members feel a sense of loss and a wide range of painful emotions. However, there’s also work to be done. Along with funeral arrangements and casket selection, there comes the task of selecting a headstone for your loved one’s grave.
The team at St. Charles Monuments has been in this business for a long time, and therefore has a great deal of experience in helping our Long Island community through this difficult process. Below, we have some tips on how to navigate the process of choosing a headstone as painlessly as possible.
1. Confirm Cemetery Regulations
Every cemetery has rules and regulations regarding monument placement. Some cemeteries allow large headstone placements virtually anywhere. Others have rather strict rules regarding the size of every headstone that goes in the cemetery.
Many Long Island cemeteries also have policies regarding what type of material the headstone is to be made of. Some cemeteries allow only granite or bronze headstones, for example. Once you’ve chosen your cemetery, you can call the cemetery. The manager can give you the specific set of rules and regulations regarding the size and type of headstone you may provide.
2. Become Familiar with Monument Options
- Headstone Monuments: The name “headstone” came about because the monument would be placed at the head of the deceased. Headstone monuments are probably the most popular form of cemetery monument. Headstones are available in an array of materials and colors. They are also available in several different styles such as tablets, domed stones, and shouldered stones. Any headstone can include a personal message or epitaph for your loved one. The average cost of a headstone is anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.
- Footmarkers: Footmarkers are probably the second most popular cemetery monument. They are smaller than headstones and are lower to the ground. Because of their size and distance from the ground, they are generally made from more durable material. Although smaller and less expensive than headstones, footmarkers are still a very graceful way to remember your loved one.
- Columns and Mausoleums: These are certainly more grandiose ways of remembering your loved ones. They are also very rarely seen nowadays. Tombs and mausoleums were very popular in the past, but now are very expensive and space consuming. If within your budget, however, some cemeteries do allow them.
3. Decide Upon Your Budget
Unfortunately, we all know that funerals and burials are expensive. You should carefully consider what is within your budget when the time comes to purchase burial plots, memorial costs, and cemetery monuments. If your loved one set aside money for funeral expenses, decide how much you can put toward purchasing a headstone. Once you set your budget, you can begin the selection process.
The team at St. Charles Monuments is here to assist you in that process. Our sales team will guide you to the monuments that best fit within your budget. We have a wide selection of specials to choose from as well. Our specials include discounts on delivery, cemetery setting, and there is no sales tax on the final price. We have specials that are for all faiths, as well as specific specials for Jewish families.
4. Choose a Monument Supplier
While we truly hope that St. Charles Monuments will be your monument supplier, we understand that you may live elsewhere. If so, you can explore monument options through your chosen cemetery. We suggest that you take your time to examine all of your options.
5. What Type of Monument Should You Get?
If you have decided on a headstone, be aware that they come in a variety of types and styles. These include upright, flat, and slanted markers. The upright headstone is probably the most popular type of headstone and is usually made from granite, marble, or limestone. A flat headstone is usually made of granite or bronze.
6. Choosing the Headstone Material
When it comes to the choice of material for your headstone, some things need to be considered. The choice in material will affect the headstone strength and longevity. You will want something that is durable, that also maintains an attractive appearance. Granite is a very popular choice because it is very adaptable and usually cost effective. It is also available in a fairly wide range of colors. If you do not want your loved one’s headstone to weather over time, limestone may not be the best choice for you. This material doesn’t typically uphold the inscriptions on headstones very well.
7. Finish of the Stone
All headstones need a strong finish. The type of finish on the headstone will determine its durability and appearance over time. As we mentioned earlier in this post, make sure you check out your chosen cemetery’s rules and regulations. Some cemeteries have rules against polished monuments because they tend to give off a strong reflectiveness. If your cemetery allows polished headstones, consider partially polished, pitched or honed stones. These will all help increase durability. If your headstone has 3 or more colors, a honed finish will give your stone more depth.
8. Selecting an Epitaph
An epitaph is the inscribed phrase on your loved one’s headstone. It can include details about their life, a saying that provides comfort, or religious texts. It was once commonplace for headstones to be inscribed with details of one’s death, but that is less popular now. When choosing your epitaph, think of your loved one’s personality and what they would like said about them. It is customary for epitaphs to include your loved one’s name and date of birth and death.
9. Inscription Font
The size and style of font is quite important when it comes to monument selection. Consider the size of the headstone and what font would fit best on it. This also depends on what your epitaph says. If you prefer a traditional look, try using a Roman or Old English font.
10. Headstone Images
Many families prefer to include only text on their loved one’s headstone, but some favor including images. Images can include etchings of religious symbols, or flowers, or animals. Again, think about your loved one’s personality and what kinds of interests they had. St. Charles Monuments has a wide array of images for you to choose from. If you are including photography in your headstone, make sure you see proofs before finalizing the transaction.
Conclusion – St. Charles Monuments
In conclusion, know that our team is here for you and your family during this difficult time. If you have any further questions about monument selection, feel free to contact us whenever you’d like.