Both headstones and memorial plaques are used to commemorate the life and passing of a loved one. Although both types of monuments are used in the cemetery set to mark a burial location, plaques can be appropriate for other purposes as well. When selecting a monument, you first must determine the restrictions or requirements imposed by the cemetery or another governing body to ensure that your selection is acceptable. Understanding the different types of monuments will assist you in making an informed choice.
Types and Uses of Headstones or Gravestones
Gravestones were originally large slabs of stone that covered an entire grave, sealing it safely from the elements and preserving a deceased’s interment location. Today, gravestones and headstones are interchangeable terms used to refer to engraved grave markers. A gravestone may be horizontal and either flush with the ground or raised a few inches, or it may be vertical and upright, slanted or beveled. Other possibilities include tryptic or tablet style markers, obelisks or even commemorative stone benches. Typically when people refer to headstones, they mean some version an upright monument. Usually, these monuments are engraved with the deceased’s name, birth and death dates and possibly quotes, scriptures or other meaningful sentiments. A few also opt for headstone wording to make the message more personalized and touching.
Types and Uses of Memorial Plaques
Memorial plaques are used to mark an interment site and flush with the ground. They may be engraved stone or stone with a bronze plaque mounted on top. Plaques also may be used to memorialize a cremation site or to mark an above-ground crypt. Memorial plaques have other uses as well, including to serve as keepsakes for the family or as a public memorial. Family members may incorporate a loved one’s plaque in a memorial garden, for example, or install it in some other place of honor. This type of monument can range from a small medallion to a large marker. The plaque is typically customized with the same type of information found on an engraved headstone.
Making the Perfect Monument Selection
Choosing the perfect custom memorial can be difficult, especially in times of profound sadness. It helps to be familiar with the different types of monuments, headstones, memorial plaques, and grave markers that your loved one’s place of burial will allow. Each cemetery has its requirements and restrictions, and today, many require the use of flush or lawn-level markers. This significantly reduces the time and cost of maintaining the cemetery, as maintenance workers can only mow over the marker.
You must adhere to the cemetery’s guidelines for the memorial. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to have it installed. As long as you adhere to the rules, the cemetery cannot reject your monument. There are several headstone designs you can choose from, depending on your need and budget.
The most efficient way to ensure that whatever your choice is, it complies with the cemetery’s requirements. It is a good idea to utilize the services of a local monument company rather than a remote server. A local engraver will be familiar with the rules and customs of your area and can guide you in your purchase to ensure satisfaction. When you set out to commemorate the life of a deceased one, both are always appropriate reminders.