Planning A Beautiful Service

When my grandmother passed away, I was astonished to learn that I had been named the executor of her estate. After splitting up her belongings amongst my aunts and uncles, I turned my attention to planning her funeral. I didn't know where to start. Fortunately, I was able to find an excellent funeral home that understood how to help people plan beautiful memorial services. It was amazing to go through the process of planning the music, the speakers, and even the set-up of the room. This blog is all about planning gorgeous memorial services for the people that you love so that you aren't left grappling with difficult decisions.

Selecting The Right Headstone For Your Beloved Family Member


You've put your family to rest and it's time to shop for a fitting grave marker for them. There are a number of choices available. The memorial you choose is a lasting testimony to the person's life and will be seen by others as they visit their own friends and family members in the cemetery. Here are some tips to help you get started in your selection of the right headstone for your loved one.

Understand the Cemetery's Policies First

Every facility has its own rules regarding the kinds of memorials allowed. Ask the cemetery's caretaker what the guidelines are before you begin your search. These regulations will typically include:

  • the materials allowed in a memorial
  • the maximum and minimum sizes allowed
  • the shapes and styles allowed
  • the kind of base required on which the memorial sits

Your Memorial Material Choices

Marble - This was the favorite material for a long time because it's easy to mine, carve and polish. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It is susceptible to weather and can erode over the years, but it takes decades to notice any changes.

Granite - As this material became easier to work with, it has surpassed marble as the preferred material choice. It is more resistant to weather and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It can be polished to a high gloss or left with a matte finish.

Glass - Solid glass memorials are available, which are created by pouring molten glass into a form. Inscriptions are made by etching the glass with diamond-edged tools.

Bronze - This copper-colored metal can be used to create an entire headstone, or to add accents to a marble or granite memorial. Bronze holds up to the weather but needs frequent polishing to prevent a patina from developing.

Memorial Shapes

Square or rectangular - These markers sit either upright or on their side. Both sides may be engraved so people can read the marker from any direction.

Slabs - These are placed flat on the ground so they can only be read while looking down at the marker.

Wedge-Shaped - These memorials are tapered with the base being wider than the top. This gives you a slanted surface on which to place your inscription.

Beyond these traditional shapes, you can have a custom shaped marker that is round, heart-shaped, cylindrical, or literally any shape the material can be molded into.

The Base for the Memorial

Most cemeteries require some type of base on which the memorial sits to provide more stability from the marker tipping over. The base can be stone or metal and is typically a rectangular slab just large enough to accommodate the marker. You can have the base be larger so you can place additional grave ornamentation on it, such as vases for flowers or other decorations.

For more information, contact Pemi-Baker Memorials or a similar company.


17 November 2015