Choosing the right headstone to memorialise a loved one can be incredibly difficult. Not only is it a hard choice to make due to the circumstances, but it’s also difficult due to the sheer amount of options available to you. It can be hard to narrow down what you are looking for to perfectly encapsulate how you feel, and how the loved one would have wanted their memorial site to look. 

At Northern Headstones we look to assist loved ones of recently passed individuals in the process of choosing a headstone. This process requires knowledge, understanding, and craftsmanship to ensure the details are all done just right. So, today we are going to provide some insight into how you can choose a headstone for your loved one and get the perfect marker for their final resting place. 

How to Choose a Headstone

When choosing a headstone, you are going to want to consider a few factors: 

  • Style
  • Material
  • Design 
  • Finish

These are the four basic areas of interest that you’re going to want to consider. Now, everything comes down to preference, so we can’t tell you what to choose. However, we can inform you of what your options are so you can make the most informed decision. First, let’s start with style:

  • Style:

The style of the headstone is the general shape of the headstone itself. You have a number of options, but the basic ones are: 

  • Flat headstones/grass markers

These are the stone or bronze markers that you can find laying lat in the grass. 

  • Raised top flat markers

These are the same concept as flat headstones, but the back of the stone is raised to create a forward facing slope downwards. 

  • Upright headstones

The most common design of headstone. These are the standing headstones you usually see. 

  • Kerbed headstones

A kerbed headstone is a long flat monument that runs the length of the grave site, and is usually capped with an upright headstone. 

  • Material:

When choosing a material, you have a number of options as well. The most popular being:

  • Granite
  • Limestone 
  • Marble
  • Bronze
  • Stainless Steel

Each one comes with its own distinct feel as well as pros and cons. Granite is the most common as it is versatile and cost effective. However, other materials like marble can be more aesthetically pleasing and may be worth the extra cost. 

  • Design: 

The design of the headstone is going to be crucial for your choice. It is the overall shape and design that offers you a lot of variety. Some popular options include:

  • Cross design
  • Heart design
  • Book design
  • Tear shaped design
  • Serpentine design
  • Half-ogee shaped design
  • Rose design

The design is going to give the entire headstone its core feeling and purpose. 

  • Finish:

Finally, you can choose the finish you want the headstone to have. This will give you some more customisation in terms of how you want the aesthetic to be. You can choose from:

  • Polished finish
  • Partial polished finish
  • Honed finish
  • Steeled finish
  • Frosted finish
  • Pitched finish
  • Axed finish

These are going to give texture and shine/lack of shine depending on what you desire and how you want the headstone to look. 

The Process of Choosing

So, now that you know some of your options, you are going to want to begin the process of actually choosing the headstone. If that feels overwhelming, you can follow a few basic steps for the process to go as smoothly as possible. Here’s what to do:

  • Consultation

You first want to consult the memorial park or cemetery about regulations or restrictions on the headstone options you may have, so as not to choose anything against code. You can then ask for any installation services they may offer, and whether they allow headstones from outside providers, etc,. 

  • Set A Budget

It’s important to stick to a strict budget so as to not go completely overboard. Some headstone designers will try to upsell you on a lot, which can inflate the price drastically. In general you should expect to pay around £1,200 – £1,800 on a well crafted headstone. 

  • Research

If you are reading this, you are already at this step. You want to become familiar with the different options available to you when it comes to style, material, design, finish, etc,. Your headstone designer can help you learn more about your options. 

  • Make Your Selections

Once you understand what your options are, you’ll need to make your selections. This will be the process of choosing your overall design and how you want to customise it to suit your needs. It can feel a bit overwhelming, but a good headstone supplier will walk you through this step-by-step. In the end, you should go with what feels right to you. 

  • Ask For A Draft

Most headstone providers can mock up a draft headstone for you to show your loved ones and get final approval. You should request this so you can determine if anything needs to be changed, added on, or otherwise amended. 

  • Solidify Your Choice

Once all is said and done, you’ll pay your deposit and the provider will begin having the headstone manufactured to your specifications. You’ve now chosen and designed your own headstone for your loved one! 

Final Thoughts

At Northern Headstones, we aim to provide the people of our community with headstones made from the best materials that are designed with expert precision and care. We know how important a memorial site is for you and your family, and we will work with you to get the best result possible for everyone involved. Reach out to us today to learn more about what we can offer you for your loved one’s memorial site. 

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