A cemetery memorial is a lasting and unique way to remember the life of a loved one. They provide a place for people to reflect and grieve – and act as a physical reminder of the individual who has passed away.
Choosing a memorial is a very personal and subjective experience and involves various parties – from family and loved ones to memorial specialists and cemetery personnel.
However, there are some basic steps to follow when choosing a memorial that will help the process go more smoothly and be one less thing to worry about. Here’s our short step-by-step guide to the process.
Before picking a location within the cemetery, decide if you would like the memorial to be an upright monument or flush grass marker.
By-laws outlining what memorial type and the permitted size can be installed on the site and these are specific to each cemetery. Make sure to check, when purchasing a plot, that the cemetery will allow for the size of the memorial you have planned.
3. Overall Look
Once you have chosen a memorial site you can begin to picture how you would like the memorial to look. A great way to get ideas is to take a walk through a cemetery and take note of the various colours, shapes and designs. You can also browse memorial displays – online or in brochures – to find a design that meets your requirements then share these findings with the memorial specialist so they have a better idea of your vision ahead of the design process.
4. Suitability & Foundations
Memorial sales staff will be able to confirm if the memorial you have in mind will be suitable for your chosen site and can also order a memorial foundation if required. The foundation is installed beneath the base of an upright monument, to add stability while the ground around the memorial moves due to the natural elements. In some areas this is a concrete foundation which is poured up to 48 inches deep – while other areas might require a 4-inch thick granite foundation slab.
5. Colour & Material
Next you will want to choose the colour and material of your memorial (see our guide to choosing granite colours). If you’re considering a granite memorial with sandblast engraving or etching, we would recommend going with darker colours, such as American Black, Jet Black, and Cambrian Black which give great contrast. Once the colour is confirmed the design process can begin.
6. Stone Orders
After the dimensions, colour and final design drawings of your memorial are approved the granite/ stone can be ordered (unless you choose one that is already in stock).
Once the granite/stone arrives the engraving process begins. Click the link to get an idea about the types of engravings, etchings and hand sculpting you can opt for.
8. Delivery & Installation
Once completed, the memorial is delivered to the cemetery for installation on the appropriate lot.
As we mentioned in the intro, every memorial purchasing process is unique – and there can be extra side steps depending on the style, size and location of your memorial. However, these eight steps represent a typical process. We hope you find it helpful.
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