Choosing a Grave Marker: What’s Right for Your Loved One?

grave marker

In the wake of loss, carefully choosing a grave marker is a poignant and everlasting act of remembrance.

While choosing a grave marker may seem like a mundane task, it offers the unique opportunity to honor the legacy of a cherished loved one for eternity. The right memorial can pay tribute to the life of your beloved family member or friend while providing a meaningful place for you and others to find solace.


Here are seven tips to help you make a thoughtful decision when choosing a headstone for your loved one.


1. Consider the personality and passions of the departed.

Give careful thought to the person you're honoring. What were their interests and hobbies? What activities did they enjoy most? Did they have a favorite color, team, animal, or symbol? Incorporating elements that reflect the personality of the person who passed on can make the grave marker more personal and meaningful.


2. Set a budget at the outset.

Headstones and monuments come in a wide range of price points, and it's important to establish a budget that aligns with your financial situation. Keep in mind that the cost may include not only the marker itself but also additional expenses like installation and cemetery fees. Balancing your budget with your loved one's wishes is crucial.


3. Select the right headstone material.

Grave markers are available in a variety of materials like granite, marble, bronze, and more. Each material has its unique characteristics and price points. Granite headstones, for example, for a durable and popular choice, while bronze offers timeless elegance. Keep your budget in mind as you consider the material. Cemetery regulations and personal preferences should also be considered.


4. Choose an appropriate style.

From traditional to contemporary, religious to secular, grave markers come in an endless array of sizes and motifs. Select a style that resonates with your loved one's life and beliefs. Some markers can even be customized to reflect a unique design or emblem that holds special meaning.


5. Give thought to size and placement.

Cemeteries often have specific regulations regarding the size and placement of grave markers. It is essential that you understand these guidelines before making your selection. The marker's size should be proportionate to the grave and its surroundings. Many cemeteries allow upright and flat headstones, statues, and private or family mausoleums. There are some burial places, however, that impose restrictions and only permit flat grave markers.


6. What will you inscribe on the headstone?

People often personalize grave markers with inscriptions, epitaphs, or meaningful quotes. Choose something that captures the essence of your loved one's life and personality. This message is important because it leaves an enduring tribute for everyone who visits the resting place. Keep it heartfelt, sincere, and concise, as it will serve as a loving legacy for future generations.


7. Don’t forget the maintenance requirements.

Different materials require varying levels of maintenance. For instance, granite and bronze markers are known for their durability and resistance to the elements, making them suitable for long-term use. However, if you prefer a more personalized design in a less durable material like limestone or concrete, be prepared for expenses associated with upkeep and rejuvenation.


Choosing a grave marker is a meaningful and lasting way to pay tribute to your loved one. Take your time, seek advice from professionals, and involve family and friends in the decision-making process to ensure the headstone you select is a fitting and heartfelt tribute to their memory.


We hope you find these guidelines helpful in choosing a headstone for your departed loved one. If you have questions or need additional information, please reach out to us anytime. It is always our pleasure to assist you.


About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, grief counseling, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit


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