How to Choose the Right Headstone, Memorial or Gravestone

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How to Choose the Right Headstone or GravestoneChoosing the right headstone, memorial or gravestone is a delicate and sensitive matter, which must be carefully considered. Representing the life and character of the deceased through engravings and images allows friends and family to create a lasting and striking impact. Whilst losing loved ones is never easy, their legacy can live on. Here are some tips on how to choose the right headstone, memorial or gravestone and some all-important factors to think about. 

Consider Stone Type and Colour

One of the first factors to consider in finding the right headstone, memorial or gravestone is what stone type and colour to choose. From graphite to marble there are an array of rock forms available, most of which come in a variation of shades. Whilst most cemeteries tend to allow any kind of natural stone, churchyards have stricter limitations and some types of rock are not permitted. Those unsure of which rock forms they are able to use should consult with their stonemason to seek advice. 

Think about Size

Deciding upon an appropriate memorial, headstone or gravestone size is an important aspect of the decision process. Often there is a maximum size allowed but this is highly dependent upon the place of burial or erection. Whilst memorials are often larger, as many are crafted in respect for groups of people such as soldiers or royal families, all three are available in a range of sizes. The size of the memorial, headstone or gravestone can also represent the physical age of the deceased, but again, this is entirely dependent on the wishes of those closest.

Choose Quotations

Quotations are often prominent on memorials, headstones and gravestones, and are a great way to represent the character, life and spirit of those who have passed away. Sayings that had meaning and importance can be passed on through generations, and ultimately can create a lasting legacy. From choosing the right colour to the correct font, there are many things to think about when deciding upon quotations. Every aspect is equally as important, and will create a strong impression on those passing by, as well as family and friends.

Decide upon Photo-plaques and Ornamentations

Photo-plaques are essentially an image of a loved one that can be set onto their gravestone, headstone or memorial, providing that the photo is of a high quality. Backgrounds can be taken out of the photo, depending on the family’s desires and images will be made to be durable and hard-wearing, ensuring that they last for decades to come. A great visual reminder of those who have passed away, photo-plaques are becoming an increasingly popular option when it comes to choosing the layout of gravestones, headstones and memorials.

Ornamentations are likewise a superb visual reminder, often symbolic of religion, hobbies, or personality that is added to the plaque. From the serious symbol of a cross to a fun image of a motorbike, there are a range of inventive and original ornamentations that family and friends may choose to include in order to make the gravestone, memorial or headstone truly unique.


Choosing the right gravestone, headstone or memorial includes thinking about a variety of aspects. From considering whether or not to include photo-plaques and ornamentations to thinking about the stone colour and size, there are many elements to consider during this process. Those unsure of what to include should consult with their stonemason to ensure that they are fully content in their final decisions.


Article written by memorial headstones mason firm, Memorials of Distinction.


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Tom Reynolds works in the marketing department of Memorials of Distinction - a family run stonemasons and sculptors business based in the UK. Tom has a wealth of experience in funeral planning....