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headstones and markers

Frequently Asked Questions About Headstones and Grave Markers

In many cases, when a family experiences a loss, the number of things to be decided with regards to planning end-of-life services is overwhelming, in addition to being completely new territory. We recently had a customer ask us for additional information on headstones and grave markers, and we decided to expand upon the topic for all those who may have questions about the process, but haven’t asked. 

What are my options for headstones and grave markers?

Whether you choose a full burial or cremation, one of the many things you’ll need to decide when a loved one passes, is how their final resting place will be marked. There are a variety of options available through either a monument provider or your funeral home.

Our preferred monument partner, Manchester Memorial, provides gravestones, custom cemetery memorials, grave markers, headstones, upright monuments, flush or flat markers, and family estate mausoleums. In addition Phaneuf offers bronze memorials, upright monuments, granite markers and accompanying vases to meet your needs and/or to serve the wishes of your loved ones.

What should people expect when working with a monument company?

Different monument companies will have different processes for quoting and creating customized grave markers for families. Before shopping for a monument provider, we recommended that you check with your cemetery to find out if there are any special requirements you should know about for grave markers. For example, a granite headstone may be appropriate in some sections of a cemetery, while bronze may be more appropriate for other sections, such as a memorial garden.

Most monument providers understand the importance of creating a unique and personalized grave marker as a memorial to a person’s life. Monument specialists typically meet with families to discuss different design options, requested inscriptions, size specifications, and more. From there, they will work to meet your needs and wishes, while adhering to any cemetery restrictions or guidelines.

Can the funeral home help me decide what to mark a loved one’s resting place with?

Certainly. With so many choices available for color, size and quality, selecting the right marker can be an overwhelming task. Most funeral homes are more than happy to assist you with making a decision.

Phaneuf provides families with a variety of options and suggestions based on the preferences of family members, close friends, and expressed wishes of the deceased. We can connect you to recommended providers in the area, who can further assist you with making this important choice.

How long is typical and reasonable to decide upon and get a marker?

Although there are no set rules as to what is considered a normal amount of time to decide upon and get a marker, some cemeteries do have restrictions with regards to how soon a marker can be laid. In addition, certain religious customs and cultures may have required ceremonies around laying the grave marker, which could possibly affect the timing.

How long does it take to get a marker made?

It often takes some time for markers to be created, especially if you are having a special inscription or other lettering engraved. In some cases, it can take several weeks to create a marker, and then additional time for shipping. The best thing to do is to ask the company representative for specific information, but you can estimate between 4-6 weeks, on average.

Can I add to an existing headstone or marker?

Yes. If you want to add something a little extra special to a headstone or grave marker, we can and do make arrangements to add lettering and/or inscriptions to existing monuments and markers.

What is the typical cost of a headstone, grave marker or monument?

Costs will vary based on the materials used and the type of marker desired. In order to get a specific quote for pricing, we’d recommend that you contact a representative so they can get the specifics and give you the most accurate pricing possible.

Can I pre-order a marker?

Yes. Headstones and markers can be pre-ordered as a means of ensuring that your wishes, or those of a loved one, are carried out. It can also lighten the burdens placed on children and family members once someone has passed.

Preplanning your final arrangements ensures that your family understands your final wishes and alleviates a great deal of stress.

  • Braden Bills Reply April 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I want to make sure that I get the right headstone. I didn’t know that there were so many different options! It seems like bronze is a pretty good material for this kind of thing, since it’s so durable.

  • Troy Blackburn Reply April 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    That’s a good point you make about how some markers take longer to make because of special inscriptions or other letters. I’ve heard, too, that you may want to consider having a flower holder included as part of the headstone so that you can leave a bouquet for your loved one. I’ll be sure to keep this great information in mind as we try to make a great headstone for my late grandmother.

  • Lillian Schaeffer Reply April 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I like how you mentioned contacting your cemetery to see if there are any special monument requirements. My family is trying to get a monument together for our mother, and we want it to be something that will last. Perhaps it would be a good idea to make sure that what we decide won’t be prohibited in the cemetery she’s in.

  • Leviticus Bennett Reply April 26, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    That’s really neat that you can pre-order a marker to make the process easier. My grandmother is in the hospital and was telling me what she wants on her tombstone. We might as well pre-order it and just leave the death date blank until we need to fill it out.

  • Max Jones Reply April 27, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I really like the idea of having help picking out headstones. I think that having a headstone is an important part of remembering a loved one, and I love that you said that funeral homes are happy to help. I think that headstones are a great way to show love for someone, and I think that as we prepare to bury my grandmother, a headstone is a great way for us to show that love.

  • Jade Brunet Reply May 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I did not know that there were different options for headstones and grave markers. It is good to know that flush and flat markets are both available. It would be good to find a funeral director when your loved one dies to relieve you of the stress of planning.

  • Alice Jones Reply June 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    My father just passed away, so my sister and I are trying to figure out the funeral. Thank you for explaining how some cemeteries have special requirements for custom monuments. We’ll ask our local cemetery and see what they have to say about our custom designed monument for our father.

  • SUsan Reply July 18, 2017 at 6:47 am

    My uncle passed away and I am a Catholic ..THere is a month’s mind mass coming up on the 30th of July … We were supposed to buy a stone tombstone.These were the questions at the back of my mind. Your answers have resolved all my queries ..THank you for the share.

    DO you customize tombstone as well? WHat’s the charge of the same?

  • Harper Campbell Reply September 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    My grandfather just recently passed away, and I have been asked to help with the getting the headstone. It’s good to know that when it comes to how long it takes to get it made that it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to have everything done right. This will be good for us to know so that we are able to get things taken care before the cold months come.

  • Raisa Delima Reply September 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for saying that the average time for a gravestone to be made is about 4-6 weeks. That would definitely be something to keep in mind if you think your loved one will be gone anytime soon. At the very least, it’s just good to have options in mind so that you know what you will do when your loved one does pass on. Thanks for all of the helpful information!

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