Choosing a headstone, whether for someone who has already passed away or because you're pre-planning your own funeral, can be a challenge as headstones come in a variety of materials and styles. To ensure you understand those details and opt for the right headstone for you or someone else, note a few tips that will help when choosing this piece.
Know what it will say
Many headstones will include more than just someone's name and dates of their birth and death; a headstone might also include a poem, bible verse or favourite saying of the deceased. Headstones might also include a picture of the deceased and religious or other symbols. It's important to note all the information you want on a headstone; that will then affect the size of headstone in order to fit all that lettering.
You might also find that a stone large enough to accommodate the wording you want will be too expensive, and you'll need to rethink what you include on the headstone. Note, too, that engraving on a headstone will fade over time and may need some touching up. The more lettering, the more expensive this maintenance job, so keep that expense in mind when choosing what a headstone will say.
Granite is a very durable material that isn't affected by adverse weather conditions, but note that no two slabs of granite are alike. If you want matching headstones, such as for a husband and wife, you should but those two stones together, even if you need to store one for the time being, so that they actually match.
Bronze is also very durable, but it may need consistent polishing to keep it looking shiny. Stainless steel headstones are a modern choice that are also very durable. Since steel headstones will look identical, you can also buy matching steel headstones at different times and know that they will still look alike.
Headstones aren't always just square stones that stand up from a base, and it's good to know the various style options you have before shopping. A shouldered headstone has one large curve in the middle and then two smaller curves on either side, shaped something like shoulders. This style is very classic. A gable top is more pointed at the top, like a picket fence. This is also a very classic design, and it offers a bit more personality than standard square headstones. Slant, bevel and pillow markers sit on the ground but have one side elevated slightly, so they're easier to read but still look somewhat unobtrusive.
Contact a company like Ken Slater Memorials to get help planning your headstones.