A Few Tips for Choosing a Cemetery Plaque or Headstone

Choosing a cemetery plaque or headstone is not an easy prospect, and if you're choosing one for someone to whom you were very close, you might be so bereaved that you don't consider all your options or the many details of such a plaque. Before you choose the biggest or most expensive plaque or decide that a very cheap headstone is a good option, note a few tips for ensuring you get one that will properly mark a grave or other such site.


Note the material of a plaque or headstone, as you usually have several choices. Bronze is very classic and can help to set a headstone apart from all the other stones in the cemetery, but it may need regular maintenance to keep it polished. If the cemetery you choose doesn't perform this maintenance, you may need to be prepared to manage this yourself every year when you visit the grave. The bronze may also need to be re-etched after so many years if the lettering wears down from being exposed to the elements.

Stone is very durable and strong and may need less maintenance, but the weight of a stone plaque or headstone needs to be considered. If the ground under the headstone tends to be moist and soft, you may need to consider an anchor for it of some sort, and this can add to the cost. 


You may not have thought about the color of a plaque or headstone, but choosing a rose tinted bronze or a brown granite rather than a standard grey can mean having a headstone that stands out and is very unique. A white limestone can also look very classic and timeless. Be sure you've noted all your color options when choosing a plaque rather than thinking grey tones are your only choice.


When choosing the lettering or type style of a plaque or headstone, be sure you've considered how it will look on the stone; something very fancy may look good on a piece of paper, but it might be difficult to read on a dark bronze or granite headstone. Simple block lettering may stand out more against the color of the stone. You should also consider if it might cost more to have a fancy, scrolling lettering touched up over the years as it wears down due to age. It might require a contractor with a bit more skill to create the curved edges needed to restore the lettering; in turn, this might be more costly to maintain.