Choosing and Personalizing a Grave Monument

Little Girl Statue Grave Marker - Gracie

Gracie Statue Monument

Choosing and designing a monument for your loved one is a very important step in the grieving process, and your last expression of love during this sorrowful period.

The headstone or monument is a tribute to their life. It’s a visual remembrance. It tells the story of their life, ensuring that for years to come, they will be remembered.

What Is the Purpose Of Cemetery Monuments & Headstones?

Cemetery headstones and monuments are more than just a way to mark the grave site. Throughout history, cemetery monuments have told the story of a person’s life.

Included on the monuments could be a statement of character, their interests, place of birth and place of death of the deceased. How many children the person had, how they died, a Bible verse, a poem or even special quotes are also displayed on burial markers.

The essence of the deceased is forever captured by placing these insights on their grave monument. Families display this information on cemetery monuments as a lasting tribute to their loved ones.

Words are not the only way to personalize a monument for a lasting memorial. Statues, mausoleums, grave benches and plaques can create a sense of how esteemed the deceased was to their community, family or nation.

In the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah GA, two families memorialized the life of their daughters with statue monuments. The headstones for Little Gracie and Corinne are life-like statues, created to replicate their image as it was in life.

cemetery bench monument

Bench Grave Marker

However, Bonaventure is not the only cemetery with statue monuments. Throughout the U.S.A. and the world, many graves are marked with statues. You will see statues of angels, saints, literary figures or other types of statues as grave site markers.

For many planning a funeral in Savannah, GA, statues are a unique option in creating a lasting tribute. Usually statues are chosen because of some connection to the deceased, or a need to create a specific atmosphere around the grave site. Angels are often used to create a sense of peace, protection and guidance for the deceased in the after life, or to comfort those left behind.

Grave benches are another way to create a comforting atmosphere for a family. This type of monument gives loved ones a place to sit and reflect when visiting, as well as a place to display memorial tributes.

Choosing A Monument

With the many monument options available, selecting the right tribute for your loved-one might be overwhelming. Although the process of creating a one of a kind monument may seem trying, it can often give a sense of closure, and create a cherished memory.

The first step in choosing a monument is selecting the type of headstone or burial marker that best fits your loved one. Knowing what monument options are available will make the selection process easier.

The most common types of cemetery monuments are:

Burial Mausoleum

Cemetery Mausoleum

  • Upright headstones
  • Flat grave markers
  • Bevel monuments
  • Picture inlaid monuments (These monuments include a special picture of the deceased on the monument.)
  • Memorial benches
  • Cultural monuments
  • Cremation memorials
  • Mausoleums
  • Individual headstones
  • Companion headstones
  • Military monuments
  • Specialty Monuments (These custom monuments can be formed into special shapes, based on the interest of the deceased.)
  • Bronze grave markers

Once you have decided what type of monument will best honor your loved one, the monument material must be selected. The most commonly used material is granite; it is long-lasting and very durable. There are other options as well which vary by appearance, texture, weight, and cost.

Other types of materials used to create cemetery monuments are:

  • Sandstone
  • Cast iron
  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Marble
  • Bronze

Some monument types need a specific building material. Bronze grave markers will be made from bronze. Most memorial benches are made exclusively from granite, and are sometimes referred to simply as granite benches.

Personalizing The Cemetery Monument

The person to whom you are paying tribute was very special, and therefore should be memorialized in a very special way. Selecting personalized elements for their monument will help you create a lasting tribute.

Headstone Personalized with Mason Emblem

Personalized Headstone with Masonic Emblems

Personalization can begin with the type of monument selected. Specialty monuments can be created in almost every shape, such as hearts, crosses, angels, doves, etc. It can be shaped based on a hobby or interest, such as a fish-shaped headstone or a monument with a ball or glove; these features can create a one-of-a-kind aspect to the monument. A beautiful option when creating a monument is to inlay a picture of your loved one.


Engraving a scene or a picture on the monument is a symbolic way of memorializing the interests of the deceased. Engrave peaceful scenes, such as a beautiful mountain side, a boat on the lake, praying hands or the emblem of an association. The addition of a favorite Bible verse, quote or poem can epitomize the essence of your loved one.

What Should You Write on the Monument?

A name, birth date and date of death needs to be included. You can also include their nickname, and any other information that defines who that person was in life. A verse from scripture, a favorite poem or quote are wonderful ways to express character. “In loving memory”, “Beloved Mother”, “Forever in Our Hearts”, and “Rest in Peace” are a few samples of information appropriate for cemetery monuments.

The style and size of the font are something you can personalize as well. A somberness is not required on monuments. For individuals who lived life through humor, it is okay to show that side on their monument. The most important requirement for a cemetery monument is that it truly reflects the life of the person for whom it was created.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Monument?

The time can vary depending on the amount of customization. Generally speaking, it usually takes 6-8 weeks to for the monument to be completed and installed. Once it’s finished, you will have a place to visit, honor and remember your loved one.

Monument Styles Photo Gallery

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One Response to “Choosing and Personalizing a Grave Monument”

  1. Burt Silver says:

    My friend’s mother is close to passing. She has asked him to help her find a grave marker that she likes. She wants a say in what is going to be her memorial. I never thought about how many different font options there are. I will have to ask my friend if he has narrowed any down.

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