Whether making your own final arrangements or planning the burial of a loved one, choosing a headstone is hardly ever an easy decision. While many appreciate the thousands of choices on a website like Quiring Monuments, it's also not uncommon for people to be overwhelmed. 

It's a good idea to narrow down the options by thinking about logistics. If your cemetery has height, color, or other types of restrictions, it's fairly easy to eliminate any stones that do not meet these criteria as options. After this, start thinking about what you want. Is there something meaningful that you want to be inscribed on the stone or a piece of artwork that shows the deceased's personality?

Today, it's possible to customize a headstone to show practically anything. Just about any saying, quote, or verse can be transcribed, and nearly any picture, including original artwork and portraits, can be added.

Why Choose a Personalized Headstone?

By its simplest definition, a headstone is just a marker to show others where a grave is located. However, to many who visit that grave, it is a memorial or tribute to the deceased person's life.

While there are many options for pre-designed headstones, many people choose to customize the headstone of their loved ones to showcase their special attributes or personality. Of course, some people have a special or unique vision of what they want for their loved one or themselves when it comes to a grave monument and will choose to create a unique headstone without a template or pre-made starting point. 

Some people have a very clear vision of what they want. Sometimes these individuals are artists and usually have sketches of what they have envisioned. It is not uncommon for them to want to create the headstone themselves or at least add their own unique creation to a pre-made existing monument or headstone. It is common for people to want to add a collection of toys, figurines, or other objects that were memorable to the deceased, for example. 

Other people may conclude that they need to design something themselves after deciding that the options they have looked at don't truly reflect what they envisioned as the headstone for their loved one or themselves. These situations are fairly common at Quiring Monuments, and fortunately, we have many options available. If you know something about what you want, working with an artist or stone cutter is often possible to create a truly unique headstone or monument for your loved one.

Even having just a few ideas can often give an artist enough to create several sketches for a headstone. Be aware that designing a unique headstone is a process, and it can typically take several months or even several years to get something that you and your loved ones agree can truly honor the deceased. Nonetheless, a unique headstone is an excellent way to honor the memory of a loved one or ensure that your own life is remembered. While the process can be more time-consuming than purchasing a ready-made headstone, the result is a unique and original tribute.

What Is and Isn't Allowed with a Headstone?

Of course, people interested in this option have many questions about what they can and can't do with a headstone. Before getting started on a design, we recommend following these suggestions.

Be aware of local ordinances and restrictions regarding headstones. It is not uncommon for most counties and cities in the United States to have no restrictions on headstones, grave markers, and other monuments. Instead, they leave the rules up to the cemetery or graveyard with the item. Nonetheless, no one wants to be surprised after a headstone is designed or after it has been created.

Know the restrictions of the cemetery or graveyard where the headstone will be placed. Cemeteries may have different rules about what is and isn't allowed in terms of monuments. Approval of a headstone design may be granted by one cemetery, but that does not mean another will accept it. It is advised to get approval from the cemetery before constructing a headstone. Some cemeteries may review sketches and plans and offer preliminary approval.

While we can sometimes help you with specifics with some cemeteries, we strongly encourage you to ask about the following issues when you talk with the caretaker of your chosen memorial park.

Pay attention to restrictions on size. When designing a headstone, it is important to consider the size restrictions of the cemetery. Generally, headstones should not exceed the dimensions of the grave site, and there may also be height limits. In fact, size restrictions are the most common type of restriction regarding headstone regulations.

Ask about restrictions on colors. Headstones may be any color or limited to a certain palette depending on the graveyard. These rules most commonly affect the type of stone that can be used. If you want to add colors to the headstone, ensure it is allowed.

Be aware of banned words and items. Again, these restrictions can vary a lot, but there are usually rules against items or words that could offend others. However, restrictions on what is deemed appropriate for an epitaph may exist in rare cases.

Whether you're just starting the personalization process or already know what you want and just need help creating it, visit us at Quiring Monuments. Our staff has helped our clients create thousands of unique and memorable headstones, and we look forward to working with you to design a memorial marker for you or your loved one.