There will come a time when you have to say goodbye to someone who is very close to you, and this can be one of the most difficult moments of your life. You will go through a whirlwind of emotions while also trying to focus on making arrangements for their funeral. As you go through this process, you'll be trying to figure out how to create a fitting memorial for this person, and in most cases, this will involve the selection of a headstone. While this can seem like quite a daunting task by itself, it doesn't have to be if you make some decisions in advance.

Church or Cemetery

Much will depend on the wishes of the departed person and where they are going to be buried. Usually, this is a choice between a cemetery or a church, and the location can have a bearing on what type of headstone you choose and how it is designed. Note that some churches have strict rules that only permit certain types of message, as well as stones that are in a relatively neutral colour and made from a certain type of material.

Types of Stone

Most traditional headstones are made from either marble, limestone or granite. While it is possible to make them from more contemporary materials like bronze, you should check first with the churchyard to make sure that they will allow it to be placed there. You may choose to get a full-size, upright headstone or a smaller version that sits at ground level, sometimes known as a kerb stone.


Not all materials are as durable as others, and this is something you need to consider as you make your selection. You need to determine how resistant a material is to weather conditions, how easy it is to inscribe and how much attention you will need to give it in the months and years ahead in terms of regular cleaning and maintenance. In most cases, granite is the material chosen, and it does come in a variety of different finishes and colours.


You will need to consider what you are going to inscribe on the headstone. Usually this will include the name of the deceased together with their dates of birth and death, of course, but you should also think about a fitting epitaph. While everything has been engraved by hand for many generations, you may also ask your supplier whether it is possible to get a more comprehensive message (perhaps with an image) engraved by laser.

Just remember, you don't have to make all these decisions in a hurry, and some people choose to wait for some time following a burial before actually finalising the details. It can be best to investigate the options ahead of time when your mind is clear, so have a word with a professional at businesses like Ken Slater Memorials to see what options they can recommend.