March 8, 2022
By: Adam Reeson
One of the most common questions we get asked is “how big should the headstone be?”
This is a logical question that sounds pretty straightforward. However, there are many factors to consider when choosing the size of your loved one’s headstone or grave marker. To help families better understand this part of the headstone design process, here are some important factors to consider:
Many cemeteries have rules and regulations which dictate the size and style of memorials allowed in their graveyard. For example, Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan only allows pillow headstones in most areas. Other cemeteries allow freedom of choice memorialization, but do have minimum and maximum size restrictions.
Each cemetery is different, which is why it is important to deal with a reputable monument company who has knowledge of each cemetery’s respective bylaws. This will help you avoid a costly mistake that could leave you out of thousands of dollars during a difficult time.
Cremation or Burial?
Even if the cemetery does not have rules or regulations, the headstone needs to fit within the width of the grave (typically 4 or 5 feet) to avoid encroaching on neighbouring graves. This becomes a particularly important consideration on a companion memorial with 2 names engraved.
For example, if the couple were both cremated, they may be interred together in a single plot. If both were casket burials, the headstone would be centred on the 2 graves. Obviously the maximum size of the headstone is going to be much larger centred on 2 graves than on a single grave.
Often times when the family does not have a specific size in mind, I’ll ask what they would like engraved on the stone and build the monument from there.
An experienced memorialist will ensure the lettering and design included are of sufficient size to guarantee long-term legibility. Logically, a monument with a detailed design (like “Metz”) will need to be larger than a monument with simpler design components, such as a cross or rose.
Similar to building a new house, increasing the size will increase the price. If you have a specific budget in mind for the headstone, it is a good idea to let the memorialist know so they can recommend a size that will fit in that price range.
If a larger size is important to you, an experienced memorialist can recommend other granite colours and finishes to bring the cost down.
For example, an all-polished Blue Pearl granite headstone is going to be more expensive than a Vermont Grey granite headstone with a plain smooth finish.
For more information about choosing a headstone size, give us a call at (306) 580-3977.
For Frontier Monuments, I’m Adam Reeson.