Key Differences Between Headstones, Monuments, And Grave Markers

Key Differences Between Headstones, Monuments, And Grave Markers

A cemetery memorial is a customizable gravestone, which is used to memorialize someone. Remembering and paying a fitting tribute to a loved one after they are gone is a highly significant decision that you shouldn’t take in haste. Some people prefer to purchase a burial marker right away, while others take their time when purchasing a lasting memorial that can truly relate to the deceased.

There are various memorial options to choose from, depending on how you wish to remember your loved one. Budget, design, inscriptions, material, and size are just to name a few. However, it’s vital that you take your time when deciding on a cemetery stone so you can choose a memorial that best honors your loved one’s life.

Not everyone knows how to purchase the right gravestone; that’s why it’s best to consult with professional memorial specialists to select the best quality cemetery stone. We will now discuss the three most common memorial options to help narrow down your search for the right cemetery stone:


A headstone is one of the most common memorial options. They are designed to identify the individual/couple buried in the cemetery. They are usually made of granite but can also include bronze. These particular memorial stones sit erect, allowing the headstone’s information to be easily read when walking by.

Headstones will usually contain the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death, and sometimes an epitaph. They can also include a unique design depending on the space available. Headstones can also vary in size from small to very large.

Headstones come in different colors, including gray, pink, black, and brown, just to name a few. It’s always a good idea to choose a color that relates well to your loved one.

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to shapes and styles for headstones as well, ranging from rectangles to increasingly elaborate sculptures. You’ll have the ability to see a number of different shapes, sizes, and styles when discussing further with your memorial company of choice.


Monuments are usually larger forms of headstones; however, these are relatively bigger and usually come in sculptures. While possible to have monuments that are of a similar shape to headstones, you can have them customized to form a statue as well. It’s possible to create a memorial of any design for your loved one.

A monument is designed to remind people of the person who has passed away. It tells the story of their life. It also includes the same information as a headstone, such as their name, date of birth/death, and epitaph. However, it uses images and designs, and other wording to share a person’s life story.

Cemetery monuments are available in various shapes and sizes. You can shape the granite in any way you choose. However, there may be some cemetery restrictions you need to check on first (height and width), which you can confirm from your monument specialist before making any final decisions.

Grave Markers

A grave marker is usually a flat marker made out of granite or bronze or a combination of both. It is generally smaller and a bit less expensive than the more extensive upright headstone/memorial alternatives. These can be placed flush with the ground (which is most common) or can be placed on a foundation above ground and can only be read when standing over the grave marker. These are used primarily for identifying the deceased.

Summit Memorials helps you honor your loved ones with highly customized, top quality granite memorials across Alberta and Saskatchewan. Visit our website to see our selection of memorial stones or contact us for personalized service.

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