A gravestone memorial should be an enduring tribute to your loved one’s life. Carefully and thoughtfully executed, it can and should reflect his or her beliefs, values, and personality. Deciding how to best represent such essence requires adequate time and contemplation. And so we hope this checklist can assist you in the process, and we encourage you to take as much time as you need to go through it.
- Determine for whom the personal memorial is being designed. A personal memorial can be designed for one person. It can be planned for a husband and wife—known as a double memorial. Or looking toward the future, it can have enough spaces to serve as a family memorial.
- Select a cemetery. There are generally three types of cemeteries available to you: municipal cemeteries operated by local governments, religiously-affiliated cemeteries, and private for-profit cemeteries. Each will have its own set of rules about the dimensions, type, and even the color(s) of the gravestone memorials they will accommodate.
- Contact us. The dimensions, size, and color(s) of your loved one’s grave memorial must satisfy your family’s sense of esthetics while simultaneously meeting the restrictions and requirements of the cemetery you’ve chosen. We’re intimately familiar with the requirements of cemeteries in the greater Madison area and throughout Southern Wisconsin. We also work extensively with private cemeteries such as Roselawn Memorial Park, Highland Memorial Gardens, Sun Prairie Memory Gardens, and Sunset Memory Gardens, and we will be glad to help you in this regard. Alternatively, you can contact the cemetery’s management directly to learn what kinds of tombstone memorials are permitted.
- Think about design. You can browse this website to familiarize yourself with the four basic designs of personal memorials or double memorials that are available to you. These are starting points from which you can add your own ideas; and we can suggest other design enhancements to personalize your loved one’s tombstone memorial while meeting cemetery requirements and restrictions. We specialize in creating custom shapes and artwork tailored to your taste, style, and budget.
- Determine what words and images you want on the grave memorial. Once you’ve selected a stone and specified your design parameters, you should discuss what words and/or images you want engraved into the memorial. Also consider etched images of people, things, or places important to your loved one. Engraved words might include middle names, maiden names, birth and passing dates, a marriage date, children’s names, as well as an epitaph. Engraved images might be of religious, occupational, or avocational (hobby) interest. Etched images can be of the same; the finer detail (relative to engraving) can accurately duplicate photographic images and fine artwork.
- Assay the design drawing of the single memorial or double memorial. Subsequent to collecting the above information and after we’re confident we fully understand your design parameters, we will submit for your consideration a scale drawing of exactly how your grave memorial will look. This is an iterative process: we will revise the design until it meets your complete satisfaction.
- Approve the design. Once you’ve approve the design, we’ll ask you to sign a contract and provide a 25 percent down payment. Typical in-stock production time from the approval to the installation of your loved one’s memorial is four-to-six weeks. Highly personalized headstone memorials might take longer; and seasonal frost or mud at the gravesite will likely prevent any memorial purchased late in the fall from being installed until the following spring.
What are the four basic designs available to you for your loved one’s gravestone memorial?