Step by Step Guide to Creating a Memorial

When creating a memorial for a loved one, the emphasis is always on the personality of the person you are memorialising. It’s important to make sure that the memorial reflects their character and allows you to reconcile the memorial as a part of them to remember them by, creating something truly unique and special.

There are a few steps to creating a memorial and we’d like to guide you through them.

Step 1 – Choosing your memorial

There are a number of different styles of memorial to choose from, depending on where the memorial is going to be placed. So, technically, deciding where your memorial is going to be situated is the pre-first step. If your loved one is being buried, there are the options of either a lawn cemetery or a churchyard, and each comes with some guidelines for memorials.

In both a lawn cemetery and a churchyard, the most popular choice is the headstone. Before choosing your memorial, check with the cemetery or churchyard you have chosen to make sure you’re aware of their size and style regulations. You’ll also need to make sure that your memorial is durable and able to stand up to the elements and the test of time – we would recommend choosing either granite or marble. Marble is considered slightly softer, but still very durable, so it might be more applicable for a more sheltered plot, while granite is a tough, durable stone that will provide a lasting tribute.

If your loved one is being cremated, you can instead opt for a memorial, plaque or marker stone that can be situated at the crematorium itself. Again, check in advance with the crematorium to understand their regulations or restrictions.

Step 2 – Deciding the lettering

Once you’ve chosen the shape and size of your memorial, be it a headstone or memorial plaque, it’s time to consider what you’d like it to say on it. When choosing your memorial style, there will often be a limit on the number of letters you can include, simply for styling and spacing reasons, so make sure to check what your limit is.

For inspiration, you could include your loved one’s favourite quote, maybe a fragment of poetry, a eulogy or simply their birth and death date with their name.

If you’re ordering a memorial from County Stone, our Lettering tab can give you an idea of styles you’ll have available to you.

Step 3 – Applying for the memorial placement

Whether the memorial is going to be situated in a churchyard, cemetery or a crematorium, you will need to apply for permission to install the memorial. There are three parts to this application: the application form, the installation fee and the wording layout.

The application form will include a diagram of the memorial, with dimensions included, so that the churchyard, cemetery or crematorium will be able to check that it fits their specific regulations. It will also include details on how the memorial will be fixed, and the wording that it will include. The registered owner of the grave will be required to sign the form and send it off along with the installation fee.

The installation fee is established by the church, crematorium or cemetery and is a set permission fee which increases every year.

Once you have decided what you would like the memorial to say, if you are arranging the memorial with us at County Stone, we will send you two different layouts of the wording to make sure we have the lettering correct. You will need to check the spellings and choose which of the two layouts you would prefer.

Step 4 – Ordering and finishing the memorial

Once the application has been successfully approved, which can take a couple of weeks, you will be able to order the memorial. The construction of the memorial will be started once the stone has arrived, which can take between 4-20 weeks depending on the material selected for the memorial.

Once the stone arrives, the memorial can then be prepared for lettering and finished before it is installed. When the memorial is completed, you will be contacted to decide an installation date and the memorial can be fixed into place.

If you’re looking to have a memorial made for a loved one, we’re happy to help at County Stone Memorials. We’ll be able to guide you through the entire process, from creation to placement, and will aim to make the experience as stress-free as possible. Let us help you create the perfect memorial – contact us here to start the process.

Lawn cemetery