When someone is buried after they pass away, a headstone is normally placed at the gravesite to mark out who's resting there and maybe to give a few details about their life. If you're responsible for organising a headstone, you're probably not short on ideas for what you'd like, perhaps with some input from other family members.
Sometimes, however, what you want and what you're able to have are quite different due to budget constraints. When you don't have a great deal of money available, it can add to the upset you're already experiencing. If you choose carefully, though, you can still get a beautiful headstone on a budget, so follow these tips.
Keep the shape simple
Headstones nowadays come in all sorts of different shapes, but they can get expensive when you start looking at the more unusual ones.
If you choose something that's simple and traditional, you'll save money and still end up with a lovely monument. Plain, rectangular slabs or those with curved tops are typically at the lower end of the price scale.
To cut costs further, you could consider a square slab that lies on the ground, rather than a standing headstone. These are also slightly less prone to damage, as they can't fall over, so they can be less expensive to maintain.
Choose the right material
Materials like marble and even bronze can get expensive, but going for something cheaper doesn't mean you lose out on quality or attractiveness. Granite is often affordable, especially if you go for one of the more traditional colours, and it's still a beautiful stone with excellent durability.
Minimise the lettering
Many stonemasons charge by the letter for inscriptions, so keeping it brief can really cut your costs. One way to do this is to stick to the basics—the person's name and the years of their life.
If you do want to add something else, simple phrases expressing that the deceased is loved and missed can be very effective. You might also be able to find short phrases of two or three words in poems and religious texts.
Make it all a little smaller
It's easy to get carried away with the size of a headstone, feeling as though it needs to be big to express how important the person was.
That's really not the case, however, and opting for a slightly smaller stone may not even make a difference in how people perceive it. It certainly makes it more affordable, though, so it can more easily fit within your budget.