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Types of Memorials

The words upright monuments, grave markers, headstones, and gravestones are often used interchangeably. In general, these terms can refer to any type of memorial that is placed on a grave. Cemeteries will often use the term “monument” to refer to any memorial that is upright.

“Markers” generally refer to memorials that lie flat or are beveled. The type that is best for you will depend on the requirements of your cemetery, your personal taste, and your religious or cultural customs. Most styles of grave markers are available for one person or in a “companion” style. Companion markers are made for two people.

Upright Monuments
Upright monuments made of granite are the most common monuments that we see today. These have two pieces – a top and a base. The top often is shaped like a tablet or rectangle, but they also may be curved, wavy or some other shape.

graphic image of 6 upright monument shapes

Slant Marker (or headstone)
Similar to an upright headstone, a slant marker will normally have a top and a base, but they may also be placed directly on the lawn. The top will be wider at the bottom and have an angled top that tapers so that the front is seen at a slant.

graphic of four companion and individual memorial marker shapes

Memorial benches are typically made of granite and are sometimes used as an alternative to a traditional grave marker. They also may be used along with a marker. Benches are available in a variety of colors and styles and may be made with or without a seatback.

Flush, Flat, or Lawn-Level Marker
Lawn level markers are small markers that are set flush on the ground or just a few inches above. This type of marker is made of granite or bronze.

Ledger Marker
Ledger markers are granite or bronze slabs that cover the entire gravesite. They sometimes are used along with a headstone.