How to order a monument

How to order a monument

   When a loved one passes away and the funeral and burial is over it is time to order their stone. Don’t stress out it’s not as bad as you would think. In fact if you have all your ducks in a row it will only take about an hour at the monument shop to do it all. Which is a great thing, because let’s face it you have been through so much already. I am going to use my Dad in the following example steps of buying his stone.

   First I need to think of my finances. How much money in reality do I have to spend. Some Monument companies will let you make payments, however some won’t. My Dad wouldn’t want me going bankrupt over his stone so I better check the bank.

   second is what are the restrictions and regulations at my Dad’s cemetery? Do they allow only bronze,flat markers or upright stones. I wonder if they allow foot markers and vases? To find out I have to call the cemetery caretaker. Larger cemeteries usually have offices, but smaller country cemeteries should have a number posted near the entrance. Now that I checked I know my Dad can only have a single upright stone with the vases attached to the base.

   My next step is to find everything I will need for ordering Dad’s stone. I know what stone is needed so what do I put on the stone? I will start with my Dads name,birthdate and death date. I had an obituary posted in our local paper that has all that information in it. It even has the cemetery listed in it. I will just make a copy of it to take with me. If my Dad was a Veteran I would take copies of his Veteran papers as well. I am going to be a little emotional during my meeting with the sales person so I need to write everything else down they will need so I don’t forget. I start by writing down my information they may need. Name,address,phone number and my e-mail address.

   Now comes the thinking part. I need to think of how to personalize my Dads stone. Keep in mind it’s not what I like. It is his stone and should represent him. The granite stones come in different colors so I will start there. Dad Liked Black so I am thinking black granite with white lettering on it. Dads nickname was Ewok from his navy days. Maybe I can have his nick name put on the stone next to his name. Dad loved the mountains. We would spend all day in the mountains. Maybe I should put a mountain scene on his stone. So now I know I want a black granite single upright stone with white lettering. I also want his nickname and a mountain scene on it. I would also like a porcelain photo of my dad on the stone so I will need to pic out a photo that is of good quality. I will want to make sure his clothes in the picture don’t blend into the back ground color. A 5×7 or 8×10 is best.

   Now that I have got all my information and I have an idea of what I want as far as a stone it is time to find a monument company. Monument companies are usually very few. The best thing for me to do is get out my phone book and hit the internet. I found a monument shop so I call and see if I need an appointment. Some require one and others don’t. The one I chose don’t require one so I go on in. I have done all my work before I go in so all I have to do is tell the salesperson what I want and hand them my information I copied and wrote down along with the photo of my Dad. I will also tell them I am on a budget and see if the one I want is in that budget. After the salesman looks up the pricing I find out I am way over my budget. So what do I do? I do know colored granite is more expensive than grey. Maybe I can have a grey stone with black lettering instead. This has dropped my price down to my budget. The salesman fills out a contract stating what I want and what information is needed. I sign the contract and pay them.

   The sales person informed me that it would take 6-8 weeks for my stone to be done. Dads cemetery is a perpetual care cemetery which means they have grounds keepers who set the stones.So I will have to allow them about 2 weeks for that. Bringing the total time to be completely done and set to 10-12 weeks. If I want to be there when Dads stone is set I will need to let the caretaker of the cemetery know. They will call me and set a time and day after it arrives there.

   The salesperson said they would contact me a in about 2 weeks To come by and pick up my Dads photo and sign a proof.. A proof is a picture of what my stone will look like. I can look at it and make sure the name and dates are correct. I can also make any changes I want to make. Like if I don’t like Ewok with his name we can put it along the bottom or on the back of the stone.

   Before I leave I need to make sure and get the salesperson business card. They may have more than one salesman and I would prefer working with the one who met with me. I don’t want to have a hassell of retelling them everything.

    I received my proof and it looks great. Now I sign it and send it back to the sales person. Now I just sit and wait for a call from them saying it has been delivered to the cemetery. At that time I wait 2 weeks then call and check on it at the cemetery. They told me it was set so I’m going to get Dads favorite flowers to put in his vases.

So to recap I will need …

A copy of my Dads obituary

My contact information

Veterans papers

Cemetery information

An idea of what my Dad would like

My Dads photo

Know my budget

Death dates on existing stones.

   If your loved one has already pre ordered their monument before passing it will need a death date. You will need to know the cemetery name, location of the stone in the cemetery, name on the stone and the death date of your loved one. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to complete and 90% of the time can be done in the cemetery. 10% of death dates have to be added at the monument company due to bad weather or other circumstances. You will have to sign a service contract on this work so bring your contact information with you. You can usually request to be present when date is added if able to be done in the cemetery.

   If the monument is bronze a date plate will have to be ordered and placed on the stone. This normally takes 3-4 weeks to be completed. You will need to know the cemetery, date of death, as well as the stones location in the cemetery and name on the stone.

If it is a granite or marble monument then it can usually be added in the cemetery. Sometimes during bad weather conditions and other circumstances it will have to be picked up and done at the monument company then reset. This normally takes 3-4 weeks to be completed. You will need to know the cemetery name, location of the stone in the cemetery, name on the stone as well as the death date.


1. Cemetery name and location

2. Location of the stone in the cemetery ( can get from caretaker)

3. Name as it appears on the stone ( just to assure it is the one)

4. The date that needs to be added to the stone (date loved one passed)

5. Your contact information

Stone Types

grey granite foot marker with black lettering

Double bronze marker

grey granite double flat marker with black lettering

Grey granite double upright with black lettering

Single grey granite upright with 8×10 porcelain photo and black lettering


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