Headstone Inscription Tips

Headstone Inscription Tips

January 17, 2022

Being tasked with handling the process of choosing a headstone inscription can feel like a lot of pressure. After all, it’s a monument to your loved one, which will last decades (perhaps even centuries) after they pass away. What should you include in your gravestone inscription?

Here’s a quick guide to creating the right inscription for your loved one:

  • Double check the information: Typos, wrong dates and even wrong names can ruin a headstone. Above all, when creating a headstone inscription, make sure you double check the information you’re providing. Ask a few loved ones to review the inscription and spot any errors you may have overlooked. You might be tempted to go it alone, but you can’t rely on the headstone makers to correct your inscription for you.
  • Keep it simple: Generally, when it comes to gravestone inscriptions, keeping it simple is your best option. Most headstones are just three or four lines. They might include an opening line, such as “In Loving Memory of,” the deceased’s name, birthdate and death date and a line to describe what they meant to you. For example, you might want to describe them as a “loving father, husband, brother and son,” or otherwise describe who they were.
  • Opt for timeless fonts and images: Before you settle on a design, make sure to consult the cemetery where you plan to install the marker. Ask about any design restrictions. When you’re deciding on the design you want, err on the side of simplicity and classic design. Serif fonts, simple words and phrases and one image will look timeless, whereas “modern” designs or multiple images and a lot of text look cluttered.
  • Don’t feel pressured to make it unique: You might feel pressured to make your loved one’s headstone as unique as they were in life. That’s understandable, but there’s simply no way that you can sum up a person’s entire lifetime and personality in a single headstone inscription. Similarly, you may want to avoid humor. What’s funny now will probably not be as amusing a few decades from now, especially since few people will be able to provide context. Even if your loved one was a true original, it’s hard to do them justice in a four-line gravestone inscription.
  • Bring a friend: In addition to proofreading your inscription, having a friend help you decide what to include can be very helpful. It takes a lot of the pressure off you when you have a supportive loved one to help you decide what to do.

When you keep these factors in mind, creating a headstone inscription is a lot easier. You can’t go wrong with timeless classics, even if they don’t seem to adequately sum up your loved one’s life. Save the anecdotes and trivia for the memorial or obituary, as well as your personal family history books. All the headstone needs to do is remind you who is buried there.

If you need assistance creating the perfect headstone for your loved one, call Phillipsburg Memorial Company today. We’ll be happy to assist you in inscribing a beautiful monument.

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