There are very few bonds stronger than that of husband and wife. And when your life partner passes away, it may feel like a part of you has gone missing, too.
While your spouse may not be physically with you anymore, there is a way to ensure you’ll both be together forever in your final resting place—through companion or couples memorials.
Companion cemetery monuments are for two people who were very close, like a husband and wife or siblings. Couples memorials typically go over two side-by-side graves, and come in lawn-level, slant, bevel, monuments or benches.
Couples have a variety of personalization options available that will help create a memorial of distinction. Below, we detail six design considerations for husband and wife headstones.
1. Husband and Wife Headstone Portraits
A common design on a husband and wife headstone is a portrait. Either hand etched, laser etched, or a ceramic or porcelain photo, a memorial portrait adds a visual element for current and future generations to vividly remember their lost loved ones.
Companion memorial portraits can include two separate photos of the couple, or one together.
2. Individual or Husband and Wife Headstone Symbols
What symbol represents you individually, or you and your spouse together? Perhaps you both enjoyed the outdoors and immediately thought of flowers. For others, your career may have come to mind first. Or you may have pictured a religious symbol after attending a place of worship together throughout your marriage.
Regardless of what came to mind first, adding a symbol to a memorial can represent you and your spouse’s life for all to see. Some commons headstone symbols include:
- Symbols of life and love, such as a heart, butterfly, book, flower or anchor.
- Animals, such as a dog, cat or horse.
- Signs for personal passions, such as a guitar, cooking equipment, or bowling pins and a ball.
Here are a few examples of couple memorial symbols we’ve seen:
3. Meaningful Quotes for Husband and Wife Headstones
Inscriptions are one of the most popular design elements you will see on a memorial—single or companion. Ranging from phrases to quotes, dates or Bible verses, memorial inscriptions can be unique and special to the individual, husband and wife or surviving family members.
Husband and wife memorials often include a wedding date or a quote that describes their love for one another. Some of the most popular examples include:
- Forever in our hearts.
- Together in life and death.
- Always in our hearts.
- Everlasting love.
- Your love will light the way, your memory will be forever with us.
4. Relationship to Family
Oftentimes, loved ones define themselves in terms of family relationships. Family is what many of us consider a core value in life. Are you a grandmother, mother or sister? How about an uncle, brother or son? Similar to inscriptions, many couples chose to include their family “title” or relationships on their headstone.
5. Custom-Shaped Monuments
As the name implies, a custom-shaped husband and wife monument is larger than other grave markers and is an impressive sight in a cemetery. If you’re looking for a more eye-catching design, consider a custom upright monument in any shape or style that represents the life you’ve created together as husband and wife.
6. Second Marriage Memorials
There may come a time in your life when your spouse passes away and you get remarried. Many remarried couples wonder, “Am I able to be buried with my new husband or wife as well?” Like every other aspect of double headstone design, there is no “right answer” to this. It is entirely up to you.
Keep in mind the purpose of a memorial is to give family and friends a place to remember their loved one. This can be an extremely challenging decision and is often different from family to family. If you choose to place your new spouse's name together with that of your late spouse, below is an example of what it could look like.
Photo Credit: Always in Stone Monument Company
Explore Other Elements of Headstone Design
Adding personal touches like symbols and meaningful inscriptions to a headstone is one of several steps in the headstone design process. Discover even more about memorial design, like headstone shape and granite color, in our Headstone Design Guide.