Do You Have To Buy a Headstone From the Cemetery?

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Alecia Milano
Posted by Alecia Milano on April 11, 2023

Losing a loved one is one of life's most challenging experiences. And part of this process includes creating a meaningful and lasting memorial that best represents your loved one.

Headstones and memorials provide a tangible way to honor and remember a lost loved one for generations to come. However, navigating the process of buying a headstone can be overwhelming, especially if you're unfamiliar with the various options available.

While your first instinct may be to contact the cemetery where your loved one is laid to rest, it's important to remember that you have other purchasing options that may be in your best interest.

Continue reading to learn the benefits of working directly with a headstone provider, plus gain all the information you need to make an informed decision about buying a headstone. 

Why Purchasing Cemetery Headstones From the Cemetery Seems to Make Sense

At first glance, buying a headstone directly through the cemetery seems like the best option. You might ask yourself:

  • “Where else would I go to purchase a headstone?” The cemetery is where the memorial will be placed, but you can purchase headstones from cemeteries, funeral homes or memorial providers. Memorial providers are especially experienced with grave markers of all styles, materials, shapes and sizes.

Archer - Angel Monument in Canada - cropped

  • “Won’t this be the simplest and quickest option?” It could be, but as a lasting symbol of your loved one’s life, shopping around and researching headstone providers near you can introduce you to new ideas you otherwise wouldn’t consider. Memorial providers are uniquely equipped to design memorials to exceed your expectations, while also making the process as simple as possible for you. Their experience with various cemeteries enables them to work through the paperwork, placement fees and other aspects so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Paunesky - Upright Monument - Family Memorial - Woodvale Cemetery

  • “They can give me the best value, since they won’t have to work with other companies, right?” This is a common misconception. Though the memorial is placed in a given cemetery, that cemetery outsources the headstone creation. Working with a reputable memorial provider actually cuts out the middleman so that you can work directly with the designer, creator and manufacturer.

On the surface, these assumptions seem correct. However, there are actually several reasons that working with a third-party memorial provider will benefit you in the short- and long-term.

Where Can I Buy a Headstone?

Before making a decision, it’s best to understand the other options available to you when it comes to buying a headstone—even more, knowing which option will give you the best quality memorial for your loved one.

    • Funeral Home: Some funeral homes offer headstones as part of their funeral services. While convenient, not all funeral homes understand the rules and regulations of local cemeteries or the design process. Even more, funeral homes don’t typically keep headstone work in-house—it’s most often contracted out.
    • Online Retailers: Purchasing a headstone online may be cheap and fast, but if you’re looking for the best deal, an online memorial retailer will likely give you more headaches than benefits.
    • Reputable Headstone Provider: A local, reputable headstone provider* uses only high-quality materials to withstand the test of time. 

Headstone lettering styles and granite colors

*Milano Monuments is a headstone provider in Cleveland, Ohio. Our 50+ years helping families design and place memorials makes us confident recommending that you purchase from a regional headstone provider instead of the cemetery, funeral home or online.

More Advantages of Working with a Headstone Provider

Conducting research beyond the cemetery, simplifying the experience for you, and providing the best possible value are just three benefits of working with a reputable memorial provider.

Headstone Providers Know Cemetery Rules and Regulations

Every cemetery has its own set of rules regarding the types of memorials allowed to be placed on its grounds. By working with a memorial provider outside of the cemetery, you can receive guidance on the memorial options available for your chosen cemetery. Furthermore, if you have a particular headstone design in mind, they can assist you in locating a cemetery in your area that will permit it.

Headstone Providers Know the Installation or Placement Fees at Each Cemetery

Apart from the guidelines and policies regarding memorials, each cemetery has a cost associated with the placement of the memorial, which typically includes the foundation and other services such as the installation and maintenance of the memorial, as well as the maintenance of the cemetery. 

These fees can differ significantly, ranging from around $50 to $3,000, or even more. A third-party provider can assist you in comprehending these expenses in advance, and may even provide information on different cemetery fees if you are considering other alternatives.

Headstone Providers Walk You Through the Paperwork and Logistics, And Advocate for You

You need a memorial partner who is on your side and can simplify the process for you during one of life’s most difficult times. Having a supportive partner can make a significant difference when dealing with grief.

Every person and family has the right to create a headstone that truly reflects their beliefs, values and personality, and they should be able to do it at their own pace. However, due to cemetery regulations and practices, this freedom is not always available to customers.

Jimenez - Upright Monument

At Milano Monuments, we stand up for you. We ensure that you don't have to pay for anything unnecessary, have the freedom to express your creativity and design preferences, and receive clear communication about the entire process from start to finish.

Compare Regulations and Fees at 40+ Cleveland Cemeteries

Before designing your loved one’s headstone, be sure to know the regulations and fees at your preferred cemetery. We designed the Northeast Ohio Cemetery Memorial Guide to assist you in understanding common charges and rules. The guide features an interactive map and a list of more than 40 cemeteries in Cleveland and Youngstown, including the memorial regulations and fees for each site.

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Topics: Memorialization

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