When Can You Design and Purchase a Headstone?

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Alecia Milano
Posted by Alecia Milano on January 26, 2021

The winter months in Northeast Ohio—they’re cold, snowy and icy. The wintry weather in our region also dictates a lot of what we can and cannot do. We can build cozy fires with hot cocoa or enjoy an exciting day of sledding. We can’t always spend a day at the park or travel easily.

This also reigns true for the memorial business. In a standard Northeast Ohio winter, we’re not able to place headstones in cemeteries since the ground is frozen. But what we can do is work closely with families to design and purchase a memorial, regardless of what the weather is outside.

Many families have a common misconception that they must wait until the spring or summer months to purchase or design a headstone or memorial, which is simply not the case. Continue reading as we explore what factors affect headstone timelines, and why it’s better to purchase a memorial sooner than later.

What Factors Affect When I Can Design or Purchase a Headstone?

At Milano Monuments, we’re often asked: what’s the best time to purchase a headstone?

The short answer is simple: the sooner, the better. This is because there are different factors that affect how long it will take to complete the memorial, and when a headstone can be placed in a cemetery.

Depending on the season and your design requests, a memorial can take anywhere from eight weeks to several months to design and finalize. This is because we create every memorial by hand to specifically meet your family’s wishes, and no two memorials are the same.

The most important considerations that go into timelines include:

  • Overall design: The look, color of granite, lettering and other unique personalization considerations affect how quickly we can complete a memorial.
  • Material: While virtually all memorials are made of granite, some colors are more difficult to source than others.
  • Shape and size: Intricate and larger memorials require more design time. For instance, a simple, lawn-level piece will take less time than a large, upright memorial.
  • Payment and design approval: You’ll work closely with a memorial specialist to create a headstone that best memorializes your loved one’s life. During this time, you’ll receive a mockup of your memorial to ensure it aligns with your vision. Once you approve the mockup and make a payment, your design specialist will begin crafting your unique memorial.
  • Cemetery notification and/or approval: It’s likely that your cemetery will require approval for any new memorial. The process may take up to four weeks.

Knowing the factors above, the winter months make an opportune time to design and purchase a memorial. Think of it this way: The sooner you design and pay for your memorial, the earlier in the spring season we can place it in your cemetery of choice. Conversely, if you wait until peak setting season (spring and early summer), you risk waiting more time to design and purchase, and get cemetery approval. This could take several months, spilling into the next winter in some cases.

Can I Design and Purchase a Headstone in Advance?

When a loved one is expected to pass, the last thing we want to focus our emotional energy on is planning a funeral—especially if that funeral is our own. That’s why many folks chose to preplan their own or a loved one’s funeral. In doing so, you spare your surviving family the heartache and burden of planning and paying for arrangements once you’ve passed.

An often-overlooked consideration during preplanning is designing and purchasing a memorial. This is true for both planning your own funeral or for a loved one. Designing and paying for a memorial in advance helps ensure your memorial is designed exactly to your specifications, and helps alleviate the financial burden for your loved ones.

Preplanning also helps lessen the timeline stressors mentioned above. Because the memorial design process may take between eight weeks to half a year, it’s best to plan for the season, too. So whether you’re planning for yourself or a loved one’s passing is approaching, we invite you to contact us for a design consultation.

How About Adding to An Existing Memorial?

Time is of the essence is also true when adding to an existing memorial that has already been placed. Milano Monuments’ memorial specialists can add to memorials during the warm and dry months, which are roughly limited to June through September.

Since the process takes around 60 days to complete, that already-tight window becomes much narrower as that timeframe approaches. So it’s best to start thinking ahead and contact us if you’d like a unique design added to your loved one’s memorial in the future.

Ready to Design a Memorial?

We’ve talked about how time affects when you can design and purchase a memorial. Are you ready to take the next step and learn how you can personalize a memorial? Download our Headstone Design Guide to learn how you can design a memorial as unique and memorable as the life lived.

Download the Headstone Design Guide

Topics: Memorialization

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Headstone Design Guide by Milano Monuments

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