Our ProcessMay 25, 2020
Spickman – Nisbett Cemetery Restoration ProjectMay 25, 2021
The task of designing a memorial can be a daunting one. Our aim is to work with you to create a headstone inscription that will bring you comfort and joy. We see so many people come to us feeling a mixture of anxiety and sorrow as they don’t know where to start and all the emotions of losing their loved ones begins to resurface. By the end of our consultation watching these families leave us with a smile on their face and a weight off their shoulders is one of the most rewarding parts of our profession. For those that do not live locally or are unable to visit us in store we have put together some advice for choosing an inscription.
The below are the top 10 tips for choosing the headstone inscription,
- Find an engraver with years of experience in making headstones. The depth that the letters are cut now will affect how easily you are able to restore the memorial later.
- Beginning the inscription – The phrase “In Loving Memory” is a very traditional opening line – Just because it is used too often doesn’t mean you have to go with it. Statements like “Cherished Memories Of” or even no opening line at all and using a special piece of artwork or a porcelain photo in its place.
- Avoid using terms like “Sadly missed”, instead try phrases like “fondly remembered”. This helps to refocus on the feelings of love and joy they brought your lives instead of the sadness when they passed.
- Mix it up a little – Instead of having “Dearly loved mother of …” & “Dearly loved wife of..” use variations such as “Treasured wife of..” “Adored mother of..”
- Keep it simple – Having too much wording on a stone can make it appear cluttered. Generally it is standard, after the name & dates, to mention the spouse first, followed by the children & grandchildren (for those without spouse and children we mention parents, siblings and grandparents) with a short epitaph or verse at the end. It can be tempting to add the names of everyone in the family -spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings & parents but for most families this isn’t an option as there are so many and there is limited space on the stone. Sometimes using simple phrases such as “Cherished by all her grandchildren & great-grandchildren (or mokopuna)” and “Treasured daughter, sister, aunty & friend” will be a better fit for the stone. If you have a poem, message or verse to go on the stone and we advise you that there is not enough room you may be able to choose your favourite part and go with that instead.
- Choose your fonts wisely. You want to ensure that the inscription is easy to read, so opting for a font like old English or script fonts over the entire stone would not be recommended. If you have your heart set on a particular font you can use it for the name and stick with a simpler font for the rest of the text. Avoid fine thin fonts as they dont cut so well into the granite. bolder fonts cut and ready better.
- Decide on one person to take the reigns. It can be very difficult when we are taking instructions from several family members that can’t agree amongst themselves. Because of this we ask that families choose one person that we can communicate with.
- Be open to suggestions.
- Selecting text colour. The main options are White, Silver & Gold. It is important to consider contrast against the colour of the granite, as well as longevity and ease of restoring later on.
- Take your time. No one should feel rushed or pressured to choose an inscription.