Paying Tribute

Differences Between Cemetery Markers, Headstones, and Monuments

Differences Between Cemetery Markers, Headstones, and Monuments

Differences Between Cemetery Markers, Headstones, and Monuments

Whether you are pre-planning your memorial or choosing a cemetery memorial for a loved one, we are here to help. Most of us don’t like to think about death, which is why it may be confusing to think about the differences between cemetery markers, headstones, and monuments. However, it’s important to think carefully about your options so you can pick a memorial that best honors you or your loved one’s memory.

In this blog post, the cemetery marker contractors at Black Monument will explain what makes different types of cemetery memorials unique so you can make an informed decision. For more information, we recommend consulting with a cemetery memorial company near you.


A cemetery marker lies flat against the ground, which makes it easy to maintain. Many people choose cemetery markers because they are affordable, yet offer the same level of customization as headstones. On a grave marker, you can put the name, dates of birth and death, symbols, or a favorite quote that honors you or your loved one’s memory.

Since grave markers sit flat against the ground, you won’t be able to read the information unless you are standing nearby. However, a memorial design and installation company may also offer slanted markers for easier reading. Compared to headstones and monuments, a cemetery marker are small. However, they are still perfect for honoring the memory of a loved one.

You will be able to choose between single or companion cemetery markers. While a single cemetery marker is for one person’s gravesite, a companion marker is to mark two gravesites, such as for a husband and wife.


Most gravesites have headstones, which are usually made of granite. Granite headstones are stone slabs that sit perpendicular to the ground and feature information such as name, birth and death dates, meaningful quotes, inscriptions, or symbols. For example, someone who served in the military will have symbols on their headstone recognizing their service. While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide free markers or headstones for veterans, a memorial company can also help you design grave markers for veterans.

People can easily see headstones as they walk by, which makes it easier to find the gravesite of a loved one. When family members have adjacent cemetery plots, it’s common to have one headstone. For example, a married couple may share the same headstone.


As the name suggests, cemetery monuments are monumental or big. While monuments can share the same shapes as headstones, they can also be customized to be a statue that captures a person’s essence. For example, some gravesites are guarded by a lion or guardian angel statues.  The type of cemetery monument you choose will depend on how you wish to honor your loved one’s memory. However, be sure to check with the cemetery to see if there are any height restrictions. (We can also check for you.)Black Monument is a gravestone marker company dedicated to helping families remember and honor their loved ones with custom cemetery memorials. If you wish to schedule a personal consultation in our showroom or want us to come out to your home, give us a call at (616) 452-7802.

Posted in Paying Tribute

Our showroom is open by appointment. Please call 616.452.7802 with any questions and/or to set up an appointed time.
One of our memorial specialists will meet with you and a maximum of two additional family members. Thank you.