If you're preplanning your own funeral and final arrangements, or are making these arrangements for someone else, you may want to include cemetery accessories. These include headstones as well as other items, and you may be surprised at your many options and choices. Note a few terms to learn before you shop so you know which items to include during these final plans.
Plaque versus headstone
A headstone is just as it sounds: a stone that has a carving in it and which is placed at the head of the gravesite. It is upright and has a base under it and can be of varying sizes. However, a plaque sits flat in the ground; a plaque may sometimes be called a headstone, but the two are actually different. Be sure you understand this difference, as some gravesites only allow plaques and not actual stone monuments with a base. Plaques may also be placed on trees or benches for a nice memorial for the deceased, but remember that you typically need permission from a city before attaching one to a public bench or even a tree in a park.
Grave vases are used for when you want to keep flowers sitting upright at the grave and aren't going to just put them flat on the ground. You need to ensure you choose an actual grave vase, as these are heavier and meant for outdoor use, and will usually have a base that you push into the ground to help secure them. It's good to choose a grave vase in the same material and colour as the grave marker itself so they look coordinated.
A grave light is an exterior light that is typically battery-powered and which casts just a soft glow over the grave itself. It may be in the shape of a cross or another such symbol. Be sure you ask the gravesite if this is allowed, as some may prohibit any type of lighting that could disturb nearby residents.
Many small, decorative plaques are available for specific use at a gravesite; they're often heavier than outdoor decorations you use for a patio space, and may be made of bronze or another very durable material so they last for years. They can also then be engraved with a poem or special saying that won't fit on the headstone; many are shaped like butterflies or are in the shape of a religious symbol. As with all other accessories, be sure the cemetery allows such decorations on the gravesites before you purchase these.
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