Buying an Individual and Fitting Memorial Tribute for a Loved One

Losing a loved one can be devastating with many people taking solace in the memories they have of them with family and close friends. Organising a fitting memorial for a someone who is no longer with you is a lovely way to show just how much you loved them, and it’s something that can bring you a lot of comfort at a time when you need it most. However, there are a few regulations when it comes to memorials so it’s important to know what you need to do and who to contact. Buying an individual and fitting memorial tribute for a loved one can help you through a what is often a difficult grief stricken time.

Scattering ashes of a loved one at sea is usually accompanied by a fitting, short service
Scattering ashes of a loved one at sea is usually accompanied by a fitting, short service

What to Consider

Finding an accredited mason is really important because they would be able to help you organise everything which takes a lot of the burden off your shoulders at a time when you are feeling a little lost. You might need to check over your loved one’s life insurance policy because when it comes to memorials, the costs may well be covered by a policy they hold. Once, this has been established you would be able to then choose a fitting memorial for your loved one.

Take Your Time When Choosing a Memorial

When it comes to choosing an individual memorial that you think reflects how you feel about your loved one, it is really important to take your time and to discuss things with your close family before you do anything else. It is often more sensible to wait a while and choose the memorial at a later date when you feel stronger and are less grief stricken by your loss.

What would be a Fitting Memorial?

Memorials need to be made out of a long lasting material that will stand up to all weather conditions and the tests of time. If the memorial is to be erected in either a cemetery or churchyard, remember you can always add more decorations to it later on – an example would if you want to add a joint tribute for yourself and your spouse. The best materials for memorials are natural stone and this includes marble, granite and slate all of which are recommended by the National Association of Memorial Masons.

Rules & Regulations to Consider

There are strict regulations that must be adhered to in cemeteries and churchyards which sometimes include the type of decoration, ornamentation and inscriptions that may be used on memorials. This means it’s really important to check what rules apply before deciding on the type of memorial you would like to buy in memory of a loved one. One thing to bear in mind is that Church of England churchyards tend to have more regulations than cemeteries owned by local authorities. If you live in Northern Ireland, you would need to get in touch with the local parish priest or minister first before organising a memorial.

When it comes to cremations, there are specific areas where remains can be buried although occasionally there is just one central memorial which commemorates everyone buried nearby. However, others allow for plaques and headstones to be placed on individual plots. Woodland cemeteries allow for wooden plaques to be erected and the majority also let people plant a tree in memory of a loved too.

Permission to Erect a Memorial

You would need to get permission from a churchyard or cemetery’s management before you would be allowed to erect a memorial. However, this task is normally done by an appointed mason who will take charge of organising this on your behalf.

Choosing a personal inscription is a lasting tribute to a loved one
Choosing a personal inscription is a lasting tribute to a loved one

Memorial Maintenance

You may not live that close to the cemetery or churchyard where a loved on is buried and are worried about everything being maintained and kept tidy. You do have an option to pay for maintaining the memorial you erected in honour of a loved one and it’s a service that many memorial masons offer which is invoiced on an annual basis.

Scattering of Ashes

The ashes of a loved one can be scattered or buried, whichever you decide to do. It can be done as a ceremony at the crematorium by family and friends or staff can do this on your behalf. Ashes may also be buried in a cemetery or churchyard and the ceremony is normally accompanied by a short service. You are allowed to scatter the ashes of a loved anywhere including on private land as long as the consent of the landowner has been granted. Should you wish to take the ashes of a loved abroad, you are allowed to do this. However, many countries have strict laws regarding the importation of ashes, so it is always worth finding this out first. If you would like to scatter the ashes at sea, there are companies that can arrange this for you which include a short ceremony. Many families also choose to transform the ashes of their loved ones into beautiful ashes diamonds, as a lasting and meaningful tribute.


Organising a fitting memorial for a loved one is a very personal thing that takes a lot of consideration because the memorial needs to stand the tests of time as a tribute to a loved one. Headstones are installed so that, it invokes the memory of our loved ones. With the help of an accredited stone mason, the process of organising everything is made that much easier especially as they take care of all the necessary permits. They also know about all the rules and regulations which again takes the burden off you at a very difficult time. When it comes to choosing the best memorial as a lasting tribute to a loved one, you need to take your time without feeling pressed into anything.

Image credits: nawoichik and TylrClement

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