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From traditional tombstones to wooden memorials

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Among the most traditional and frequently selected memorials in a cemetery is the headstone, which is placed upright at the end of the grave. However, there are several other options you can consider for a grave marker.

We would like to explain what these are and how they differ in more detail below.

The Grave Marker: What Is It and What Does It Represent?

The term 'grave marker' is often used synonymously with the classic headstone. However, a grave marker can also refer to various other types of grave decorations such as crosses, grave slabs, or plaques.

Grave markers come in many different forms, including, as mentioned earlier, crosses, steles, plaques, and even open books and angels. The choice often depends on the preferences of the surviving family members, who typically select a grave marker that not only appeals to their taste but also best represents the deceased loved one.

In general, a grave marker serves as a place of rest and remembrance for the bereaved and relatives of the deceased. A headstone, grave slab, cross, or similar item is often the only point of reference for the living to feel close to the deceased at their grave. A grave marker is a significant symbol that can help in the grieving process to better cope with the loss of a loved one.

No matter which form you choose, a grave marker always includes what is known as an inscription. This typically contains the name of the deceased, their birth date, and the date of death. Additionally, a grave marker can be customized further with many elements such as pictures, quotes, or other types of text, based on personal preferences.

Headstones and Grave Slabs

The headstone and the grave slab are among the most commonly used types of grave markers. The main difference between these two types is that the headstone is placed upright at the grave, whereas a grave slab lies flat, usually covering the entire grave. This is particularly common for urn graves, where a slab is often referred to as an urn plate due to its smaller size.

Here you can find more information about grave slabs

It is also possible to combine both types of grave markers so that the grave can be adorned with both a headstone and a slab. A grave slab generally requires less maintenance, as planting is usually limited. In contrast, a standing headstone allows for the entire grave to be planted.

Here you can find more information about grave planting

Each grave can be customized with an individual marker, depending on the size of the grave and the regulations of the cemetery. If you hire a stonemason to design a grave marker, they will handle the coordination with the cemetery administration and take care of all the details.


In addition to the various types and forms, grave markers can be made from different materials. They are typically crafted from natural stone. Other commonly used materials include limestone, marble, granite, and sandstone.

Grave markers don't always have to be made of stone. Wood, for example, offers many design possibilities for creating beautiful and meaningful markers. Unlike stone, wood is relatively easy to work with and can be crafted into a wide variety of designs.

Inscriptions on a Grave Marker

Inscriptions are crucial for a dignified grave marker. Typical inscriptions include the name, birth date, and date of death of the deceased.

As the bereaved, you can also request additional inscriptions, such as memorial texts or farewell messages, and decorative elements. You can even choose the font style for the engraving based on your personal preferences.

How Much Does a Grave Marker Cost?

The cost of a grave marker can vary greatly, depending on multiple factors such as size, material, and type of inscriptions. Additionally, the price can vary based on whether you choose a wider headstone, a row stone, or an urn stone, depending on whether the grave is a double grave, a single grave, or an urn grave.

Cost estimation for a grave marker can be generally divided into the following categories:

  • Grave Marker
  • Inscriptions
  • Grave Surrounds
  • Transport Costs

As you can see, the cost calculation for a grave marker is quite complex. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a trusted stonemason for detailed information and guidance. Prices typically range from €500 to €6,000.

Wooden Grave Markers: An Alternative to Headstones

Wood as a material has long been forgotten, although it carries a very natural, vibrant, and ephemeral quality—much like human life. Nowadays, wood is unfortunately often only used for traditional crosses in many cemeteries.

However, with special manufacturing techniques, wood can also be transformed into a beautiful grave marker. The wood is treated multiple times and, like stone or slab grave markers, it can be customized in various forms, sizes, and inscriptions.

The cost of a wooden grave marker is also variable, depending on the previously mentioned factors and customer preferences. Here, too, you can expect prices to range between €500 and €5,000.

Complying with Cemetery Regulations

To know exactly what type of grave marker is permitted for the grave of the deceased, you must adhere to the regulations of the respective cemetery. These rules precisely define how the grave marker should look and its possible size.

Your stonemason will handle this for you. Once you order a headstone or grave slab, they will contact the cemetery administration to take care of all the formalities and details. They will ensure that the dimensions and permitted materials comply with cemetery regulations before starting their work. All of this will, of course, be done in consultation with you as the client.


A grave marker is an essential symbol for the bereaved when it comes to the resting and commemorative place of the deceased. You can choose from a variety of materials and designs to find a grave marker that meets your expectations and honors the memory of your loved one.

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