Continuing to serve our community and customers through COVID-19.

Adding to an Existing Burial Monument

Family members pass away at different times, sometimes many years apart. Yet many family members expressly wish to be laid to rest in peace together. As a surviving family member, you may find it very important to honor this wish. But how does it work with burial monuments and headstone engraving?

Memorial headstone designed and engraved by Columbia Gardens MemorialsCan I add a name or inscription to a headstone?

The short answer to this is, yes. This is very common practice and has been done for hundreds of years. Names and inscriptions are added to a headstone or monument of a spouse, parent, or other relative as per the decree of all adult parties involved when all were living, or through other legally binding means. Space is usually left on the headstone to add at minimum a name. Inscriptions are also possible or can be added to the back of a headstone as well.

How does adding engraving to a headstone or monument work?

Adding a name or inscription engraving requires a granite headstone cleaning first, which is performed on-site without disturbing the peace. On-site engraving is then added as per the wishes of the deceased. It is most commonly recommend to utilize the original font and style, to ensure a consistent design and look. With that in mind, it is recommended to have additional work on a headstone or monument completed by the company that originally crafted and engraved the headstone or monument. However, that is not always an option, therefore one should seek the aid of a monument company that is capable of matching the previously engraved font styles. Individuals and families vary in how much space to save for inscriptions of other family members who pass away after the first, especially on headstones which are more limited in size.

Can I get help in designing the new engraving?

As with the original, the new engraving for family members laid to rest alongside their passed-on loved ones is etched in stone forever. Therefore, ensuring proper design, including spacing, font, depth and grammar, is an absolute necessity. The final design must fulfill the deceased and family wishes, yet should be handled carefully with the aid of a trusted professional as well.

Columbia Gardens Memorials has been crafting lasting tributes for your loved ones since 1964. We provide on-site headstone engraving, and are proficient in matching font styles. Our staff will work with you every step of the way, making sure you are not alone in making these final arrangements for your family. If you would like more information or to speak with someone directly please either email us at or give us a call at (703) 527-7774 today.


COVID-19 Update

We are continuing to practice social distancing and following CDC guidelines, to protect our community and staff. However, we are open and available to serve you. Todd and our engravers are back on premises working and we are accepting appointments during our normal operating hours. To schedule an appointment with us please call our office at (703) 527-7774 or email us at

Thank you for your understanding during this time. – The Columbia Gardens Memorials Staff