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

Choosing and designing a burial monument

Photo of an angel statue in the sunlight

Photo of an angel statue in the sunlight

From the ancient days in Egypt when Pharaohs were entombed in the great pyramids, to the national cemeteries memorializing today’s veterans and historical figures, burial monuments have been and still are an important part of our memorial process. Though you may not be looking to install something as large and extravagant as a pyramid, there are many different options for memorializing your loved ones or a historical event. Here are some different types of burial monuments and tips for choosing the right one.

Estate monuments

These monuments are often large and can be extravagant. The monument can be an engraved granite slab, a statue, or a structure of some kind. They are used to memorialize the estate of both individuals and families and can be used as a beautiful way to join large extended families together. Often, the monument will be constructed in a large area, with headstones or smaller monuments indicating the resting places of individuals, couples or smaller family groups.

Family monuments and headstones

Family headstones are designed for groups of three or more people, allowing for each individual to have their own inscription or for one collective family inscription if desired. These burial monuments serve as a way to honor a family’s legacy and are representative of the strong bond that it holds in life.


Often referred to in ancient times as tombs or crypts, these are above-ground installments built to memorialize individuals or entire families. These can range from custom-built granite structures with engravings and inscriptions to entire buildings that can be entered to visit the burial chamber of a loved one or loved ones.

Civic monuments

Not all monuments are created for burial purposes. A civic monument can be erected to honor a group of people or an important historical event to be remembered. Empty tombs may also be erected in memorial of a person or people who are not buried on site.

Whatever your needs are for a burial monument, Columbia Memorial Gardens can be trusted to help you and your family choose the type of structure, design, and inscription that’s right for you.

For questions please call us at 703-527-7774.


8 thoughts on “Choosing and designing a burial monument”

  1. My grandma recently passed away and my family is thinking of getting a monument for her grave that we help us remember her. You make a great point that monuments can serve a family’s legacy and represent our love for our grandma. Also, I think it is great that you can write and add whatever you want to the monument because my family wants to put all of the names of the children and grandchildren on the stone.

  2. Thank you for pointing out that family headstones are designed for groups of people. My grandmother just passed away and we need to get a headstone. Hopefully, we can find one that fits well with her life.

  3. My mother is going to pass soon, so I want to start planning her funeral so the process will be a lot easier. She said she wants a memorial/monument. I will be sure to as if she wants a family headstone. It would be nice to have our whole family (which is more than three, as you said) all on a headstone together. I’ll run this information past her.

  4. I like the idea of having a family monument or headstone. That would allow all family members to be buried together. That will be a great way to honor a family legacy and bond, like you said. My family would love to do that.

  5. Thanks for pointing out that family headstones are designed for groups of three or more people, allowing for each individual to have their own inscription or for one collective family inscription if desired. My siblings and I are thinking about getting a family headstone for our parents because our dad remarried after our mom died, and I think he’d want all of them to be together. I also think it would be a nice monument since they would all have room for separate engravings and so could still be remembered individually as well.

    1. That is such a wonderful idea! The people we love in life are such a big part of who we are, I think family monument really help to keep that unity and love alive. I think that one of the greatest benefits that family monuments bring us, the ability to preserve the memories of the family while still paying tribute to each individual.

  6. My grandfather’s death anniversary is coming soon and my parents want to have his headstone renewed. It was explained here that family monuments are for a family of three or more people. Furthermore, it’s recommended to hire professionals for quality custom headstone monuments.

  7. I really like what you said about there being many different options for memorializing loved ones. My grandpa passes away recently, and my family is looking for a suitable headstone for him. We were having problems deciding, but I think that we will keep looking for the perfect memorial for him.

Comments are closed.

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