Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Decorating Ideas

One of my favorite things to do is to stroll through local cemeteries on or around their decoration days. These days are designed to bring families together to help beautify the cemetery and give them an opportunity to honor their loved one with flowers, trinkets and more. Of course in doing this I have gained several decoration ideas that I would like to share.

Of course the most popular way to decorate a loved one's grave is by simply utilizing the granite vases that are commonly attached to the base of the memorial. You can purchase pre-arranged silk floral bundles that are perfect for cemetery use at stores like Hobby Lobby or you may have some made at a local florist shop. To keep your flowers from blowing away, try using florist foam in the vases (the trick is to cram as MUCH as you possibly can into the vase).

Another popular way to decorate is to use a saddle on top of the monument.

I have found that the prettiest saddles come directly from a florist and they are typically reasonably priced. When purchasing a saddle it is important to know the size of the monument (you don't want a small saddle on a large stone or vise versa). If you are working with a florist you can also have him or her incorporate trinkets (can you see the ornaments in our Christmas saddle?) and other unique items into the design.

Some other decoration ideas include:

-Shepherd's Hooks. These are iron hooks that allow baskets of flowers to hang from them. Check with your cemetery to see if these are allowed.

-Blankets. These are flat mesh coverings that are covered with flowers. Check with your cemetery to see if these are allowed.
-Sprays. You have probably seen the little metal stands with floral attangements on them. Those are called sprays. Check with your cemetery to see if these are allowed.

I hope you find these decorating ideas helpful. Add your favorite decorating idea in the comments section below if you have an idea to share.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Planning Ahead

I often think the most difficult purchasing processes one may go through is that of pre-planning his or her funeral, burial and memorial arrangements. It's even true for those of us who work in the industry; I spend each day creating monuments but, when it comes to my own memorial, I am at a loss!

But as much as we would like to avoid it, there comes a time when we realize it would be nice to get the planning out of the way so that we don't burden a loved one with the task.

If you are at that point in your life you probably have several questions regarding pre-planning for a headstone and I am here to help.

The first thing people ask me when they begin pre-planning for their headstone is: "Do I get the headstone now or just pay for it to be placed later?"
The answer is that you have it placed now. Most monument companies do not have the insurances, bonds, trusts or anything else in place to safeguard or track your funds for years to come. Therefore, it is the industry norm to make the stone and immediately place it in the cemetery. Of course your name and birth date will have been engraved and there will be a blank space for your death date inscription.

The second thing people ask is what needs to be done to the stone after they pass. The answer to that varies depending upon the familiy's situation. In most cases you don't need to do anything more than to contract us to engrave the date of death on the stone. However, in the case of a Veteran you will need to order your VA stone and contact us to place it for you.

The third thing people are typically surprised about is that all future engraving, including the inscription of the date of death, IS NOT included in the price of the headstone. The reason for this is that we do not have the ability to track or safeguard your funds for years to come. Therefore, we only accept payment when the services are needed.

The last question most folks ask is how to get started. If you are interested in pre-planning for your headstone, we recommend that you start by gaining an idea of what you are interested in. This may be done by simply walking through cemeteries or browsing through photos online. In doing this you will discover elements that you do and do not like about memorials and will gain a sense of what you think is appropriate for yourself.

If you are considering pre-planning for your memorial or have questions about creating a headstone, please contact Emerson Monument Company and visit with us about the process. Our staff is kind, friendly and informative and will "hold your hand" through the entire process.