What You Need to Know About Temporary Headstones

By January 8, 2023 No Comments
Two engraved golden plaques on bricks in outdoor pathway

After a person passes away the grave usually sits unmarked for a period of weeks or months while the earth settles and the headstone is being created. In some cases, it may be as long as six months before a headstone can be installed. What to do in the meantime? Some families are content to let their loved one’s final resting place remain unmarked. Others, however, want something to be erected that will identify the grave without interfering with the settlement process. Enter temporary headstones.

The Different Types of Temporary Headstones for Graves in Littleton

If you are looking for a temporary grave marker you might be surprised to learn that you actually have several options. None will have the authority or timeless air of a headstone from Mile High Memorials, but it’s reasonably certain you will find one that will suffice until the final grave marker can be erected. Here are some of the most popular types of temporary gravestones currently available.

The Brass Plaque

This type of memorial consists of a brass plaque with embossed lettering mounted on a stake. It’s very light so it will not interfere with the settling process and it has a kind of authority some of the other options we will describe do not. This type of brass plaque indicates care was taken in the selection process, and even if the marker needs to stand for six months it will scarcely look like a temporary memorial. The downside is that they are more expensive than some other options.

The Laser-Engraved Plaque

This type of memorial plaque is similar to the brass plaque in that it is mounted on a stake that is stuck into the ground. It differs in that it may be made of aluminum or even plastic and the inscription is etched into the plate using a laser engraver. You can find this type of temporary grave marker at dozens of places online. They can be produced in short-order and many cost less than $25. They don’t have the panache of a brass plaque, but some can be surprisingly elegant.

Temporary Granite Headstone

If, for whatever reason, it will be some time before the permanent headstone is ready and installed you can have a scaled-back granite headstone erected in its stead. The temporary granite headstone is compact in size and perhaps just a couple of inches thick. It can be placed on a stand or laid on the ground. If you like it can be made to echo design elements of the permanent headstone to come. With headstones prices being what they are, families sometimes choose to install this type of temporary marker while they gather the funds to purchase the more elaborate, final gravestone.

Photo Plaque on a Stake

Porcelain photos are an increasingly popular addition to gravestones these days. You can install a temporary gravestone that echoes the porcelain photo for just a fraction of the cost. The photo plaque on a stake is just what it sounds like. You select a flattering photo of your deceased loved one and that photo is printed in either black and white or color on a modest-sized plaque which is then attached to a stake. If you wish you can include an inscription on the plaque as well.

Magnetic Plaque

This is a variation on the brass and aluminum stake-mounted plaques we mentioned above. In this case, the plaque is made of magnetized metal that is engraved with your loved one’s information. The plaque is then affixed to a metal sheet that is, in turn, affixed to a metal stake that is driven into the ground. The magnetic plaque is quite affordable and durable and will not be affected by adverse weather.

Vintage Grave Markers

When people who used a temporary marker finally install the permanent headstone on their loved one’s grave they are left with the question of what to do with the temporary marker that is no longer needed. Sometimes they will sell it on eBay or another online auction site and you can pick it up at a reasonable price. In some cases, the original plaque can be easily removed so you can install your own. That’s especially true of magnetic plaques.

Can You Install a DIY Temporary Marker?

Most cemeteries have pretty strict rules regarding what they will allow for grave markers. You will likely have to clear whatever type of temporary marker you want to use with cemetery management before installing it. Some ban temporary DIY markers outright and will remove any that they find. Others will ban them in theory, but are not vigilant in enforcing the rule.

A DIY grave marker may be nothing more than a laminated photo affixed to a wooden stake, or a simple unadorned wooden cross. Just be aware that if the cemetery has rules against DIY markers there is always the chance that one day when you visit your loved one the marker may be gone, even if it was initially allowed to stand for a time.

Get in Touch With Mile High

The temporary grave marker ensures that your loved one’s grave is properly marked while you await delivery and installation of the permanent headstone. If you are currently contemplating a temporary memorial or you are researching tombstones prices in Colorado give us a call at 303-794-3443. Or search for “headstone near me”, click on the MHM website and fill out our contact form.