Five Steps to Designing Your Monument

Purchasing a headstone or monument is a personal and emotional matter. The headstone you choose will likely remain with the deceased for the rest of time, so it is an important decision that sometimes takes days, weeks, or even months to finalize, depending on the complexity and design of your project.

There are generally five factors you will need to consider when designing a monument, and each one is as important as the next:


There are four general styles used by monument design companies: flush, bevel, slant, and upright. If none of these four styles are to your liking, Missouri River Monument also offers a range of alternative styles that might be appealing, including bench and cremation designs.

Bevel Markers

Bevel marker memorials sit raised above the ground, but they are still flat and usually must be read within 5-10 feet of the marker. These above ground headstones are typically easier to see than flush markers and will stay clean longer due to their raised nature. These markers can also be cored for cremated remains, making them a preferable option for families who opt for cremation instead of a burial.

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Bronze Markers

Bronze panels are typically mounted on another type of stone, such as the top of a flush stone or on a face of an upright stone. Bronzes come with a variety of design choices and may include built in vase holes for flush markers. They have a unique appearance and are easy to maintain.

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Carved Sculpture Monuments

These stones have sculptures carved into their shapes. They catch the eye and offer a greater level of craftsmanship.

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Cremation Monuments

If you are planning on going to cremation route, cremation monuments can provide a solution that is equally safe and beautiful. The design of all cremation monuments will protect the remains in a permanently sealed unit while still offering a luxurious space for above ground writings.

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Grass Markers

Grass markers, or flush markers, are set flush or just above ground level. Only the top side can be engraved.

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Slant Markers

Slant markers offer more space for information than flat, flush, or bevel stones, making them an ideal solution for those who wish to write in larger fonts. Bronze plaques can also be attached to the backs of these headstones, which can provide family details or military services. These types of headstones can also be seen at a great distance, and they tend to stay cleaner than flush and bevel markers since they sit so high above the ground. Slant markers can also be placed on a base, which provides additional height, visibility, and protection from a groundskeeper’s tools. Like bevel markers, slant markers can also be cored for cremation.

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Special Shape Upright

Uprights come in a multitude of different unique shape to further personalize the monument.

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Traditional Upright Monuments

Upright headstones are some of the most intricate and ornate of any monument you’ll find in a cemetery. Upright monuments can be seen from great distances, thanks to their unmatched height and detail. While these headstones share all the same qualities as slant markers, they can also be shaped into an endless number of custom shapes, further personalizing their design to fit the individual they’ve been made for.

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