Image Restoration Center Blog Logo

A Quick Guide To Designing Husband And Wife Headstones

For many people, it’s not easy to emotionally process a life partner’s passing – it’s like losing a meaningful part of yourself. It may give you some peace of mind to know that you two can still be together in the end and even choose how your love will be remembered.

Need some ideas? Keep reading for our guide to designing married couple husband and wife headstones!

Ideas For Headstones For Couples

Double Headstones For Husband And Wife

The two of you can share the same final resting place through couple memorials. You’ll typically be laid to rest side-by-side, and you can also have your grave markers customized for unique husband and wife headstones. Many couples have individual markers for their graves in similar or matching designs to represent their shared love.

Single Headstone With Two Names

If you already plan to share the grave, crypt, or mausoleum with your living or late spouse, consider sharing the marker, too. Married couples often have a single headstone with two names to signify that their union in death is just as strong as it was in life. 

Commonly called a companion headstone, this design typically measures 36 x 12 x 4 inches – enough to span the width of two side-by-side graves. The dimensions may vary depending on the cemetery.

You can have your names and birthdates engraved right away, with death dates and designs added later on. Alternatively, you can keep the headstone blank until one or both spouses have passed away.

Couple Portraits Or Pictures

Many married couples want to leave behind a vivid image of their love and lives for their families. Memorial portraits are commonly used to remember lost loved ones as their best selves. 

You can even have your individual portraits or couple pictures added to the headstone. The images can be engraved by hand, laser-etched, or made in porcelain or ceramic. 

Headstone Symbols

Symbols that represent either or both of you are also popular in headstone design. These symbols can reflect certain aspects of your life, such as your life work, faith, hobbies, or even pets. These are typically laser-etched onto the grave marker.

Relationship With Other Family Members

Plenty of traditional husband and wife headstones include inscriptions of what the lost couple means to each other and the rest of the family. The words “father,” “mother,” “husband,” “wife,” and the like describe the most important personal connections in the deceased’s life.

Marriage Quotes And Other Meaningful Sayings

Quotes, phrases, Bible verses, and even haikus or short poems are often found on companion or single headstones. One of the most popular options, for example, is “‘Til Death Do Us Part.”

Need more ideas on what to write on your companion headstones? Be sure to check out our headstone inscription guide.

Custom-Shaped Designs For Monuments

Unique and eye-catching, a custom-shaped headstone may be bigger or smaller than the more traditional grave markers. A custom headstone shape could be a good choice if you want to evoke a certain emotion or make the grave stand out. 

Funerary art can range from something as grand as an angel’s sculpture to as simple as a cross. However, when having your custom-shaped headstone designed, keep in mind that your options may be limited by your budget and cemetery regulations.

What Happens To Double Headstones If The Widowed Remarries?

Let’s say you share a companion gravesite with your late spouse, but you then decide to have a second marriage. Don’t worry too much about the burial arrangements and grave markers, as you can always change your mind if it’s your own memorial. 

You’re allowed to choose with which partner you’ll be buried and memorialized. Your loved ones should still respect your relationships with both partners, even if you’re not all buried together.

As for the headstone, you can still have your information engraved next to your other spouse’s. This doesn’t mean that your relationship with your first spouse was any less meaningful.

Alternatively, you and your second spouse can also decide to be buried near your first spouse as a way to honor both relationships.

Considerations When Designing Headstones For Couples

Grave markers typically reflect the character and personality of the deceased, which is why there’s a lot of variation in design. To help you create a truly personal husband and wife headstone, keep these things in mind. 

You And Your Family’s Budget

Even the simplest headstones can be expensive, depending on the material and maintenance. Every addition (e.g., letters, images, and custom shapes) will also increase the overall cost.

Cemetery Regulations And Restrictions

Most cemeteries do not allow headstone additions that may be a safety hazard or interfere with maintenance. Decorations including but not limited to, lights, candles, stuffed toys, flags, and breakable components are not usually allowed at most cemeteries.

Your Religion And Culture’s Values

Do not design a headstone in such a way that may offend cemetery staff, friends, family, and others who would pay their respects. For example, engraving the Star of David or another unrelated religious symbol wouldn’t make sense if you’re Catholic. Do not put any hateful or offensive elements on your headstones, such as a swastika or racist language.

See our headstone etiquette guide for more comprehensive information on the do’s and don’ts of designing your headstones.

Choosing The Best Material For Memorial Headstones

Durability is just as important as creativity when designing your companion headstone, and it’s especially critical for lawn-level burials. You typically want your resting place and grave marker to last long and withstand rough weather conditions. That said, using the right headstone material is vital in memorial planning.

Below are some of the most common materials used in crafting husband and wife headstones.

brick

Granite

The most popular headstone material is granite. Because this rock is very common, granite is relatively inexpensive. It’s also one of the most durable options available. 

The only downside is that granite is not as easy to carve and manipulate as softer stones like marble and limestone.

Marble

Marble is the most durable of the few easy-to-carve rocks, which include limestone and sandstone. While it’s not as strong as granite, it can be carved into many shapes and elegant designs. However, marble needs considerable maintenance and can easily be weathered by acidic rainwater.

Bronze

A metal widely used for memorializing historical figures across past centuries, bronze is an especially durable and low-maintenance material for headstone design. However, bronze is mainly reserved for those with big budgets as copper, its major component, is an expensive material to procure.

flowers

Conclusion

Husband and wife headstones memorialize the couple’s love and character. These companion graves allow friends and family to pay their respects to their loved ones at the same time.

There are many ways to design your grave markers so that they stand out and represent the love that you and your spouse shared. If you want more couple headstone ideas, existing graves can give you some inspiration. For example, if you had grandparents with an epic love story, you can find out where they are buried, visit their graves, and take notes on the design of their headstone.

We hope this quick guide to couple headstone design gives you insights and helps you plan for your final resting place!