March 15, 2024

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Many people take a sense of comfort in knowing that there’s a place they can go to find their loved ones who are no longer with them in everyday life. Those gravestones or other monuments are testaments of the love they shared with so many in this world. They create a location where, whenever you’re missing them, you know just where to go.

Many also take comfort in demonstrating that love by decorating the memorial site and giving their loved ones something that shows how much they are missed. However, there are some things to keep in mind before decorating a memorial, as not all items are permitted. Let’s get into some tips to keep in mind before attempting to decorate a loved one’s gravestone.

1.   Protect your decorations from the weather.

If you plan on bringing decorations into a cemetery, it’s essential to understand that they may be damaged by bad weather. It’s a good idea to find ways to protect these decorations from the elements. For instance, if you wish to bring a photograph to a gravesite, you may want to laminate it to prevent wear and tear.

Or, to stop decorations from blowing away during a windstorm, you should find ways to affix them to the monument. Some monuments already come with a vase built in, in case you’d like to add flowers to the gravesite without the risk of them blowing away. Or you can find photo frames that can be fixed to monuments to keep pictures in place. Photo pendants can also be hung on memorials as an alternative.

2.   Be mindful of the future of the decorations.

To be respectful of both the cemetery and your loved one, you want to do your best to keep the gravesite looking clean. Items like stuffed animals are common decorations, but just keep in mind that they can get dirty easily. If they are allowed in the cemetery, you may want to replace or clean them frequently.

Flags are a common occurrence in cemeteries, especially in the case of veterans, but remember to only use small flags. Leaving large flags outside, where they can be battered by the elements, is considered disrespectful.

3.   Keep breakable things out of the cemetery.

Glass items and other easily breakable decorations are generally not allowed in cemeteries for safety concerns. If your glass item, like a holiday ornament, gets broken, it can create a hazard for the cemetery’s caretakers and other people visiting their loved ones.

4.   Don’t create obstacles for the caretakers.

Another way to be respectful of the cemetery’s caretakers is to not provide them with obstacles when trying to tend to your loved one’s monument. For this reason, things like fences and other barriers around your loved one’s gravesite are generally not allowed.

5.   Know the cemetery’s rules and guidelines.

When in doubt, check with your cemetery about what’s allowed. Different cemeteries have different rules about what you can place at a gravesite. For example, some cemeteries don’t mind if you illuminate your loved one’s monument in some way, while others don’t allow the practice. Some cemeteries do allow it, but they have guidelines on how to do it, such as not allowing any open flames or needing to secure lights to the gravestone.

Flowers, though one of the most common memorial decorations, can be governed by different rules depending on the cemetery as well. Some cemeteries do not allow fresh flowers, while others don’t allow artificial flowers. In many cases, though, living floral arrangements must be removed after some time to prevent wilting flowers from being present in the cemetery.

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