It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of confusion around how to shop for grave markers. This isn’t something people do very often, so there can be many unanswered questions about the different types of grave markers. A grave market is any type of monument that’s placed over a grave, and these come in all sizes and materials.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Bronze Grave Marker?
- How Much Does a Bronze Grave Marker Typically Cost?
- What Are The Different Types of Bronze Grave Markers?
- Tips for Finding a Cheap Bronze Grave Marker
Also known as a tombstone, headstone, or gravestone, a grave marker is a physical marker that honors someone who is buried, typically under the marker. These are commonly made of stone or metal, the most common metal being bronze.
How do you find an affordable bronze grave marker? What exactly should you look for, and what do you need to know to ensure it lasts a long time? With most people not buying gravestones frequently, it’s important to understand your options to choose the best way to honor someone’s life after death.
What’s a Bronze Grave Marker?
A bronze grave marker, as the name implies, is a headstone or gravestone that is simply made of bronze. Grave markers are a traditional way to honor the dead after a burial in Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and other religions.
Bronze grave markers are sometimes just a slab of metal or stone placed over the grave. They can be flat against the ground, or they can actually stand upright like a more traditional gravestone.
What’s typically on bronze grave markers?
Another common question is what you’ll find inscribed on grave markers. Bronze is a particularly strong metal, so the engraving is sure to last a long time. Most families choose to engrave a few of the following, depending on their wishes:
- Date of birth
- Date of death
- Surviving family
- Funerary art
- Religious symbols
It’s up to the family what to include. The more things carved onto the bronze grave marker, the greater the cost. This is one of the many things to consider when buying a headstone or grave marker.
Why choose bronze vs. other materials?
There are a lot of benefits to using bronze as your headstone material. Gravestones are made from all different times of materials, but bronze is one of the most popular. Because it’s a natural metallic brown, it’s perfect for displaying someone’s life and legacy.
Bronze doesn’t just look great, but it also serves a lot of different functions:
- Stong: Bronze is one of the most resilient materials. Unlike other metals, it resists metal fatigue, has a strong surface, and it resists corrosion. It’s ideal for places that experience extreme weather since it can hold up to a lot of different situations.
- Customizable: Bronze is also very easy to customize compared to other materials. You can add a removable plate that allows you to update the marker over time, and it’s easy to add motifs and design elements.
- Maintenance: Flat bronze grave markers are much easier to take care of long-term than other materials. They can easily be cleaned with water and soap, making it look clean and new for years to come.
- Timeless design: Last but not least, bronze is timeless. It won’t go out of style, and it always looks sophisticated.
As you can see, there are many reasons people choose bronze over other types of metals or stones. It’s also possible to combine bronze with granite by using a bronze plate, so there are many ways to compromise depending on the look you’re going for.
How Much Does a Bronze Grave Marker Typically Cost?
Another common question for anyone starting this process is how much a headstone cost? This depends on a number of factors like the size, customization, and whether it’s a plaque, flat marker, or a standing headstone.
In general, a bronze grave marker ranges from $750 to upwards of $2,000, depending on the specific factors. Because there are so many things that you can customize, it’s possible to make these more affordable.
It’s also important to consider that though bronze might be more expensive, it’s also a timeless choice that’s easier to maintain. While other materials, like stone, might be less expensive, they might incur greater costs over time with maintenance and additional customizations. It’s always a good idea to consider the full picture before making a decision.
What Are The Different Types of Bronze Grave Markers?
There are a handful of different bronze grave marker ideas aside from headstone designs. The type you choose depends on the type of legacy you’d like to leave and your budget. Here are some of the most common bronze grave markers.
1. Bench grave marker
A bench grave marker is a literal bench made out of the grave marker itself. It’s a nice way to create a safe, comforting space for the family and friends to grieve and feel the presence of their loved one.
The bench rests in the same spot as a traditional marker, and it has a similar engraving. These are more expensive since they take more materials.
2. Bronze plaque
A common choice for those who don’t want a 100% bronze marker is to just buy a bronze plaque. This is the part of the headstone or marker that features the engraving. Since bronze is so easy to customize, this plaque will be engraved and fixed to a stone headstone or marker.
3. Bronze headstone
A bronze headstone is a marker that stands upwards, typically at the buried person’s head (as the name implies). These are larger and more expensive, but they create an impressive monument to someone who is no longer here.
4. Flat bronze marker
A flat bronze marker is the simplest option, but it’s still a timeless classic. These lay flat against the ground over the burial site and are the most affordable choices after a plaque, but they still leave ample room for customization.
5. Companion bronze markers
Lastly, it’s possible to have two similar bronze markers known as companion bronze markers. They are most common amongst married spouses, but they can be used for anyone to honor a relationship that’s stronger than death. Companion markers match completely, and they go together to create their own tribute.
Tips for Finding a Cheap Bronze Grave Marker
If you’re on a budget and looking to save money, it’s possible to find a cheap bronze grave marker. Just because it’s less expensive doesn’t mean it’s not still a beautiful tribute. Try these tips below to save on your burial budget.
Keep lettering simple
The more you include in your grave marker design, the more expensive it costs. Most custom designs will run you a higher price, and they typically charge per letter. Keeping these to a minimum is the best way to keep the cost low.
Choose a smaller monument
Like with lettering, sizing matters. Choosing a smaller monument will save you in the long run. The cheapest choice is a plaque or something that lays flat against the ground. Otherwise, keep the overall size of your memorial on the smaller side.
Skip the flower vase
A common design element in bronze markers is to include a flower vase. While these are lovely, they’re not required. You can always add your own flower vase that you bring yourself, which could save you upwards of a few hundred dollars.
Shop around for the best price
Last but not least, shop around for the best price. You have many different places to search for a grave marker, both online and in person. It’s acceptable to shop around like you would for any other big purchase.
While your funeral home is a great asset, feel free to do some shopping of your own to make sure you find exactly what you’re looking for at the right price.
Choosing the Right Grave Marker
Whether you decide on a bronze grave marker or a natural stone, there’s a lot to consider before making this purchase. Because this is something you don’t shop for often (if at all), it’s natural to have questions and concerns going into this process.
Now that you know what to look for and how to find an affordable bronze grave marker, you’re ready to start your search. The right grave marker is worth the effort. This is a physical tribute to a life well-lived, so make sure it’s something special.
If you're looking for more tips on finding the right marker, read our guides on buying a headstone and where to buy headstones online.