Designing an Upright Headstone Monument

Single Memorial Upright Headstones

Marking the grave of a single individual is a burial practice that dates back to our prehistoric ancestors. We understand that if you are seeking advice on a single memorial upright headstone then you may have suffered a loss recently, and if so we mourn with you. We hope our staff here at Bras and Mattos Monuments can help make you feel at home enough to celebrate your loved one’s story with us. 

In this article, we are going to go over the basic design elements of some of the most popular and beautiful single-person upright headstones that we have had the pleasure of carving in stone.

Schedule time to meet with our design staff today. 

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Companion Upright Memorials

The companion upright memorial is a very unique memorial style because it is more based on the story of the couple instead of the desired shape. More often than not, the story of the couple will ultimately decide everything about the stone. The color, the shape, and the memorial engraving are all customizable You can start to design your monument using our Memorial Design Book.

In diving deeper, a companion upright memorial is one that tells the story of two people within a singular monument. The couple’s important info, as well as a unifying symbol, will traditionally be the base of the memorial design. From there, more individualized engravings are added in the corners and on the reverse side of the monument. 

 We have several styles of engraving as well as the ability to inlay beautifully colorful and highly detailed porcelain portrait inlays. The amount of detail we can pack into these large headstone memorials is purely astounding. So bring your couple’s story. Our designers will help you celebrate that story in stone. 

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Companion Upright Memorial Sizes

When it comes to sizing your couple’s companion upright, it helps us to first know exactly where we will be setting it. Some cemeteries have specific instructions and so we may need to combine multiple burial plots to accomplish the full estates checklist. 

Traditionally, upright headstones stand between 3-4 feet tall once complete. The upright is placed on a base that is likely to be 6 inches to 1 foot wider on either side of the memorial. Thus, centering the upright in the middle. This is less at 2-5 inches on either side if you will not be incorporating flower vases.

For the specific design on the face of the monument, see the example for the McCown-Brown Family. The heart-shaped line drawings in either corner signify a soon to be added porcelain portrait. A small window into a loved one’s life well lived. It is the added touches like this that truly make a companion headstone one of a kind. 

The availability to build a custom, estate monument is constant and is really only hindered by your proposed budget. We can design and source any desired piece of granite to help complete the full estate set up. The custom design is yours to dream and ours to help you create. 

Upright Headstone Memorial

Choosing Your Companion Upright Stone Material

If you or your family is ready to begin actually designing a memorial then choosing your material is always a good place to start. 

Throughout North America, the most chosen material to build companion upright memorials is granite. Granite is a natural stone mined from select portions of the world. It is chosen mostly because it is long-lasting and holds tough against the elements. 

Other, but far less common, materials used for uprights are sandstone, limestone, and other natural stones. Being less common, you will likely pay a pretty penny to build your chosen memorial in anything other than granite.

With proper engraving techniques, you can expect your chosen memorial to last for an industry average of 7 lifetimes. Bras & Mattos has made it a tradition of crafting beautiful companion upright headstones for people throughout the Bay Area.

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Choosing Your Companion Upright
Top Style

Flat top

Flat-top upright monuments are most commonly used in conjunction with other memorial designs like pagodas and mausoleums. If you are looking to make an attractive modern statement with your loved one’s upright, then a flat top may be your edge. Typically smooth and polished, this design style adds the touch of class your clean-cut loved one always had. 

Serpentine top

The serpentine top is “THE” headstone topper for 85% of all upright memorials. Typically incorporated with a rock pitch finish, the serpentine is a centered and tapered design element. Almost all serpentine tops start from the top middle of the headstone and taper down 1.5-2 inches at the outer edge of the headstone. The serpentine style is shown in the Paine Cross Memorial Design. 

Rock Pitching

This is the name for the “natural finish” incorporated in many upright headstone designs. Natural and longest living, a rock-pitched side of a memorial is one that has been set and literally broken away with hammer and chisel. 

To craft this design element, the monument builder must set a precise line and break the stone by tapping each point one after another until the stone naturally cracks. View our behind-the-scenes videos here to get a better idea of what we mean by rock pitching. No two rock pitches are the same, thus adding a level of uniqueness to each stone.

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Granite Colors

The color of the stone is what we call the headstone’s “Body Language”. By this, we mean that the color is the first thing that anyone will notice about the stone, and that lends itself very well to representing your loved one’s personality. The color of the granite typically corresponds to the price point, much like what we spoke on in the materials section. Most of the “colorful” granite used for companion uprights come from outside of the United States. (I.e Black from India, Blue Pearl from Norway)

The most common colors of granite are white and gray, both are typically mined in the hills the Sierra Nevada mountains as well as parts of Minnesota and the North East United States. China and India both supply similar white and gray granites. We highly recommend selecting your color based on telling the story, that way we will have the whole picture. 

Available Granite Colors

Prices for Companion Upright Headstones

As far as companion upright headstones go, you can expect to pay somewhere between $3000 – $7500+ depending on size, shape, color, and amount of personalization. As mentioned before, color plays a huge factor in how expensive an upright headstone might be. Grey and White will likely be the most cost-effective while Blue Pearl and Emerald Pearl, with their iridescent flakes, can potentially increase the price of the same couple’s memorial design 4 fold.

In Conclusion

When we say “you can design to your heart’s content” know that the price for such designs will reflect the amount of work and materials that will be needed to accomplish your vision. A completely custom memorial design and granite shape typically starts at the $5000 mark and could cost as much as $100,000 for the most elaborate of upright setups.

If you are serious about using every inch of the stone to celebrate your loved one’s life then we highly recommend you give us a call so that one of our expert memorial designers can cater the stone and design experience to your loved one’s unique story.

We at Bras & Mattos are here to help. We believe that every life has a story tell and each should be celebrated in beautiful granite stone. We hope we helped you understand the basics of companion memorial upright headstones and if you are willing, we would love to set a meeting to design your loved one’s story in stone. Please fill out the quote request below or select a time in our appointment manager

At Bras & Mattos monuments, we pride ourselves on delivering Upright Headstones at affordable prices. No matter the monument or memorial, you can be sure that with your help on the design, your loved one will be remembered with the perfect headstone for their memorial plot. Thus allowing future generations to remember the legacy and story through their quality memorial. To learn more and see our full memorial design process, please view our Youtube Channel.