Graves, tombstones and burials in France

How to choose a tombstone for France?

Many criteria must be considered when choosing a tombstone: price, granite, finish, ... Here are our tips for making the best choice.

When a death occurs, many factors need to be considered within a limited time frame, including the choice of the tombstone. How to choose it? Here is everything you need to take into account to make your choice.

The technical terms of a tombstone in France

First, let's recall the elements of a tombstone to fully understand what it is about.

The tombstone consists of 4 elements: the base, the foundation, the stele, and the cover.

Les termes techniques d'une pierre tombale. Comment bien la choisir ?

The base defines the surface of the grave, the foundation is the seat of the monument, the stele is where the deceased's identity is usually engraved, and finally, the cover that covers the grave.

Les éléments à prendre en compte pour choisir sa pierre tombale

  1. Secular or religious tombstone?

    Tombstones featuring religious symbols are available at Advitam. Depending on the type of ceremony you choose (religious or civil), certain tombstone models will be preferred.

    For Christian funerals, a cross is generally carved into the stone with a prayer bench at the foot of the monument.

    As for Muslim monuments, the stele is often rounded in shape with a pointed end.

    And finally, for Jewish monuments, a Star of David is engraved or carved into the stele.

  2. Set a budget

    Next, you need to set a budget for the tombstone as prices can vary greatly. To do this, you should take into account 5 factors:

    • The model and size of the tombstone,

    • The chosen material,

    • The burial location,

    • Transport and installation,

    • Ornamentation and funeral accessories.

    To learn more about this subject and estimate a budget, refer to our guide on the price of a tombstone in France.

  3. Check cemetery restrictions

    Some cemeteries have rules and do not accept all funeral monuments. For example, in Parisian cemeteries, it is mandatory to have a base to delimit the grave, unlike in other cemeteries.

    Also, not all cemeteries have a Muslim section, or they may be full. It may also be necessary to obtain the agreement of a French building architect if the cemetery is classified.

    Therefore, you should contact the cemetery where you wish for your loved one to rest to find out about any restrictions.

  4. Choose the granite
    Exemple de granits pour une pierre tombale

    A wide variety of granites exist, and there are options for all preferences. Granites are distinguished by their colors and appearances.

    There are gray (most commonly seen in cemeteries), black, pink, red, blue, etc., granites with various textures: smooth, grainy, or veined.

  5. Choose the desired finish

    Finally, you need to choose the desired finish for the tombstone. There are two types of finishes: polished and bush-hammered.

    The polished finish gives the stone a very smooth appearance, which shines in the light. The bush-hammered finish, on the other hand, is rougher to the touch. It helps to make the surface less slippery during rain.