How Long Does It Take To Make A Gravestone?

If the design and materials are ready and available, grave markers can be expertly crafted in a matter of days. That’s a big “IF”, though, because there are external factors that can draw out grave marker production from 6 to +12 months. 

1. Is the granite piece available for engraving?

If the granite is on site, it shouldn’t take more than ~5-10 days to engrave and complete an approved, semi-standard design. If granite must be custom cut, or even sourced from a quarry, it can take an average of 6-8 months to a year for that granite piece to be delivered for engraving. For those that prefer not to wait, consider the locally stocked inventory of engravers and/or memorial parks. 

2. Will the burial site allow you to produce your own granite memorial?

Memorial parks play an invaluable and irreplaceable role in personal healing and memorialization. They’re still a business, though. As such, burial sites often require gravestone procurement and engraving to be conducted in-house. While fully capable, these locations aren’t typically equipped and structured to engrave large volumes. It can take quite a while for smaller operations to work through their burial calendar. Consider the burial site’s in-house production queue and policies on external granite supply before establishing timeline expectations. 

3. What is the design complexity of the gravestone?

Whether it’s grief, indecision, a discerning design eye, or a combination of all, it can be difficult to settle on a design. Engravers will offer design templates ranging in complexity for you to consider and personalize. While these templates are beneficial for the sake of design direction, they also follow tried and true standards for design scale and placement that are guaranteed to present well. Of course, it will take longer to produce more intricate designs. Engraved granite is not a forgiving medium so nothing should be rushed. Unlike the previous 2 factors, the length of design coordination and approval is in your hands. 

4. How soon can the gravestone be set?

While this is more applicable to larger gravestones and monuments, pieces can’t always be set at the burial site as soon as they are available. Displaced earth from the burial can unsettle the ground and introduce instability at the gravestone’s base. Factors like gravestone size, climate, and soil type all play a role in the timeline that will vary case by case. 


Tips for expedited gravestone production:

  1. Source granite styles, cuts, and colors that are locally in stock
  2. Review burial sites’ policies on external gravestone supply before committing to a location
  3. Personalize standard design templates instead of starting from scratch
  4. Consider the size of your gravestone and the burial site’s ground stability 

It’s taking too long. What can you do?

Unfortunately, the timeline for gravestone procurement, design, engraving, and placement might be out of your control. You might have to wait 12 months or longer to finalize the memorialization of a loved one. 

Ask burial sites about the availability of a “Temporary Memorial” program. In some cases, they’ll offer temporary yet dignified monument pieces to mark a burial site until the primary gravestone is available to set. Ceramica’s temporary memorials (aka Keepstones) are produced and shipped the same day they’re ordered, with the intention to be kept as a home keepsake once the primary memorial has been set.