Rules to Follow When Decorating Your Loved One’s Grave

Posted by: Erin Ward in Grief and Guidance, Memorialization | July 7
Decorating your loved one’s grave is a beautiful way to honor them and personalize the gravesite. However, before you start decorating, you need to make sure you’re following the cemetery’s decoration rules. 

In this article, we’ll go over some common decoration rules, but you should check with your chosen cemetery to see what their specific rules are. 


Make Sure the Grave Decorations Are Allowed 

Before adding decorations to your loved one’s grave, you should make sure that they’re allowed. Oftentimes, the rules are to keep everyone safe, as well as to make sure your possessions aren’t ruined. 

Below are a few decorations that are typically allowed: 

  • Real or fake flowers and wreaths 
  • Small flags, wind chimes, crosses, or bird feeders 
  • Grave blankets 
  • Photos or notes 

You’ll want to secure your decorations, so you don’t lose them, and so they don’t interfere with someone else’s grave. Depending on the cemetery, you also may need to use cemetery vases rather than sticking decorations directly in the ground. 


Avoid Decorations That May Be Distracting or Dangerous to Others 

You also want to make sure that your chosen decorations aren’t distracting or dangerous to other cemetery goers and workers.  
Below are a few decorations that are not typically allowed: 

  • Fences or borders 
  • Glass candles, jars, or ornaments 
  • Large flags or banners 
  • Light-up decorations 

Another thing to keep in mind is the weather. Avoid using items that you don’t want to be ruined by rain, wind, or other elements. For example, if you’re putting photos by your loved one’s grave, make sure that you have copies of the photos or digital versions in case something happens to them. 


When in Doubt, Always Check with the Cemetery First 

If you’re unsure about your decorations, it’s best to check with the cemetery to see if they’re allowed. Along with the reasons above, another factor to consider is the cemetery maintenance team. They need to be able to mow the grass and complete any other landscape-related tasks, so your decorations can’t get in the way of that.  

Although it may be disappointing that a certain decoration isn’t allowed, remember that the rules are to keep everyone safe, to prevent your decorations from being ruined, and to keep the cemetery looking nice. 
What other ideas do you have for decorating a loved one's grave? Share them in the comments!

1 Comment

Lise Lamarche

June 13

How do I find a certain person

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