When you go to the cemetery to visit the gravesite of a loved one, you’re ultimately there to pay your respects. As such, it’s worth considering the rules of decorum that dictate cemetery visits. Specifically, is there anything you should know about how to dress, or what you should or shouldn’t bring?
When it comes to dressing, there’s no need to be excessively formal; you don’t have to put on your "Sunday best” just because you’re at a cemetery. It’s more important to dress practically. Remember that you’ll be outside, potentially for a little while, and as such, you may want to bring a hat to keep the sun off your face. Also, in a more rural cemetery, you may have to walk through some grass or brush to get to the gravesite. As such, wearing long pants is often recommended. Finally, make sure you wear comfortable shoes, as you may need to walk a little bit to reach your destination.
As for what to bring, you may want to bring flowers or photographs and other mementos to leave at your loved one’s gravesite. Bottled water is recommended—both to stay hydrated, and potentially to help you clean off the headstone, as well. Many cemetery visitors bring a pad and paper, in case they want to jot down any reflections, prayers, or memories that spring to mind. And, having your phone or GPS device can sometimes be helpful for locating the exact location of the grave, especially if you’re in a larger cemetery.
With any specific questions about your cemetery visit, don’t hesitate to contact the cemetery owner or manager. You can also reach out to your funeral home director for guidelines or general rules of thumb.