With This Tattoo, I Thee Wed

are wedding ring tattoos tacky (3)

When we were 17, a friend of mine and her boyfriend got each other’s names tattooed on their hips. Unfortunately, but probably rather unsurprisingly, the relationship didn’t last and they both ended up getting their once oh-so-permanent reminders of first love covered up with something else.

Inadvisable teenage tattoos aside, I am still a big fan of matching ink and more than ever I’m seeing couples opting for tattooed wedding bands, or a small symbol on their ring ringer, in place of physical wedding band.

While researching for this article I was massively disappointed to find that near enough every single piece I read on this so called ‘trend’ (if tattoos are a passing fad then it’s the longest running one I’ve ever heard of!) we’re wholeheartedly negative. “Oh if the marriage ends they’ll be stuck with a tattoo they hate”, “Laser removal is expensive and painful”, “It will be a permanent reminder of a relationship gone bad” they warned.

I felt completely depressed. Yes, we should be cautious and unimpulsive with big decisions like getting a tattoo… but surely even more so with a big commitment like, oh I don’t know, choosing to get married! It is a sad fact of life that some marriages end in divorce, but – shock horror – many of them do not.

are wedding ring tattoos tacky (4)

I would hazard a guess that the majority of people that would opt for a wedding tattoo would not be (tattoo) virgins. It’s unlikely that someone would have the impetus to go under the needle if they weren’t already invested in or a fan of tattoo culture.

So far from being a trend that will soon expire, if you’re a fan of ink then wedding tattoos are a gorgeous way to symbolise your marriage and tell your partner that you believe this union is forever. It tells the world that you don’t need a big rock to show that you love someone and that you’re doing something unique and just for the two of you.

Anyway, if you’re marrying the right person, the way you choose to symbolise that union – whether with a diamond, a band of gold or a heart inked on your ring finger – really shouldn’t matter. The fact that you’re committing to this person forever should be the only permanent reminder you need.

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21 comments

  1. Ray TMT

    It says a lot about the people writing the articles if their first thought is ‘what if you divorce’? – lovely to see a positive view… that couldn’t be closer to my own!

    My now-husband was a tattoo virgin before we got our wedding tattoos – he didn’t think anything was worth it before! For his first ever piece, he went under the needle for 4 hours, and now has a beautiful magpie across his back and shoulder. I have a matching lady magpie right across my back (another 4hr job, ouch!)

    When we’re together, they’re two for joy. They were the part of our wedding that was100% just about us, and the bit I love most – apart from my husband, of course!

    The reactions we get from people are interesting… it’s a real mix, and you can never tell who’ll be positive. There’ve been the predictable ‘you’ll regret it’ to which we answer, ‘what, getting married…?’ …but there’ve also been some lovely surprises, like elderly ladies coo-ing and saying how romantic 😀

  2. My partner and I have discussed that we want to do this when we get married. Marriage is forever, so is a tattoo. A symbol of art. Love is an art. “with this ring..” You don’t have to use a ring as a symbol of your love its just a tradition. We’re going to do both

  3. Anne

    I got a heart tattooed on my finger and he got a matching heart on his chest. It was a spur of the moment decision whilst on honeymoon in New York and it is by far my favourite tattoo. 🙂

  4. carly clark

    I have a lot of tattoos…my (now ex) husband is a tattooist. I was going to have a ‘just married’ with the date tattoo but i’m so glad that I didn’t as after being married for 3 years and having a beautiful daughter together he cheated and left when she was 18 months old. He unfortunately (for him) had my name tattooed on his wrist before we even got married, which he had badly covered up sharpish. Made me laugh that you could still see my name. Moral of my story is that sometimes it pays not to have someones name tattooed on you. I thought we were going to be together forever but you just never know what life has in store for you!!

  5. Agreed! If you’re getting married thinking, “Oh, we might break up, so we’d better not get matching tattoos!”, you shouldn’t be getting married at all! And it’s pretty douchey of people to suggest that you might, just because they’re against the tattoos.

    I’d love a matching tattoo with my husband, but we can’t decide on anything!

  6. I have exactly the same thought when people say wedding tattoos are permanet and could be regretted …er.. then why are you happy to get married?! Makes me wonder that these people don’t take marriage so seriously becuase they know they can get out of it if they want to. Kills the romance of it all a bit, doesn’t it!

    I have wondered whether I may choose a wedding tattoo over a ring becuase it is permanent- to me that represents marriage. I also don’t like wearing rings becuase they never fit right due to my wide finger joints.

    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

  7. Yes getting a tattoo is a big commitment and lots of thought should go into it, but that is nothing like the thought and commitment that goes into getting married!

    I think it’s a really lovely idea and I’d definitely consider getting a tattoo on my ring finger.

  8. Love this Kat. I agree, it’s 100% up to the people involved if they want to get a wedding tattoo or not. Like you said, what can be a bigger commitment than the marriage itself? You’ve got to remember that getting a tattoo really isn’t such a massive decision to some people, especially if they have a fair amount in the first place. If it’s something someone is unsure about then best to stick with a ring x

  9. Rachel

    Totally for this idea! Me and my man have them on our wedding fingers, I have a heart padlock and he has the key. Absolutely LOVE them!!

  10. My fiance and I got a tattoo on our ring finger, it’s a number nine in roman numbers (IX) super simple but meaningful at the same time! I also got my engagement ring though lol.

  11. oh! I forgot to mention! we got a number nine because that’s our anniversary day, and we plan on getting married on July 9th. That’s like our personal symbol.

  12. calvin

    Got matching tattoos on our hands, I even drew them myself so it’s just a little more special…..king and queen crowns with inscriptions at the bottom (mine) ” Her King” and her’s says ” His Queen” also got K & Q of hearts on our middle fingers. It’s a life time commitment thick and thin NO matter what I say….love her with all my heart

  13. Louise

    I’ve got a lot of tattoos myself and totally considered the whole matching tattoo/ring finger tattoo idea. There is only one issue – my fiancé has no tattoos and doesn’t seem keen on getting one any time soon… SO what is a girl to do? Answer – get a totally awesome memorial tattoo all of her own! 😀 I have Ariel and Prince Eric in a romantic clinch on my thigh, with a space to get our wedding date added once the deed has been done (not wanting to jinx things you see lol!)http://instagram.com/p/yPR5bUkidJ/?modal=true

  14. My husband and I originally had rings but on our 3 year anniversary, upgraded to a ring tattoo. We’re not big wearers of rings and wanted something a little more unique and “us”. We both already have a bit of ink so the decision was easy. I hold no regrets and am complimented all the time on my “ring” (an elongated henna inspired tattoo).

    PS – LOVE seeing Lacey and Paco in the photo!

  15. Violet

    My wife and I opted to keep our wedding rings a surprise and get simple bands tattooed on as our “engagement” rings! She is chef so she often can’t were a wedding ring and my vintage sapphire ring looks a bit more badass sitting on top of the tattoo.

  16. It is a big commitment but my husband and I got them after 13 years of marriage. My daughter 11 son 9. We went through a lot including almost divorcing but now we know where we are. We are more mature and respectful. Our love has grown way passed any butterfly feelings,bliss or lust which most people confuse for love. When those feeling are gone people believe they are done. We have loved rich we have loved poor. We will love through all of it and we know now we can and will endure through it all. This was our way of symbolizing that.

  17. Marriage should be forever. However, there’s still this inconvenient thing called death. If you have tattooed something that isn’t generic (like a name or a date), are you also planning on staying a widow forever if your partner sadly loses his/her life?

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