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  • Olivia De Santos

Would You Show Your Tattoos on Your Wedding Day?

Hello everyone,

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today we’re talking about tattoos and whether or not your should dare to bare on your wedding day.

I am a huge tattoo buff. The artist in me is fascinated by the many masterpieces we can craft on our own bodies and the planner in me just loves how personalised the experience can be. All four of my tattoos were completely customised to my wants and have a great deal of meaning to me. And this is not uncommon. In the UK, reportedly 1 in 5 adults have a tattoo, making it a cultural phenomenon like no other. Gone are the days where tattoos are considered crass, unprofessional or reserved for the subsects of rebellious society. They are pieces of art that people, particularly millennials, are embracing fully as the “in” thing to do.

In short, the topic of tattoos just isn’t deep anymore! So why, pray tell, would I bother creating a blog and video on this subject in 2018, when tattoos are basically no more exciting than painting your nails? I promise it’s not just because I was running out of Wediquette video ideas and thought this would be interesting ;) The reason I want to talk about this, is because I once worked with a bride who took great care in covering up her body art, and I remember how stressed she was about it. So, let’s jump into this, starting with...

The Pros

The pros of covering your tattoos on your wedding day are fairly few in my opinion but let’s look at it from a non-millennial lens for a moment. What reservations may some people have about our tattoos and the sanctity of marriage?

In some cultures and religions, tattoos are seen as sacrilegious and tasteless, so those who are very deeply involved in that mindset, and of the older generation, may think it very offensive to show the tattoo of a naked pin-up girl on your bicep. I suppose that’s fair enough, particularly if you’re having a religious ceremony to be respectful. If you’re unsure as to whether your tattoos will be okay, you can always ask the person who will be marrying you officially if it is okay by them for you to bare your body art.

Another reason you may want to cover up your tattoos on your wedding day is one that I mentioned in my YouTube video on the subject. And that is the question of your secret tattoos. My “secret”/super personal tattoo is pretty visible and very large. So who am I to talk really?! But despite that, I feel like the owl tattoo on my back is very much a part of my personal life, and should be shown in situations I’m 100% comfortable in. It’s because the tattoo has an interesting back story linked to my relationship with my Mum, which I won’t go into here. For this reason, I feel like it would be an intrusion for my owl to be out in the open all day on my wedding day. Granted the owl is huge and on my back but, my bum is also huge and behind me too, doesn’t mean I want everyone looking at it all the time! Perhaps you have a tattoo like that evokes the feels for you as well, so you may want to do some strategic covering up to conceal it for all or part of the day. More on how to conceal later, now for..

Photo by Marni V Photography 

The Cons

Now for the cons of covering your tattoos during your nuptials. I guess the most obvious would be self expression! Although I always advise that my couples amplify their looks on their wedding day as you want to feel like your best self, it’s only right that you look and feel yourself. If you show your intricately designed sleeve at work, at parties and at home with pride then your wedding day should be no different! Express ourself through every aspect of your wedding, including how you dress and the tattoos you choose to bear.

Another reason you wouldn’t want to cover up your tattoos is the question of comfort. Say you opt to get married in sunny Portugal - which I am obviously biased about as a destination wedding planner operating in Portugal. Okay, this summer has been much better in the UK than it has been in Portugal, but generally speaking, it’s hot out there. Combine the rush of the wedding feels with the hot climate and you’re going to have trouble concealing your tattoos with wedding dress sleeves or suit jackets. It’s just not fair on you to feel that uncomfortable on your big day. Moreover, makeup concealing probably wouldn’t hold up in this heat too, as you’ll likely sweat it off or it may transfer to yours or other people’s clothes - not cute!

Overall the decision to bare or not to nare is down to you, but make sure that whatever you decide, you are fully on board with and don’t feel too compromised. If you do choose to conceal, here are some tips of how to go about it:

How to Conceal

So if you’re decided to cover up your tattoos on your wedding day, there’s no judgement here! Here’s how to do effectively:

  1. Ask your MUA Your make-up artist is a great person to ask for advice when concealing tattoos effectively. They will know some great professional makeup products that can be used depending on where your tattoos are. If they are on your neck then MAC Face and Body foundation could be a perfect option to conceal. But if you have a sleeve then it’s probably not the best idea as you’ll be hugging people all day everyday!

  2. Be wise when dress/suit shopping If you’ve made the decision not to bare, then make sure that you bear this in mind when dress shopping. Perhaps you’ll want a high neck collar to cover a chest tattoo or sleeves to cover your sleeve.

  3. Consider concealing for a while Say you have a back tattoo like mine which you don’t want to bare during your wedding ceremony but don’t really mind showing it during your evening reception. You could therefore have a flexible dress still in which you wear a bolero during the morning and take it off later on in the day. Or you could even have two dress styles, a sleeved one in the morning and a more relaxed style in the evening which shows more of your tattastic skin. Comfort is king though, so whichever styles you choose, make sure that you are comfortable and they reflect you completely.

I hope this little article helped you! Ta ta for now,

Olivia x