Unlike a wedding ring that can be slipped off or lost, a tattoo is a permanent way of proclaiming to the world that you’re bound to the love of your life. If you’re an ink fiend who wants to make a commitment for all time, a wedding tattoo could be the solution you’ve been seeking.
Make it Meaningful
Tattoos should symbolize something important. You probably know a girl who got a butterfly tattoo on her ankle in high school and decided later in life that she just wasn’t that into winged insects anymore. People who get tattoos commemorating important life events, like the birth of a child or the death of a loved one, generally experience fewerregrets.
A wedding definitely counts as an important life event; however, in the case of a divorce, a tattoo becomes an uncomfortable and depressing reminder. It’s up to each couple to balance their confidence in their marriage with the risk of life changes the future will bring. You can play it safe by choosing a symbol that has personal meaning as well as meaning to your relationship. (Hopefully, however, you’ll never have to worry.)
Beautiful When Joined Together
If you’re getting tattooed as a couple, you have the chance to make your tattoos reflect one another. Each one can stand alone, but consider designs that have added significance when joined together. For example, you may want to consider motifs like a lock and a key, or you can take the joint tattoo design one step further and embrace a mark that makes sense only when joined together. Two halves of a heart, an infinity symbol, or any symmetrical symbol make good choices for wedding tattoos; just be sure to get them in locations (like forearms or calves) that are easily placed side-by-side.
Does one of you already have a beautiful tattoo? The other partner can design a mirror-image tattoo for their own body, or a tattoo that otherwise complements the existing one. A dragon tattoo, for example, could be echoed in a fire tattoo of the same artistic style as if the dragon were breathing it across the space of two bodies.
Represent Your Relationship
Above all else, your wedding tattoo should be something that celebrates you and your new spouse. Think of designs that will tell people something about your relationship–or, if the tattoos will be in a hidden place, something that will remind you both about your favorite parts of your relationship.
Just because tattoos are a serious business, it doesn’t mean you have to skip things that make you laugh. If you and your partner are avowed gamer geeks who love playing Zelda together, you can design a tattoo where one of you sports Link and the other sports his famous row of hearts. Put them together, and they make sense in context. Maybe you’re both silly people who crack up over the idea of drawing on your fingers and making them “talk.” One of you gets a tattooed “upper lip” on one finger, the other gets a “lower lip” on another finger, and you’ll be the life of every party.
Feeling silly, but not that silly? Meaningful quotes can come from unexpected places. Did you fall in love while watching the Toy Story movies? One of you can wear, “To Infinity,” while the other wears, “And Beyond.”
Quote-splitting works for longer quotes, too, if you have favorite meaningful passages from poems, religious texts, or your own wedding vows. (Just remember which one of you puts your arm or leg on top, so you get the quote in the right order!)
Small, Private Tattoos
Maybe you really want a tattoo to commemorate the day you gave your vows, but you don’t want to show up at work with wedding bells emblazoned on your cheek. Get a tattoo in an intimate place, like between your fingers, on your feet, or on a part of your body that’s usually covered by clothing. If you have long hair, you can get a tattoo on the back of your neck and only display it when you wear your hair up. If you have a few months off of work, you can even get a scalp tattoo and let your hair grow out so only you and your partner know it’s there. One of the most private tattoos you can get is on the inside of your lip–tucked away in a spot that only your intended should be touching anyway!
For small tattoos, keep it simple. You can each choose the matching words, “I do,” or personalize it by getting each other’s initials tattooed somewhere on your bodies.. Your wedding date also makes a simple statement and reminder of your commitment to each other. Wedding rings are a popular choice too; while other people will see the “ring” on your finger, they’ll be more likely to accept your ink in a conservative workplace than a tattoo, say, commemorating your favorite band. Wedding ring tattoos are usually less expensive than conventional wedding rings, and they’re impossible to drop down the sink drain, too.
Consider All Options
You’ve already chosen the perfect partner, and there’s no reason to be any less choosy when designing your wedding tattoo. After all, both will be with you (ideally) for the rest of your life. Even if you feel strongly about one design, don’t stop looking and brainstorming. The even-more-perfect design may be just around the corner. Like “wedding dress regret,” tattoo regret can strike even the most certain of brides and grooms. Don’t break out the ink until you’re absolutely certain you’ve found “the one.”
Are you hesitating because of the media fuss around Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s supposed wedding tattoo? No one wants to invest in something meaningful only to discover it’s tomorrow’s latest fad. If you’re even a little uncomfortable with the idea of getting a wedding tattoo, don’t do it. There are plenty of other options, such as temporary Mehandi or henna designs, which can proclaim your love only when you’re in the mood to show it publicly.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.