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The Bride's Guide Blog

Beauty: Tit for Tatt

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What are your thoughts about tattoos at weddings? Should the bride bare hers for all her guests to see? Or go through the process of covering it up with makeup? Personally, I think it all depends on the tattoo. While it's probably not a good idea to put the name of an ex on display for the big day, some tattoos are actually quite beautiful and worthy of the spotlight. In any case, I stumbled upon this one, which was designed, ironically, by wedding calligrapher Betsy Dunlap. It's sweet, simple, and not offensive in the least. If this was my tattoo and I was getting married, I wouldn't even think about covering it up. What about you?

Comments (14)

  • I'd have to politely disagree. I'd say cover them up - all of them - all the way! If you're in a bridal shop and you see radiant brides trying on gowns, your eye is immediately drawn to the tattoo on their shoulder, neck or arm. They take attention away from the beauty of the bride herself.

  • I hate the idea of anyone trying to shove themselves into a wedding shaped box for one day, just to conform to societies idea of what a "wedding" should be. Most of the traditions around weddings aren't very old at all, or have truly bizarre meanings behind them (bridesmaids are meant to distract the demons from cursing the bride on her wedding day, did you know?).

    I think the covering up tattoos expectation comes from the assumption that women with tattoos are inherently more "trampy", and I know this to be patently false. I know 25 year old virgins with tattoos and women who go to church every sunday and who would never dream of getting a tattoo who have a much more colorful past.

    I think that if someone has made a conscious choice to get a tattoo that will be visible in her day to day life, then that becomes a part of her. You want to be the most radiant YOU on your wedding day, not the most radiant someone else. I'm sure the groom would agree.

    It may not be your aesthetic preference as the guest, but then again, it isn't really about you. It's about the bride feeling beautiful in herself, and feeling confident. Who are you to determine whether she should slather on the foundation to protect your easily offended eyes? Hopefully the radiant happiness of the couple is what you're there to celebrate, and the sincerity of their union. Nothing else should really matter.

  • I have two tattoos, but I thought long and hard about where to get them. I ended up with one on my hip and one on the left side of my back. I decided that although I love my tattoos, sometimes I would need to cover them, especially because I will be a teacher. Personally, I wanted to find a dress that would cover my tattoos, but that is because I got the tattoos for me, and not for everyone else. I actually usually forget they are there. I just wanted my own form of teenage rebellion, and that is what I chose. If the tattoo is something that is a very important to someone, I don't think there is any reason for that person to hide it. I guess it just depends on the person. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but in my case, I bought a dress that would cover both of them.

  • I really do believe it depends on the bride. I personally wouldn't want any tattoos showing on my wedding day. I do agree with Kathyrn in the fact that it is distracting...But if someone really loves their tattoos, you can't really blame them for not caring if they're visible....

  • I think the bride herself should decide if she wants to show her tats. I personally have 4. Ankle, calf, right arm band, and a large one on my back. Since my dress in long I won't have to worry about covering the lower two. The arm band I bought makeup for to cover it because I think (because of the design) it will come out in pictures properly. But the upper back tattoo I will display with pride because it is a family dream catcher (family name, p's names, bro/sister initials and all our children. I am very proud of it, and what it represents, and most people love to see it as well. Besides the most important pictures are taken with you looking at the camera, so most of them won't be taken of my back.
    So, to all the other brides out there, think hard about your choice. Don't cover them just to please other people. But don't ruin the most important pictures in your life either.

  • show them off! you got them for a reason and they are now a part of you. i am covered in tattoos and i may be biased but shouldn't your family and friends know that they are a part of who you are?

  • I have one - a butterfly on my chest, on my sternum. I had planned to buy a dress that wasn't low-cut enough that you could see it, but the dress I loved has a deep V halter neckline, and my tattoo is actually perfectly framed in it. I took that as a sign that I shouldn't cover it up, but instead should be proud of it since it's a piece of me. My photographer may photoshop it out of a few pics b/c I'm not sure I want to see it in every wedding photo we keep, but it'll for sure be there in some.

  • Tatoos are not bridal, they should all be covered up IMO. I think it distracts from the beauty of the bride since they are so unusual to see at a wedding. Flame away, but if one of my bridesmaids had a tattoo, I would pick dresses that covered it.

  • Lizzy - can you please define "bridal" for me?

    Since women all over the world from many backgrounds become brides, I think your narrow definition of what is "bridal" is actually pretty offensive. Red isn't a bridal color either, right? Tell that to all of Asia. Maybe they're unusual to see at the weddings you go to, but for goodness sakes, do you think un-tattooed girls are the only ones worthy of finding a partner they want to be with for life?

    By the way, one of my friends has a GORGEOUS red poppy tattoo on her shoulder, looked amazing when she was a bridesmaid in a poppy-red dress. Hopefully if you like someone enough to ask them to be a bridesmaid, you like them enough to let them have a smidge of personality.

    Jeesh.

  • As for myself, I put a lot of thought, time and money into my tattoos and they are a part of who I am. I would never DREAM of covering them up for my wedding. As for the fact that people's attention will be drawn to my tattoos- thank goodness! I think they are awesome and I love when people see them. :)

    And to say that tattoos are not 'bridal' is a pretty offensive thing to say.

  • Tattoos just simply distract from the beauty of a wedding, especially the bride. If my daughter were tattooed, I'd skip the elegant wedding and do something more casual. Bridesmaids should cover them up without being asked, unless the bride has them. My generation just doesn't see the beauty in tattoos.

  • Tats are for skanks. If you're having a trailer trash wedding- fine. If you're having any kind of respectable wedding then tats are out. Period. tats are gross and for low life people. Period.

  • Tats are for skanks? Really? Stop living in the 1950s.

    I have a tattoo that says 'love' on my wrist (real skankish, right?) and I hold a classy job -- actually at a bridal company. There are actually many people who have respectable positions AND tattoos ... you don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Or be a "low life person" to have one.

  • To be fair 'coooshi' that might be your opinion but you don't have to go round insulting such a massive percentage of the population, you can say you disagree without being so rude about it. I am getting my fiancé's name on my ribs to celebrate our wedding, and no, it won't be on show, but it will still be there, we both have tattoos and some will be on show. That doesn't mean it won't be respectable or classy, it certainly won't be "trailer trash" that seems a very narrow minded and outdated opinion to think that just because someone has a tattoo that make the person a low life. I would understand more if you were 90 years old...but somehow...I doubt that. Many of us, from all over the world (myself included) are successful, and respectable women, who funnily enough, don't tend to judge a book by it's cover...

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