The perspective on tattoos can vary greatly from one society and/or culture to another. Celebrated by some as a right of passage or a reflection of regality, while elsewhere demonized as a sin against your body or a mark of counterculture extremists. Regardless of the stance, tattoos are increasingly mainstream and an important part of self-expression across the globe. But even for the most spirited of tattoo enthusiasts, when it comes to the wedding day, an existential crisis may ensue. Whether it’s for personal reasons or your family, often for those about to walk the aisle, finding ways to cover your body art may become a necessity.
While attending a recent tattoo convention in Philadelphia, I became engaged in conversation with a representative of tattoo removal company, and all-around skincare specialists, the Finery. After mentioning my position as a writer within the wedding industry he told me about the large number of brides and grooms they receive looking to remove old ink, scars, enlarged pores, or investing in general aging treatment plans, all in preparation for their wedding day. Focusing specifically on the tattoo aspect, he mentioned how wedding couples will spend large sums of money having their photography altered and airbrushed in order to remove their tattoos from the photo album. Usually at the behest of a parent, but not uncommonly for themselves as well. These photography add-on fees can often end up being more than the cost of having their tattoo removed altogether through laser treatments.
Dress alterations can also be a path, albeit a pricey one, if one feels inclined to cover their tattoos on their wedding day. And of course, using cover-up in the sense of makeup application, matching one’s tonality with a heavy foundation that will endure a number of possibilities, like sweating, unanticipated weather, or simply being wiped away from interactions.
With that said, your tattoos may not at all be a concern for you or your family, and perhaps, culturally, are an important part of the celebration. Like Mehndi art, for example, a practice reaching back to ancient India that’s a wonderful incorporation into any wedding celebration – meant to overall enhance one’s beauty while symbolically reflecting important cultural and spiritual concepts. In fact, if you have a particularly impressive tattooed back-piece or sleeve that speaks to who you are as a person, you may want to make it central to your fashion statement. It isn’t uncommon for brides to custom design their dress around showcasing their body art, or even integrating the design work on their skin into the body of the dress through lace application.
Whatever your personal or cultural stance, as the popularity of body art continues to spread across the world, it will also increasingly become more central in many wedding day discussions. And whether you’re looking to coverup, laser off, accentuate or celebrate, never forget it’s your body and your big day.
Your wedding is a celebration of your love, so love your celebration.