What to Know About a Wedding Ring Tattoo

A pair of hands with matching wedding ring tattoos.

There are many reasons to opt for a wedding ring tattoo instead of the traditional wedding band. Maybe you and your partner object to the diamond industry. Maybe you have a job that doesn’t allow you to wear jewelry at work, but you still want to show off your commitment to your spouse. Maybe you just like tattoos! Whatever your reason, getting inked with your partner can be a great way to show your undying love for one another.

But not so fast! Before you rush off to the closest tattoo parlor, it’s important that you know the ins and outs of finger ink. Here are a few tips that will help you make the best decisions possible, so you can have a wedding ring tattoo that you’re really proud of.

A Lot Depends on the Artist

If you already have a tattoo or two (or even if you’ve spent a little time on the internet), you probably know how important it is to find a great tattoo artist before you get anything done. An artist with little experience or a style you don’t really like will result in a less-than-awesome tattoo. Your wedding ring tattoo should be something you’re happy to show off, so anything less than awesome won’t do!

The best artist for a wedding ring tattoo is one with a lot of experience doing small designs. Don’t be afraid to ask potential artists for photos of their past work; professional artists will be happy to show off other tattoos they’ve done! If you’re not happy with the work you’re seeing, it’s totally OK to pass on an artist and find one that’s more your style. After all, you’re going to be wearing this tattoo for the rest of your life!

Ink Color Matters

A man and woman holding hands with matching couple tools on the inside of the arm.

One of the coolest things about wedding ring tattoos is how customizable they are. Do you want something simple, like a heart on your wedding ring finger? Done. Your spouse’s initials? You got it! A band of Celtic knots that fully encircles your finger? Not a problem. But even with a wide range of designs available to you, there are some finer details you need to consider—like ink color, for example.

The skin on your hands is different from the skin on the rest of your body. The skin is thick, but it doesn’t have much fat behind it. This composition, coupled with the fact that we move our hands constantly throughout the day, means that your finger tattoo is much more likely to blur or fade relatively quickly. Of course, you can keep your “ring” looking nice with regular touch-ups, but another way to prevent fading is to use hardy ink colors like black, grey, and dark blue.

Tattoos Need Recovery Time

A young man and woman with tattoos on her arm hugging and laughing.

Every tattoo needs time to heal, and finger tattoos are no exception. After getting inked, you need to keep your hands very clean, avoid any household cleaners or soaps with harsh chemicals, and keep the tattoo moisturized with special healing ointment (which most artists sell in their shop). Even with proper care, your tattoo will begin to scab up as it heals, and your hand will inevitably be sore for at least a week.

Under normal circumstances, this may only be a minor inconvenience. But if you get tattooed too close to your special day, your new wedding ring can put a real damper on your plans. Not only will a sore hand be uncomfortable during your wedding and reception, but caring for a healing tattoo can be really tough on your honeymoon, especially if you plan to spend any time in a chlorinated pool. If you and your partner really want wedding ring tattoos, it might be best to wait until you’re home from your honeymoon to get them done.

Removal Isn’t Easy (or Cheap)

OK, here comes the awkward part of this discussion. While you may be certain that your marriage will last forever, “till death do you part,” there’s always a chance that won’t be the case. But even if you and your sweetheart do break up, that tattoo won’t be going anywhere—at least, not without some pain, scarring, and a whole lot of cash.

The most common form of tattoo removal uses a laser to break apart ink particles in the skin, which your body’s immune system will flush from the tattooed area. But if you thought getting a tattoo hurt, get ready! Tattoo removal can be just as painful and just as expensive. Even tiny tattoos (like those on a finger) can cost $200 to $500 per session. And with the multiple sessions required to fully eliminate the ink, removing a wedding ring tattoo can still be upwards of $1,000!

If you and your partner really want to get wedding ring tattoos, good for you! However, make sure you take the time to research your options and make informed decisions. This way, you can have a unique wedding ring tattoo that you’re truly happy with!

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