Forever and Always: Why Wedding Tattoos Are The New Rings

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In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of couples that have elected to forego tradition and get inked instead. Tattoo artists used to see a rare couple come in for wedding ink, but now the number averages closer to one per week.

There are a number of reasons that couples might opt for wedding tattoos in addition to or instead of traditional rings. In some cases, it is strictly a monetary decision – tattoos are less expensive, don’t require insurance and can’t be stolen from you.

Thus, in the long run, they can’t cost you more, unless you decide to take them off!

Gold wedding bands can typically cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds. A typical ink shop charges less than £100 for a simple design that a couple brings in, with pricing being slightly higher if the artist creates it, there are a considerable number of colors or it is a highly technical piece.

For some, it is a different matter. People in lines of work where they can’t wear jewelry due to protocol or safety risk loss or damage with an ordinary ring. A tattoo eliminates both of these concerns. Similarly, a wedding tattoo can’t fall into the toilet, drain or get swallowed by your toddler or a stray dog.

Tattooed wedding rings come in a variety of designs.Some of the most popular are branding the wedding date, spouse’s name or initial on the ring finger. Then, there are simpler motifs such as an infinity symbol or simple lines. You might even find words such as ‘always’, ‘forever’ or a surname being used.

Stars such as Beyoncé have done it – she and her husband, Jay Z, have the Roman numeral IV tattooed on their finger, a number significant to both of them. Adam Levine’s wife, Behati Prinsloo, keeps it simple with just three dots. Dax Shepard is equally as personal with his wedding tattoo which consists of a bell shape containing the letters K, L and D to denote his name, his wife Kristen Bell and their daughter, Lincoln.

Cynics can argue that tattoos are a bit too permanent, but isn’t that the intention of marriage, to last forever? Nothing says more about the desire to be with someone for the rest of your life like the willingness to take on a permanent body marking.


However, don’t take it as uncertainty if your partner doesn’t want to comply. There are many reasons people prefer not to get tattoos, most of which have more to do with personal preferences, allergies or job requirements than a lack of affection for their intended.

So, then, what do you do for the ceremony? Since most couples wait until after their official vows to trot off to the parlour for their ink, it is suggested that you purchase “stand-in” rings to use during your vows and then simply put them away as keepsakes with your other wedding memories once you’ve gotten your ink in place.


Simple, inexpensive rings can be found at a variety of markets and shops that will look lovely for the amount of time you’ll need them.

Finally, there is no reason a wedding tattoo has to be on your finger at all. The possibilities for design and location are as endless as your bare skin. Check out some of the fantastic samples of everlasting inked love in our this collection of ideas from across Pinterest: uk.pinterest.com/awnaves/wedding-tattoos

By Amy Naves, Excalibur Press

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