Tattooing has been used to portray ideals, morals, beliefs, and more since the early days of human civilization. So, it should come as no surprise that, as tattooing has become more socially acceptable in recent times, tattooing has now developed into a way of showing one’s devotion to their loved ones.
Etching a loved one’s name into your skin may seem a bit obsessive to some, but when it comes to married couples, it has become something of a popular trend to engrave matching tattoos into the ring finger in place of traditional wedding rings. This concept alleviates the issues of misplacing, losing, or breaking your ring and can be great for couples which are hard on their jewelry or not fans of wearing bling at all.
While this tattoo trend has become all the rage, filling up entire pages on Pinterest on a regular basis, there are a few special considerations one must take into account before marching into any old tattoo shop and going under the needle. Finger tattoos are complicated and shouldn’t be trusted to just any artist. You should definitely research the shop, the artist, and their previous work to ensure you’re trusting your future wedding ring to someone who has the talent and skillset to work with such a small space.
Before you even decide on a tattoo shop or artist, the first thing you have to do is decide on the style of tattoo you and your other half are going to get. Are you going to get matching ring bands or initials? Are you going to do an image, words, or a pattern? Not everyone gets matching ring bands, so it’s up to you and your partner to decide what fits your relationship best.
When looking at wedding band tattoos, it is best to follow the same guidelines as any finger tattoo. Fingers are small spaces and wear down easily. The skin on the hands sloughs off at a faster rate than most other body parts due to the level of activity they see as well as the process of frequent handwashing. In addition, the smaller space makes it harder to fit in a good amount of detail, so the simpler the better. Tattoos in these areas tend to blur out, so avoiding excessive line work is usually a good rule of thumb.
Once you’ve decided on a concept, now you have you to find an artist. When it comes to hand and finger tattoos, it is a different medium than other areas of the body, so finding an experienced artist who has done multiple tattoos in these areas is crucial. Of course, some artists refuse to do finger tattoos at all as they don’t tend to hold up. A tattoo is an artist’s calling card and some like to avoid having anything out on the market which may give someone the wrong impression regarding their skill set.
Aftercare is vital with finger tattoos. As these areas are in use constantly, there is no real way to “go easy” on the area, like you would if had new ink elsewhere. Because you’re already going to be a bit harder on these than you would be any other tattoo, following the aftercare procedures to the letter is the only way to prolong the life of the design and avoid frequent touch-ups.
For this reason, most artists will suggest getting the tattoo after you return from the honeymoon. Having a fresh tattoo is a bad idea right before the wedding, as you will be taking pictures and let’s face it, the tattoo healing phase isn’t exactly pretty. Having a fresh tattoo right before going on a honeymoon is also a bad idea. You won’t be able to go swimming, you should avoid direct sunlight, and you have to keep applying ointments or aftercare products throughout the day.
Keep in mind, removing a ring tattoo isn’t going to be easy. While marriage is meant to be a permanent decision, divorce is a high risk in today’s society and having a ring inked on your finger after the fact can be devastating. Tattoo removal isn’t a one-shot process, it can take several sessions and cost five times as much as the tattoo, if not more. Not to mention, the removal process only breaks up the appearance of the ink. Often, you’ll still be able to see the definition of the tattoo after the ink has been carried off by your lymphatic system.
Regardless of the complications, wedding ring tattoos are an adorable way to celebrate the union of your life with your partner’s. If you find a qualified, experienced artist, choose a design that will hold up, and follow your aftercare instructions explicitly, you’ll find yourself with a unique, permanent reminder of the love you share with your other half and the promise you made to one another on the most important day of your life.