The wonderful world of wedding ring tattoos

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Matt and Sarah got black wedding bands tattooed on their ring fingers. I like that hers is thinner than his, cute detail.

I LOVE the wedding ring tattoos and I love that our Offbeat Brides have come up with so many different ways to make theirs their own, from initials, to names, to bands and engagement tatts.

While it's worth noting that tattoos on the hands can fade or blur with time AND that finger tattoos hurt like hell (more than tatts on fleshier skin!), we still think these are awesome.

So come with me as we enter the wonderful world of wedding ring tattoos! A truly great way to show how insanely committed the two of you are.

Here are a few of the awesome offbeat couples that have graced us with pictures of their wedding ring ink…

our wedding bands!Check out Katie and James here, instead of wedding rings they got tattoos, and instead of a wedding ring tattoo they got each others first initial tattooed on their ring fingers.

wedding date tattoos, about 5 minutes oldRight after their ceremony Annie and Rob went into another room with their tattoo-artist friend who did their wedding ring finger tattoos right then and there!

The Anti-Engagement RingCheck out Christine (of the astronaut wedding)'s "anti-engagement ring" tattoo. I love that it looks like a funky piece of jewelry.

Diyan & Ani
Photo courtesy of Sun Pictures/Lakshman
Diya and Ani got each other's name tattooed on their ring fingers instead of a wedding ring.

wedding ring tattoo
Photo by Jesse Schafer Photography
This is Morgana, of green and purple fairy wedding dress fame and her wedding ring/palm tattoos.

Wedding Tattoos
I dig how Jen and Grady's wedding ring tatts don't match. As Jen explains,

Grady and I wanted really personal wedding tattoos. Being that he is a bass player, I had a bass clef tattooed on my ring finger. And got an infinity symbol tattoo which matches and infinity symbol I have on my right wrist under the letters L.V.A. which stand for Love. Value. Appreciate.
Julia & Shannon-0056
Photo by Sea Studio
This is Shannon and her wedding ring tattoo. Her wife Julie said, "I love that this shot shows her tattoo wedding band, which is now usually covered up by her ring. So handsome."

Oh, so that wasn't enough awesomeness for you? We've got even MORE wedding ring tattoos! And, as always, if you have a wedding tattoo upload them to our flickr pool and tag it "wedding tattoo."

  1.  *le sigh* such a neat and practical idea, but my SO refuses to have anything other than a real ring. :(

    7 agree
    • Ugh. Yeah. My human "refuse[s] to get any damn needles stuck in [him]!" so it'll just be me getting a wedding tattoo…which seems a little sad and solitary, but it'll mean something to ME and maybe he'll appreciate that I did it for him and did something other than the typical "your name here" on some part of me.

      6 agree
  2. My husband is applying to med schools and if he becomes a surgeon, he promised me he'll get either Rachael or Taken on his ring finger because he'll have to take his ring off so much. : ) Also my uncle got my aunt's initials after we told them our idea because he's always hated wearing a ring.

    18 agree
    • My name is Rachael and I think both those ideas are awesome!

      2 agree
  3. I love the simplicity of the first one!

    Oh, and the rest of the photos from that wedding are lovely.

    9 agree
  4. Those are awesome, but a quick word to the wise. I'm currently doing an apprenticeship to be a tattoo artist and here's a word of caution.

    Tattoos on the hands (particularly the underside aka palms) often fade or blur with time, so before too long your ring tattoo might not look so awesome as before. This is usually predominantly a problem on the palm, not the knuckles, and when a tattoo is very intricate and detailed.
    Just something to keep in mind!

    21 agree
    • Yes, this. I've never seen a ring tattoo that looks good after a couple of years.

      7 agree
      • But that just means that you'll have to get the tattoos re-done every or so often. which seems like a great excuse to have another re-commitment celebration! woo!

        14 agree
        • i just wanted to add, that me and my FH are thinking of doing this. It works for us, because my brother is a tattoo artist, and since we were some of the first people who let him practice on our bodies, we get free tattoos for life!

          4 agree
        • love the recommitment celebration idea! My husband and I got ours done on our 2nd anniversary, it was a great way to celebrate.

          4 agree
        • Yeah you could plan on redoing them ever five or ten years. Love it.

          1 agrees
      • When I worked at the pool, there was a couple with wedding tattoos – but they were armbands instead of rings. They were happy with their decision, too. :)

        1 agrees
        • i wish i could get some pics of armband wedding band tattoos. any ideas???

          5 agree
          • My husband and I are getting them done for our 1-year… so I will post those pics when they are done. We settled on arm bands because of the rings fading, blurring. Even re-touching the blurriness doesn't go away.

            2 agree
    • Yup! My fried had a word tattooed running down his index fingers to where the thumb starts and he would have to periodically get it touched up. It hurt like a motherfucker, apparently. But the part that faded the worst was the part near the thumb base, so…

      1 agrees
    • Double, triple and quadruple agree with this point. If you're pretty kind to your digits, then this shouldn't be too much of a problem. But for people who wash dishes by hand (without gloves,) do manual labor a lot with their hands or jam their hands in their pants pockets a lot, this might not be the best route from an aesthetic point of view.
      I would recommend pretty strongly against a particularly complex or detail-oriented design for this area of the body. You can get them touched up, but the more you get it touched up, the more ink you're adding to the area–and thus the chance that the area will just turn a bit muddy.
      My advice for ring-tattoo seekers would be to consider how you use your hands. Places where your hand tends to rub (either against itself or against other things, such as jeans pockets) will be the places where the tattoo will wear most.

      5 agree
    • it really depends on the person putting the ink in ,, ive been tattooing a long time and it really is the ink that is used the use of the hand the aftercare and the person placing it ,, ive done rings that are lasting a very long time because they are done properly with the best pigments and the aftercare was taken seriously and followed by every step,,,

      4 agree
    • I was gonna say the same thing! Plus the last picture is driving me crazy!!! No gloves and not holding the machine right!!! Grrrr!!!! But some of these are cute too!

      0 agree
  5. For someone who is constantly losing jewelry, tattoo rings seem like a pretty awesome idea for me.:]

    But on the flip side, there is always that worry about the tattoo becoming blurry over time, or, worst, not actually ending up "happily ever after" with the person whose name or whatnot is tattooed on my hand.

    :[

    5 agree
    • Yes as someone who made it to 4 kids and 8 years and now single I am so glad we never got ring tattoos. The past year has been hard enough with my rings put away in a locked safe until I'm ready to decide what to do with them. Im thankful I didn't have that on my skin everyday. Curious anyone who gets them when you decide on the design do you in the back of your head think "this would work well if I ever needed it created into something else"?

      1 agrees
  6. My SO and I are planning on having our "ring" tattoos done at our reception; he's designing mine and I'm designing his. I really suck at drawing, and am relieved that I have over a year to come up with something magnificent! :) Thanks for posting these!

    1 agrees
    • You could always design it and then let the artist 'touch it up' so it's also perfectly drawn.

      It was really important to me that I design my tattoo, but it was also important that it all be straight and even (celtic knotwork, looks weird if bits are different sizes/shapes/angles) so I gave my slightly wobbly design to the artist and he re-drew exactly the same thing but perfectly straight.

      I don't know how you'd feel about it but I thought it was a good compromise between my creative desire and lack of actual talent.

      3 agree
      • I have a tattoo of my a drawing that my finance drew when he was five. My artist even got the crayon lines right! Granted it is on my shoulder though!

        0 agree
        • That is really sweet you should post a picture so we can see it!

          7 agree
  7. Personally, I love that idea for engagement tattoos, but my fiance doesn't want any ink on his body at all..

    2 agree
  8. FH is a tattoo artist and we definitely want tattoo rings, but we also want real rings.

    He got me a beautiful, traditional, solitaire engagement ring, and we plan on getting a simple band to match.

    I'm getting him a "fidget ring": http://www.kinektdesign.com/products.php

    I'm also getting our wedding date tattooed on my right wrist in binary (1000-1110-1010).

    But we still don't know what kind of ring tattoos we want… le sigh.

    0 agree
    • LOL, Wired calls that Kinekt ring "mechanical catnip for nerds"! My fiance would never ever stop playing with it!!

      0 agree
      • lol – awesome
        Mine probably won't, either…

        Our only concern is that he won't come out with size 6 rings before the wedding – 3 months away. I'm trying to find something similar, just in case, but this seems to be one-of-a-kind.

        0 agree
    • ohh my…i may have to get this for my brother for crimmis or somethin. hes is huuuuge gear nerd. thanks so much!

      0 agree
  9. My fiance and I are planning on doing the wedding ring tattoo thing. He is really into an ouroborus, and i like the idea of a claddah ring, so we are hoping to meld the two ideas somehow.

    1 agrees
  10. this is such a cute idea, seeing it always makes me smile. As other commenters have mentioned, finger tattoos are prone to fading, especially if you use/wash your hands a great deal. Also, I should mention that there is a widespread superstition amongst the modded community against getting couple tattoos. But that just makes the sentiment that much more beautiful in a way :)

    0 agree
  11. I think the one with the wedding date is cheating. I mean you can't forget your anniversary if its on you. You should have to remember. But I suppose if he forgets then she can be even madder, cause he has no excuse.
    :-)

    3 agree
    • I'm the one with the wedding date tattoo- its not about 'cheating' or forgetting the date. It was all about marking the best day either of us had, that we had planned and looked forward to for months. I am heavily tattooed, but this is Rob's first tattoo.

      5 agree
  12. I like the idea, but what happens if there's a divorce? Either some plastic surgery, or a lifetime of band-aids on the ring finger!

    1 agrees
    • You make a point, but in my case at least, FH is a tattoo artist and all four of my tattoos have been drawn by him, and all but one actually done by him. And I plan on getting many more.

      If the marriage goes sour, being with him will shape the person I am to become, and maybe the tattoo will be a reminder of the mistakes I've made, but have grown as a person because of. Does that make sense?

      Marriage is a big deal – I'm pledging the rest of my life to this man. It's not like he's my boyfriend and we're on vacation in Cancun. We're not taking our vows – or our tattoo choices – lightly.

      12 agree
    • I don't feel a tattoo ring is problem even if you get divorced, Rick. You take tattoos with a meaning and to tell story of your past, and the fact you got married is something you can never change, even if you have to get a divorce. If that would happen, it'll be a reminder of your history. It is important to some people to mark their past on their skin with ink. My mother divorced before I was born, and she still has the ring. She just got the date and names carved off and instead it now reads "errare humanum est".

      Personally I wouldn't get a tattoo ring, I am too much of a perfectionist and the fear of having it fade or get blurred over time just pushes me away. I don't have any tattoos on myself as I tend to think past is past and I don't want to remember it, but I love other people's tattoos, all my friends have some.

      5 agree
  13. FH and i both got traditional diamonds tattooed on our ring finger, i do have an engagement ring and we will both have wedding bands, but he is a chef, and i am a pastry chef, which means that neither of us can wear rings at work.
    the advice to be cautious of finger tattoos is great, and very true. however, both of us are heavily tattooed, have hand tattoos, and work in intensive labor enviroments that require TONS of hand washing. so long as you take a few days off being so hard on your hands, and allow them to heal properly they should be good to go. a few touch ups maybe needed, but if you're willing to commit to a hand tattoo and taking care of it while healing, it should be fine!

    4 agree
  14. My husband and I got tattoo bands for our 2nd anniversary present to each other. It was partly a practical decision (he works with guitars and had to take his ring off to avoid scratching them, I'm just forgetful and would misplace mine), but it was also something that just felt right.

    I would say that it helped that both of us had gotten tattoos before- it was incredibly painful, not going to lie. I got a large band and a smaller line above it, to kind of signify the engagement ring/wedding band combo. It's blurred a little bit since I got it, but I kind of like it like that, it makes it look a little more organic. it will need a touchup eventually, but some tattoos just do and there's nothing particularly wrong about that. I like that I can cover it with my real ring when going into a professional situation (or when out at clubs with my girlfriends and I don't want to be bothered, lol)

    I get a lot of mixed reactions from it when people realize that it's actually a tattoo, but "I guess you're really serious" kind of comments always just make me smile. of course I am!! lol.

    1 agrees
  15. My husband and I split up after five years of marriage and reconciled after being apart 18mos. We got our ring tattoos at that point to celebrate our renewal. We separated again, even divorced, but neither of us ever altered our rings. We are going on three years of being remarried – to each other. He is my soulmate and I would never, ever change a thing. The ring is faded and somewhat blurred, but this is part of what I love about it. It is, by far, one of the best decisions we ever made.

    4 agree
    • Lori, you sound like my husband and me! I gotta know…are you still together? Your post is a few years old. I already have one tat with his name. Was thinking about another for my ring finger, but because of our relationship being so crazy I have been sitting here reading a bunch of comments distracting myself from whether or not I should do it. I'm sure you'll never see this or respond to it, but if you do, PLEASE, my eyes just filled up and my heart sang when I read your post because of what my husband and I are dealing with.

      0 agree
  16. My fiancé and I got these tattoos on our ring fingers about a month BEFORE he popped the question.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennaedo/4693991949/

    We are both stage performers and usually cast in shows where we can't wear our rings so we wanted to have something there. I love it when people see my tattoo and instantly figure out he's a bass player :)
    As for the fading…I'm super religious about putting sunscreen on it (even in the winter!) and I swear by Miami Ink Tattoo Fade Shield! It's waterproof, sweat proof, SPF 30 UVA-UVB, all in a smells-so-good-I-want-to-eat-it sunblock stick!
    The tattoo will also age better if there is minimal detail which is why we kept ours super simple…I think we'll get them touched up on our anniversary in a couple of years. Can't think of a better way to celebrate such a day.

    1 agrees
  17. I love this idea but I can't help but feel a little if-y about it.. I'm not one that wants my ink to show in such an obvious way. If I did do this though, I'd probably get a white ink tattoo. I don't think I'd mind having it reapplied a few times to make it stay and it'd still be private enough for me. The heart and key was a cute design for it too.

    1 agrees
  18. I had a client with a wedding tattoo once — a middle-aged businessman who had his wife's initial in Hebrew on his ring finger. I don't know how long he'd had it, but I'm guessing a while, given his age. It looked great and seemed especially sweet on such a clean-cut guy.

    0 agree
  19. My boyfriend (future hubby) wants to get wedding band tattoos when we take the plunge… because he does so much manuel work around the house…. I don't mind tattoos but the thought of having a black mark on my hand permanently puts me off a bit…. blue maybe, white or silver or something? Don't suppose you can have a silver tattoo can you? Not sure on the design either but no dates or hearts.. something simple and subtle… we love the sea so maybe something along those lines.. any ideas?

    0 agree
  20. I'm late to the party on this, but I agree with a lot of the points brought up by people already. 1) They will fade on the fingers. 2) My tattoo artist's studio has a strict "no names" policy unless it's a child or a relative who has passed and you're doing an "in memory" tattoo. To me, it's an excellent idea. They also won't do wedding ring tattoos. I'm very glad they don't because the ex and I threw around that idea. If I would have gotten one, I'd still have it and I never want to remember that relationship :P

    4 agree
  21. My fiance and I are going to be getting ring tattoos. I love my engagement ring, but because of the shape of it I won't be able to do a set, nor do I want to. We have been together off and on for 10ish years, and have a child together. I've wanted to marry him for a long time, but it took him a while to make sure I was the right one, which I'm totally cool with!
    I have a tattoo from my first marriage and do not regret it. It is a piece of my past and is there to remind me of what I have done and decisions I have made.
    I don't wear a lot of jewelry, and he never wears jewelry, so it makes perfect sense for us.

    2 agree
  22. The Boy and I really want to do this, but I'm a little worried about fading. The whole reason to get a ring tattoo is because I have a very dirty job where my hands are in any number of gross and chemicals and powertools…the same things that seem like they'd fade a tatoo pretty quickly. We may end up going with something simple so that if/when it has to get re-done, it won't look so fuzzy.

    0 agree
  23. How fast do these tattoos fade and nein a mechanic would that ruin the tattoo or no

    0 agree
  24. I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 15 with it, I know I can not wear rings due to my joints, my bf and I talk about getting married when he graduates from CUC, but he hasn't proposed yet since I'm still only 18. hopefully the medical need and my bf & my story of being together since my 15th bday is so special, I won't have a problem getting an artist.. but I want to get a heart when we are engaged (since we won't be able to get married for a few years) and then have it touched up and have a band added after we are actually married.. any thoughts?

    0 agree
    • I have ehlers-danlos syndrome and can't wear rings because of my joints either. I actually have finger splints that are similar to rings to keep my joints from dislocating that I wear sometimes, and you can't wear any other rings with those either. This is exactly why my fiance and I have decided to get ring tattoos. Good luck finding an artist, that can be difficult. But definitely a yes for getting ring tattoos for that reason!

      0 agree
  25. While ring tattoos do fade and get blurry over time another plus too getting it done is if your are a manual laborer or working with alot of heavy machinery with a ring tattoo it can't get caught on or in anything

    0 agree
  26. We are getting married in 2 months and are going to get rings tattooed instead of having an actual ring. I was just wondering if wearing my engagement ring will have an effect on the tattoo & wear it away super quick?

    1 agrees
  27. I am a husband and I got mine before my wife and I am so happy I did! I believe you should be only married Once like I was raised so I want everyone to know :)

    0 agree
  28. My SO and I are planning on getting tattoos instead of traditional rings for 3 reasons. 1. He is not used to wearing jewelry of any kind; 2. His job is not "jewelry friendly"; and 3. Tattoos will fit into our budget easier than traditional engagement/wedding bands.
    Now we just have to find something we can both agree on ;)

    1 agrees
  29. I have a few tattoos and working on more, but my FH isn't into them at all (for himself). So I was ELATED when he actually said ok to getting ring tattoos! But then I asked my tattoo artist about it and he couldn't discourage it enough — as others have said here, the tattoo on the palm side of the finger tends to disappear completely, and even on the top of the finger it can fade or lose "clarity". BOOOO!!!

    0 agree
  30. My FH and I have decided to get wedding ring tattoos! It was kind of funny that way it happened, because I was considering it for him (he's a mechanic and can't wear a ring 90% of the time!), but I was nervous about asking him because I didn't know how he would respond. Well, long story short, I mentioned it to him and he says that he's been thinking about doing the same thing!! Great minds DO think alike!! Now to only figure out what the design will be. I would love to see more pics of what other Offbeat Brides have done to get some inspiration!

    0 agree
  31. Love the idea of a wedding band tattoo. I will more than likely always have my ring on, but my husband wants a tattooed one because he's an FMF Navy Corpsman. On deployment #2 right now, and he can't wear his ring on deployments or during training. He wants a permanent option. We've been married 5 years, even more committed to each other than at the beginning. I feel more than comfortable doing something permanent as a show of our love. Can't wait for him to come home so we can get the ink done!

    0 agree
  32. my husband got a tattoo of one of my drawings on his arm as a 'wedding ring'
    and I made my own silver wedding band….

    0 agree
  33. My husband has his ring tattooed and it has faded a little but its been almost 10 years. He didn't get the underside done because of fading and you'd never know it wasn't done. I have always been a little iffy about tattoos for other people so I got a dermal piercing on my ring finger and I love it!! It is jewelry for those of us who don't like jewelry! And I can change the top too!

    0 agree
  34. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! my hubby and i just talked about this.
    we wanna do tat rings for our 10 year anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 agree
  35. Please just double check if you are tattooing the roman numerals of your wedding dates. I friend of my and FH did that and I didn't have the heart to tell them that they messed up the numerals.

    0 agree
  36. I'm an officiant and I've had a couple of my couples do this. And, yes, one has split up since. One word of advice, please don't try to do this during the ceremony – I had one couple insist on doing so. It takes much longer than you think (I had to have extra ceremony material handy just in case – and did end up needing some of it). It is very awkward to work around (I was delivering much of the ceremony as they were off to my side getting them done, and I had them each do their vows and ring exchange wording as it was each of their turns). And, yeah, more likely to have mistakes happen as the artist is being rushed. The bride had intended on them both having just a simple white band being done during the ceremony, and then more details added later, but when we were done and went into the next room to sign the license, she looked down and noticed that he had done a black band and not white, so was more than a little annoyed in the middle of her wedding.

    0 agree

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