Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Bridal Gowns & Body Art

Your Bridal Gown may not cover your tattoo! Tattooing and body piercing have been practiced around the world for centuries. In the past, in some parts of the world, these body adornments carried a negative connotation but within the past 10-20 years, tattooing and body piercing have become more mainstream and generally accepted by modern society.  Results of a 2008 national Harris Interactive poll of 2,302 adults show one-third (32%) of those ages 25-29 and one-quarter (25%) of those 30-39 have tattoos, as do 12 percent of those 40-49 and men are just slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women (15% versus 13%). Many women now sport body piercings and larger tattoo types previously found on men and when they get engaged sometimes the question comes up as to whether it is appropriate for a bride to show her tats or piercings on her wedding day.   To cover or not cover, that is the question.

bridal gowns
Image from Helene's Bridal Shop
Many brides are choosing not to cover and are cool with their bridesmaids having visible tattoos or piercings too. For many women, their tats and piercings represent something special and are an expression of who they are. Many brides look at their tattoos as accessories, choosing wedding dresses with necklines that will highlight their bib style tat or strapless dresses to highlight their sleeve or back ink. Some brides are even getting tattooed wedding rings in place of traditional rings or promise piercings as a sign of commitment, choosing to use body art in a new way. 

Although many brides choose not to cover their body art, there are others who may want to cover it up so here are a few different ways to do it:

  • Cover and conceal with make up – Tattoos can be covered over with make up or a tattoo cover kit that contains a combination of lotions and powders but you’ll need to be careful with this method as make up can get on your dress and you wouldn’t want that! View a video clip showing how to cover a tattoo with make up.
  • Cover with clothing – A long sleeve dress or shawl can be worn to cover up arm or shoulder tattoos while almost any style dress should cover a belly button ring or lower back tattoo but try not to choose your dress style just to cover your tattoos.  If you love a sleeveless dress and you’re most comfortable in it, then go for it and proudly let your ink show!
  • Fabric cover up – Skin colored pieces of stretchable fabric you can slip over your arms or legs like a body stocking are available online in various sizes to cover and conceal tattoos.   
  • Photo retouching – If you don’t mind showing your body art at the wedding but don’t think it’ll look good in your wedding pictures years from now, you can have your photographer retouch the wedding photos to remove tats and piercings.
  • Removal – There’s always the option to permanently remove your tattoos by laser removal or by closing up any visible body piercings before the wedding.

To cover or not cover, that is the question, and there is no right or wrong answer. It’s up to each individual bride to determine if her body art goes with the look she wants for her wedding day.

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