Tattoos have almost completely lost the negative stigma they once held. So much so that you can find ‘ink’ in spades at nearly every PTA meeting across the country. Unfortunately your parents and grandparents may not agree. They still remember tattoos as something that sailors got when they were inebriated and stationed overseas.
Tattoos have been around for centuries, dating back to Ancient Egypt. In ancient Japan the insertion of needles into the skin was thought to bring healing in an early acupuncture method and the needles were dipped in ink to proudly display each ‘treatment’. However, in some cultures tattoos are still not acceptable and some faiths, particularly the Jewish and Islamic, tattoos are addressed specifically as forbidden. Your relatives (especially the older ones) might not be happy to see a flaming dragon on your shoulder or even a tiny butterfly on your wrist.
So what exactly do you do when you want to wear a strapless, halter or open back gown and you have a tatto that will most definitely show? You have two choices: Show it or cover it.
If you decide to show the tattoo, Bravo for standing by your decision. My advice: Take the heat early on! Tell your family and whomever that you love your body art and have no desire to cover it. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t thrilled with your decision. Wouldn’t you rather have the discussion sooner rather than later so that you are not completely stressed in case of a huge family debate the day of your wedding? Compromise if you can. Perhaps you can offer to have the copies of the photos you will give to them airbrushed so the tattoos are not in their photos at all. Yours can be left alone. Sure, it is an added expense but a small price to pay for family peace!
Deciding to let highly visible tattoos remain exposed can be a liberating experience especially if they have real significance to you. Many gorgeous women have tattoos they are very proud of and never seem to waver when they get dressed even for the red carpet. Think of Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie. It can also be incorporated into the theme of your wedding. Do you have a large butterfly tattoo on your arm? Then, let there be butterflies!
Covering a tattoo is tricky. Many cosmetic stores like ULTA or department stores carry products designed specifically for tattoo cover up. You must follow the instructions exactly and match your skin perfectly. Don’t forget the primer and sealer. The primer helps the product to stick to your skin and the sealer keeps it from coming off. Most are foundation-type products but, some are powder. Either way you need to practice several times to make sure you have the process perfected before stepping out on your big day! Also consider hiring a professional to do this for you, especially if the tattoos are in hard to reach places.
You can also cover the tattoo by selecting a gown that covers it entirely. Depending upon where the tattoos located, the style of gown you prefer adn the time of year this can be next to impossible. However, a talented seamstress can add sleeves, raise a neckline or make other changes to accommodate your needs. The key is to speak honestly and openly to your bridal consultant bout your wishes and do not hesitate to get the alterations department involved.
For some brides it isn’t even a topic for discussion and for others it is a very big deal. This is your decision and no one should make it for you.
Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago