If you're looking for an unconventional alternative to traditional wedding rings, then you may want to consider a wedding ring tattoo. What's a wedding ring tattoo? Simply put, it's a symbolic marking on the fourth finger of your left hand, where a band is traditionally worn. How you mark it is up to you—some people choose to get inked with their partner's initials while others have their wedding date or a meaningful icon tattooed in place of a band. As with any permanent decision, there are important things to consider before you start searching Pinterest for wedding ring tattoo ideas.
To ensure you're armed with the all the information to decide whether or not a wedding ring tattoo is right for you, we spoke to a wedding planner and an international tattoo artist about all the things you'll want to consider before getting inked.
Do Your Research
Before you even visit a tattoo salon, you'll want to make sure you understand the full scope of this decision. "Tattoos are fairly permanent, so it is always wise to do your research and consider necessary precautions beforehand," says BillieJo Kunkler, an event planner at Michelle Leo Events.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
"It's important to ask yourself some questions before committing to a wedding tattoo," Kunkler explains. "Are positive you want a tattoo instead of a real ring? Does your place of work allow tattoos? Is something you want on your finger forever?" If you're not entirely sure about any of these points, hold off. You can always get a tattoo at a later date, but it requires a great deal of work to have one removed. You should also think about why you want it: Does your current job make it difficult or unsafe for you to wear a ring while working? Then you may want a permanent option that you won't have to worry about. Did you see a cool picture on social media you want to replicate? Spend some time thinking about whether or not you really want the tattoo.
Find an Artist Who Specializes in What You Want
Whether you already have tattoos or this will be your first, it's important to look at the work of the pros you're consider. "It's always best to find an artist that is specialized in what you want," says international tattoo artist Miryam Lumpini. Always do your research, she suggests. If you like the way the artist's tattoos have come out, then schedule an appointment. If you don't see something you like, keep looking. You should feel confident that they can execute your ideas.
Remember That It Might Hurt
Lumpini says that hands and fingers do heal differently than other areas of the body, so talk to your artist about what to expect, and remember that it will probably hurt at least a little. "Places that have more nerves and nerve endings tend to be more painful, especially in your fingers and your hands," she explains.
Think About the Long-Term Implications
You may spend the rest of your life with your partner and still want to have the tattoo removed, especially if you don't like the final look or don't want it gone for professional reasons. It's important to think about what would happen if that's the case. "You could end up having to do laser removal and could end up with scar tissue if you don't go to a good artist," Lumpini explains. However, if you do your research and work with a professional, you should be able to create a good memory that lasts forever. Just be sure to take care of your tattoos properly, she adds.