Whether it’s a single petite design, a few elegant etchings, or an arm full of artwork, tattoos are pretty common, which means they’ll show up on a bride or groom every once in a while. No matter how much ink you’re flaunting, if it’s somewhere that’s easily visible, you may find yourself standing in front of the mirror in a bridal salon, wondering whether those tats need to be covered. So, do they? Our experts weigh in.
Deciding whether to cover your tattoos on your wedding day is highly personal. Some, whether they’re on your hip, rib cage, or foot, may be hard to see by nature of wearing a wedding gown—eliminating the question altogether. But if your tattoos are on your hands, arms, shoulders, or back, many dress styles may reveal them, meaning you’ll have to decide what you want to have showing.
If you don’t necessarily want to cover your tattoos, but don’t want them on full display, look for a dress with sheer lace detailing, such as an illusion back or lace sleeves. The delicate pattern will distract from your tattoos and cover them slightly, but they won’t be totally invisible.
If you’ve got a piece that you’d rather not see, seek a design that covers the area in question. That could mean swapping that low back for a covered style (and maybe going a little lower with the neckline instead!) or adding thicker straps or sleeves to the design. You can also maintain the sheer elements of a dress, but still hide your ink, by having your seamstress line the see-through details in a fabric that matches your skin tone.
Is your tattoo somewhere that’s harder to cover? Talk to your makeup artist about your options. Makeup brands like Dermablend, as well as Kat Von D’s line, are known for their coverage and staying power. Be sure to layer primer, setting powder, concealer, and setting spray to ensure it sticks. Just be careful: the makeup shouldn’t move, but as you sweat and dance, it may smudge slightly, so be aware of what’s touching your dress!
And if you love your tattoos? Flaunt them! As you’re trying on gowns, look for a silhouette and details that help accentuate any body art you have, from a strapless design to show off your full sleeves to an open back that perfectly frames the design between your shoulder blades. It’s part of your style and aesthetic, which is exactly what choosing a wedding dress is all about.