Let’s talk about wedding rings. Sure, you’ve probably saved dozens of different wedding ring ideas on every inspiration board, but none have grabbed your attention. Or maybe you have a ring in mind but it’s just not in your budget at the moment. Instead of adding more pressure to your big day to find the perfect wedding rings for you and your spouse, have you considered wedding ring tattoos?
Although they're not traditional wedding rings, ring tattoos are increasing in popularity, according to Dani Egna of INKED by Dani. "Whether you don't want to wear an actual ring every day or want something that signifies your love permanently, ring tattoos are definitely on the rise."
Meet the Expert
While wedding bands are exchanged on the big day, ring tattoos need time to heal—so plan on getting inked prior to your wedding. “Tattoo healing varies for everyone,” explains tattoo artist Brittany Randell. “Everyone’s skin type is different, and there are many factors with one’s body—health, water intake, and hydration; how often you will be using your hands and fingers; products you use for healing, to name a few."
Ring tattoos are sometimes tricky to heal, but typically, they heal well. According to Randell, in most cases, the tattoos require a touch-up, so be sure to add this into your wedding timeline to allow for the best results.
If this is your first tattoo or you're just nervous about having a tribute to your spouse permanently inked on your body, consider a temporary option first. A temporary tattoo allows you to play around with designs and try out the placement before committing to the real deal.
Below, we've compiled 26 unique wedding ring tattoo designs (from real couples!) for you and your spouse. And, trust us, they're designs you are sure to love forever.
These simple bands are the perfect way to display your married status. The defined wedding bands are bold yet elegant. For brides, add the tattoo right under your engagement ring or opt for two tattooed bands if you don’t have an engagement ring.
Getting your spouse’s initial on your ring finger is a very distinguished ring detail. If you want more of a noticeable ring tattoo, choose a bold script for your spouse’s initials in place of a ring. You can also add other details around the initial to add a more personal touch.
This bride and groom have one another’s initials tattooed around their fingers as well as meaningful words inked on the side. Ask your tattoo artist for your spouse’s initials and then select a significant word that represents your marriage.
If you’re craving more than your spouse’s initials, go for a full name in script. It’s an intimate touch to your marriage's start and is an excellent work of art. And, it’s more commemorative than a wedding ring and still a piece that you will have forever.
Signs of the Stars
This tattoo is for star and moon lovers. If you and your spouse are interested in astrology and find meaning in the stars, then instead of traditional wedding rings, opt for celestial symbols that are meaningful to you both.
If wedding bands and initials aren’t for you, then dainty shapes and symbols are the way to go. Talk with your spouse about certain signs you both would like and play off one another’s ring finger.
If your spouse does not share your enthusiasm for florals, start by getting a matching tattoo band with a few designs on it. From there, have the tattoo artist add a floral pattern around the ring.
If you feel connected to nature, then put a ring on it, literally. Have your favorite nature symbols tattooed on your ring finger. Each of you can choose a symbol and have it be cohesive with one another.
Simple Wedding Bands
Thin wedding bands are a chic option if you and your spouse don’t want to have traditional rings. It’s still notable yet dainty enough to add more designs to it later, too!
For your tattoo wedding bands, have the tattoo artist design a thin band that replicates a ring and add a meaningful date in Roman numerals—either the day you met or your wedding day.
Freehand Pride Rings
To show off your pride for equality, choose these double-stacked Pride wedding bands. Rather than having your tattoo artist create a perfectly symmetrical design, have them freehand the ring and enjoy the imperfections that come with it, much like marriage itself.
Nothing is better than showing how strong your love is than a symbol that reflects that. Instead of selecting a wedding band tattoo, have an anchor tattooed on your ring finger so that you have a lasting symbol of your love and a constant reminder of your partner.
Give your ring finger a simple initial in script that honors your spouse and makes your commitment known. The design is simple yet elegant at the same time.
Matching your spouse with these wedding ring tattoos is an excellent way to symbolize your vows. The tattoo is simple, and the date sits perfectly around the ring fingers.
Symbolize your new vows with a sign of infinite love. Instead of bands and dates, opt for the infinity sign, which notes that your love cannot be broken and is continuous.
Celtic Knot Rings
This design shows a Celtic knot. The knot's meaning shows no start or finish—much like an infinity symbol. It's also closely tied to the Celtic sense of loyalty.
A wedding tattoo doesn't have to be traditional in the sense that it always has to replicate a wedding band. Instead, add an outline of a band and then play around with designs like these shaded hearts to enhance the traditional shape. The hearts have a simple outline, but the color shading and dotted lines add a playful touch to the ring design.
Much like a simple heart design, these Claddagh rings make hearts the center focus. It has a symbolic history of making your partner the holder of your heart. The Claddaugh ring also means friendship, loyalty, and love, which are three foundations of marriage.
Extra Tiny Details
Live in color with these simple bands. For couples that want to add more to their matching rings, add tiny details, such as dots, stars, or lines.
Never Ending Bonds
If you're not sure what type of couples ring to choose, take inspiration from these rings. This couple designed shapes meaningful to their union and decided to have them match.
Ancient Ankh Rings
The Ankh was used to symbolize the key of life in ancient Egypt. Since you and your spouse are embarking on a new chapter together, what better way to bind your love than with a key to a long “new life” with one another.
This full ring tattoo is an excellent option for those who don't want to wear jewelry daily. This design features a crafted ring with one another's initials in the center of the ring.
Your couple's tattoos don't have to match, One spouse can choose a meaningful phrase, and the other can design a significant saying or sign that is reflective of their relationship. This set of wedding tattoos shows elegant mismatched wedding rings.
It’s no secret that marriage is hard work, and you have to work at it daily, much like staying afloat on the waves. If you and your spouse love the water, ask your tattoo artist for this nautical design.
Heartbeats are a unique design for your wedding rings. It’s going to take some planning. If you can obtain your spouse’s heartbeat patterns, have a tattoo artist translate that pattern onto your ring finger. It’s an extremely personal dedication to your spouse.
Wrap three letters into one tattoo design for your wedding ring. This design makes one letter the focus then encircles the rest of the initials into the design.
Is a ring tattoo cheaper than a traditional wedding ring?
Typically, yes. However, the final cost of the tattoo will depend on how intricate the design is, where you live, and which artist you choose. But even the most elaborately designed ring tattoos shouldn't cost much more than $2,000.
How long does a ring tattoo take to heal?
A ring tattoo takes about six weeks to heal completely—fingers are not the fastest-healing part of the body—so it may be worth saving for after the wedding.
Will a ring tattoo fade?
Because a ring tattoo is on the hands, which get quite the workout on any given day, it is prone to fading. Some designs, particularly thin ones, will be more likely to fade than others, so ask your artist about it when choosing yours. It may require touch-ups every so often.