I loved my tattoos immensely up until I had a baby, then, all of a sudden, they somehow seemed inappropriate. I hid them away at playgroups and tried to dress to fit what I thought was the way a mother should look. (How should a mother look? Head to toe in garish Joules clothes? Frumpy jumpers? Sensible foot wear? Jeez). Eventually I chilled out and stopped feeling so insecure about myself and began to dress and look how I had always looked but kept with the sensible footwear (I’m never going back to wearing cheap Primark plimsols). Unfortunately I am finding myself slipping down the insecurity slope once more and I am finding myself feeling unsure about my tattoos. I turned 30 in May, I’m getting married and I finally feel like I might possibly be a proper adult… but an adult with lots of tattoos that I decided to adorn myself with in my early twenties. I’m no longer the person I was back then and although they do feel a part of me now, I am apprehensive about having my tattoos completely on show at the best of times so it has posed the question of whether or not to have them on show when I get married.
I’ve spoken to a few other tattooed Brides and Brides-to-be and answers were varied, but uplifting. One thing that all the ladies I spoke to said, was that I should shake off my anxieties of what other people might think. We are the first western generation of heavily tattooed people. Young people don’t bat an eyelid to a tattoo, but I am fully aware that my parents and their generation just don’t really get it. When my mum spotted my first tattoo when I was 18, she raised her eyebrow and sighed, saying ‘Well, you’ll never marry a doctor now!’. And, gosh darn it, she was right! I’ve had to settle for a humble cafe owner (all the eligible doctors turned me down). I totally understand where she’s coming from though. I am tad vexed by the ‘Meet me at McDonalds’ haircut and I don’t understand why some boys wear bumbags across their bodies much like a Brownie Guide sash. I’m on to Chapter 2 of my adult life and I am no longer aware of what cool new bands are in the charts and no, I don’t want to ‘Floss’ or ‘dab’ ??! Although tattoos are far more permanent than a fashion trend or a dancing craze, I can see that our parent’s generation just can’t really identify with the new-ish tattoo culture. I hate ever thinking that I might disappoint my mum and although she has told me my tattoos don’t bother her anymore, it still grates on me that she might not like seeing them. One girl I spoke to said she shared the same worry as me and didn’t want to have her tattoos on display. Her mother, who was in fact initially disapproving of her tattoos too, told her that she shouldn’t hide them away.
‘They tell a story, they are a part of your body and they are beautiful because you are beautiful.’
I think these are words my mum would tell me too, if I had the guts to ask her. The thing is, she loves me and I know she thinks I am beautiful and accepts me completely for who I am. My mum hasn’t been the problem. My overactive worrying brain has. Other people I spoke to said it never even crossed their minds to hide their tattoos away, that the only way it would affect their dress choice would be if the dress didn’t sculpt around their tattoos. That’s the right attitude I think.
One bride I spoke to said that she chose a long-sleeved dress that covered her tattoos, but that it was a style she chose regardless and her tattoos didn’t affect her choice. I think the most important thing to remember is that everyone coming to your wedding already loves you for who you are so you don’t have anything to prove. Just be yourself.
Another thing to mention is that TATTOOED BRIDES look awesome!! If you fancy yourself having a boho, nature inspired wedding then those tattoos can really add a special twist to the free-spirited bride look and you could even let them help influence the theme, colour scheme and bouquet!
With my tattoos in mind, I could in fact, narrow down what dress I might choose to fit around my body art. They can actually help me come up with what style dress would shape around the tattoos and I think that’s a good thing! And it gives me a place to start. I have script written down my spine so I would love to have something with a low back along with short sleeves to work around the tattoos on my arms. I have roses, ferns and brambles tattooed on my right arm so I think a pink wildflower bouquet would really suit me. I also have a coffee pot on the back of my arm which we could incorporate into our table arrangements. What epitomises you more than the permanent images you choose to decorate your body with?!
I have a friend who actually wore a temporary tattoo especially for her wedding day which I think is a brilliant idea and makes me feel even more positive about my own.
“All my tattoos are beautiful and symbolise and remind me of different pieces of my life. Although I do sometimes have mixed feelings about them, I will always love how they actually look and what they mean to me.”
They’ll be on me when I take my last breath so they should be celebrated as a part of me on my wedding day too.
Find some gorgeous brides who embraced and rocked their fab tattoos on their wedding day below.
Do you have any tattoos? What is your stance on showing your body art on your wedding day? Let me know in comments!