60% of Couples Get Inked-up for their Wedding Day
08 Sep 2015
Tattoos are out and proud; according to a survey carried out by The National Wedding Show and Rock n Roll Bride, brides are embracing their inked creations and are increasingly opting to make them an integral part of their big day.
Photos by Liam Collard Photography
• 60 per cent of couples revealed they were getting inked up for the big day
• 71 per cent of brides chose the style of their dress to show off their body art
• 73 per cent of wedding themes were influenced and inspired by the bride and grooms’ tattoos
Tattoo aficionado Kat Williams, the blogger and brainchild behind Rock n Roll Bride, is an advocator of individuality within the clichéd wedding industry. The National Wedding Show partnered with Kat to run a poll on brides’ opinions on tattoos and weddings. Every bride dreams of the perfect dress, but for tattooed brides was the style selected to flaunt their works of art?
The majority has spoken and the answer was a resounding ‘Yes!’ – 71 per cent of brides chose the style of their dress to show off their body art. From backless and sleeveless designs to dipped hems and asymmetric numbers, brides are proud of their tattoos which are an inherent part of who they are and were eager to display them in the very best light on their big day. Many brides even had their inks touched up to ensure they looked their absolute best.
Whether it is prominent or subtle, most weddings have some sort of theme running through them. When asked whether their existing tattoos inspired a theme for their dream day, 73 per cent of brides confirmed that their tattoos influenced everything from invitation and cake designs to flowers and favours, with an extremely popular choice of theme featuring hearts and swallows.
Some couples even provided temporary tattoos for the guests. More extreme cases highlighted the impact these inks played within wedding days, including one bride who tied the knot on board a Concorde aircraft, the exact same one she has tattooed on her lower back, and another couple who got married at a tattoo and music festival.
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a permanent declaration of your love and commitment through a tattoo. In the poll, a staggering 60 per cent of couples revealed they were getting inked up for their wedding day to create a lasting souvenir of their nuptials, choosing to honour their special day with the wedding date itself, be that in figures, roman numerals or even with the currently trending cipher ring.
Following in Beyoncé’s foot (or should that be finger) steps, a hugely popular place to mark the occasion is on the bride and groom’s ring finger. The superstar got ‘IV’ on her ring finger to commemorate her and Jay Z’s birth dates, and their wedding anniversary.
Overall, whether it is through subtle inclusion or with the ultimate statement of intent of an all new inked creation, 63 per cent of brides and grooms made their tattoos a feature of the big day; clearly enjoying playing with traditions to help make the day of the wedding authentically about them as a couple.
Vicky Morgan of ‘Vicky Morgan Tattoos’ is both a tattoo artist and recently wedded tattooed bride. Rock 'n' Roll Bride interviewed her to discuss her view from both sides of the coin.
Did you choose the style of your dress around your tattoos?
Both myself and my (now) husband are very heavily covered and have always just viewed our tattoos as part and parcel of us. Although I never personally considered my tattoos when originally thinking of a potential wedding dress, when I eventually chose my dress I did end up altering it to complement my tattoos. I had heard horror stories of bridal shop snobbery, especially when it comes to tattoos, but I had no such problem. The shop I went to were absolutely lovely and supported the fact I was a tattooed bride. We ended up altering the dress to show more of my back piece, as it didn't quite work to block out some of the tattoo. So unintentionally it did become part of the decision and one I was ultimately very happy with.
Did your tattoos inspire a theme for your big day?
We weren’t so fixated on a theme but just went with things that represented our personalities and made us feel relaxed. I dreamt of a day inspired by Disney princesses, and it was just a given that our own tattoos as well as the many tattoos adorning our guests came with us.
Did you and your partner get matching tattoos in time for your big day?
I have thought about getting something myself to commemorate the day, but haven’t quite settled on anything. I would probably go for something a little more symbolic like one of the flowers from my bouquet.
As a tattoo artist, have you done many wedding tattoos for other couples? What do you think of the idea?
I have designed a couple of wedding tattoos in my career. I think more people are getting tattoos for their partners regardless of whether they are married or not. I am always a little hesitant about these type of tattoos as we do see a lot of people regretting tattoos of partner’s names and wanting cover-ups or removals, so I feel it is my responsibility to discuss the importance of such a tattoo with my client beforehand. If a wedding related tattoo is the right thing for you then I think it is a great idea to have something that reminds you of such a special day, and the optimist in me would like to think most people go into their weddings thinking of forever, for which a tattoo is the same.
Did you cover up / remove any tattoos before your wedding? What do you think of people that do?
I didn't cover any of my existing tattoos for our big day and, even if I had wanted to, it would have taken a ridiculous amount of extreme cover-up makeup! I love my tattoos, they are just a part of who I am and my husband is the same so to cover them would be getting married as people that we are not. Saying that, I do understand that some people have tattoos they regret and would rather not have those inks as part of their day, so I fully support those people if they choose to either cover them up or have them removed. If you feel it is part of you then embrace it, and if not that is also fine. To my mind, weddings should be about two people loving each other for who they are. It is your special day to celebrate this fact, so the most important thing is being comfortable with yourself, whether that means covering up or showing off your works of inked art.
Have you ever been asked by another bride or groom at a wedding you've attended (as a guest or bridesmaid) to cover up / remove a tattoo for their big day?
I have never personally been asked this, and if I had then I'm not sure how I'd take it. I once considered covering my neck tattoo for a family wedding of my own accord but I ended up deciding not to. It wasn't a problem on the day, the bride and groom were both beautiful and it wasn't about me or my tattoos, it was about them and it was perfect. I chose to be tattooed, it is part of who I am and I'm lucky that my friends and family have never asked me to be anything other than myself. I truly believe in being yourself, I wouldn't want to upset anyone by being that but I would also find it strange if someone asked me to be anything other.
The National Wedding Show takes place on 25 - 27 September at London Olympia, 2 - 4 October at Birmingham NEC and 24 - 25 October at Manchester Central.