Wedding Ring Tattoos

By Nicola Bridges

June 21, 2018 4 min read

What better way to memorialize your love for your partner than by making it permanent with tattoos? There are other reasons to consider tattoo rings, including cost, permanency and practicality.

A survey by The Knot magazine and wedding planning site found that on average, couples spend $5,871 on their engagement ring and $1,400 on their wedding bands. On the other hand (or finger), consider that -- depending on the complexity of the design and popularity of the artist -- tattoo rings can be as affordable as $30.

Tattoo rings have a practical purpose, including never having to take them off for everyday activities like washing up, as well as for people who do specialist or heavy hands-on work, or are extremely active. Plus, you'll never lose them!

Olivia Oxley-Evans' husband, Brandon, is a United States Marine Sergeant, Weapons Tactics Instructor, and Crew Chief for CH53 Stallion helicopters, and like many technicians and engineers he cannot wear a conductive metal band due to the intricate, sensitive and oily machinery he works with.

"We got him a Qalo ring, but oil gets underneath and causes discomfort, so we're looking at designs to get him a tattoo band," says Oxley-Evans. "As a young couple starting out, the economics make more sense, too."

Qalo is a popular brand of medical-grade silicone rings favored by many men and women in military special operations, professional and everyday athletes, gym rats, and those with active lifestyles where traditional precious metal wedding bands can be a nuisance and even dangerous.

Whatever your reason for considering a trip to a tattoo artist for your bands instead of to a jeweler, there are key considerations -- first and foremost being their permanency.

"I've seen the trend of wedding ring tattoos come and go," says celebrity tattoo artist Daniel Winter, who specializes in delicate, detailed, miniature black and gray line-only designs at his eponymous by-appointment-only Winterstone tattoo studio in Los Angeles. "Simplicity is better for wedding ring tattoos. I prefer it to be a little trinket that reminds them of their marriage and the relationship."

*Tips for Tattoo Rings

--Do your research. Seek out recommendations and look for a tattoo artist who has done wedding ring tattoos before, especially if you want your own creative design.

--Prepare for pain. Tattoo artists warn that getting your digits inked is a painstaking process. Finger inking is particularly painful because our fingers are very sensitive, and tattooing a small area with detail is a delicate process that can take a while, even though it's a small area.

--Check state rules. Some state laws state that tattoo artists are not allowed to ink below the wrist and ankle or above the neck, specifically because these areas are the most sensitive on the body to needles.

--Plan ahead. Don't leave getting your ring tattoos done to the last minute. Like any tattoo, wedding band skin art will be sore and red for several days. Plan ahead at least a week or more before the wedding to be on the safe side, so they feel and look their best for your wedding pictures.

--Keep them looking good. Ring tattoos can start out looking crisp, but they tend to fade, lighten, and blur faster than tattoos on other parts of the body. Hand tattoos in general are more prone to this due to everyday wear and tear, and our hands and fingers also shed more skin than other body parts. "It's another reason to keep wedding ring tattoos simple and to one color," says Winter. "It makes them easier to touch up over time."

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