Your could say that circumstances forced us to opt for matching wedding ring tattoos, but now it’s something I would wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. I’m not a tattoo enthusiast and getting tattooed wasn’t something I ever considered for myself. However, life sometimes has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need – even when you don’t know that you needed it!
I want to share my personal story of how my partner and I decided on getting matching tattoos on our ring finger instead of wedding rings. This alternative wedding ring trend has been around for a long time and if it’s something you’re considering, but are on the fence about your decision – then read on!
The Original Ring
Although diamond is my birthstone, I was never particularly fond of them. I’m actually not keen on any gemstones, but I’ve always had a particular dislike of diamonds. Maybe it’s the tacky “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” label that puts me off. Perhaps it’s the questionable ethics of diamond mining. Could also be the diamond’s hyper inflated price which is nothing more than the result of decades of expensive marketing campaigns.
My engagement ring was a round Moissanite on a rose gold band. If you’ve never heard of moissanite before, it’s a diamond-like, almost colourless gemstone that scores a 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness – compared to the diamond’s score of 10 as the hardest known mineral on earth. In its natural state, Moissanite is only found in meteorites, making this gem incredibly rare – unlike diamonds. Because natural Moissanite is so rare, commercially sold moissanite is actually grown in a lab. Diamonds can also be produced in a laboratory, however, lab grown diamonds are still dramatically overpriced in comparison to lab grown Moissanite.
My ring finger is a size K, which is the third smallest out of eighteen standard ring sizes. Although Waldemar bought my engagement ring in the smallest size that style was available, unsurprisingly it was still slightly too big. I took the ring to our local jeweler to get resized (not the one that made it, as the ring was bought online and shipped from the US).
About three weeks later, just as I was starting to get worried why it was taking so long, I got a call from the jeweler. They lost my engagement ring. They LOST it. How does a jeweler lose a ring?! He was deeply apologetic and explained that it’s the first time in his 30 years in the business that an item had disappeared. Needless to say I was devastated and Waldemar was furious. The guy wrote us a cheque for the full value of the missing ring, plus a gift card. To this day, the ring was never found and we have no idea what happened to it.
I decided I did not want to replace the ring. A replacement would not have the same sentimental value, even if it was exactly the same model as the original. Shortly after the ring’s disappearance we headed to Asia for a few months. We had previously joked about getting matching wedding ring tattoos on our ring finger. The story of my lost engagement ring just seemed like a sign that we should go through with it.
So when we landed on Koh Lanta in Thailand, we researched our options and found a guy who did tattooing by hand with a bamboo straw. We didn’t want to get an actual ring shapes tattooed on our finger so we brainstormed with icons. In the end, we designed a tattoo in the shape of an arrow that was an amalgamation of the first letters of both of our names.
Almost three years have now passed since we got inked and I’m honestly delighted we made a decision to skip traditional wedding rings in favour of matching wedding ring tattoos. Our tattoos are minimalistic and their true purpose is not entirely obvious until people see us together. I love that about our tattoos as I feel that it adds another level of intimacy to our relationship.
Who Should Consider a Wedding ‘Ring’ Tattoo
I would say that tattoos as a wedding ring alternative can and should be considered by anyone, but it’s an especially good option for couples who:
Are on a budget – Getting our tattoos done in Thailand cost approximately €50! We didn’t plan on getting them done here on purpose, it just worked out that way. Although tattoos can get very expensive, however considering the small area that the artist has to work with, the cost will inevitably work out cheaper than splurging on good quality precious metal.
Are uncomfortable wearing rings – If, like me, you have small hands or (also like me!) you don’t normally wear rings, then a tattoo is a great alternative.
Want something more permanent – Perhaps you have a habit of losing things and you don’t want to misplace something as special as your wedding ring.
Want something more inconspicuous – Just bare in mind that if your tattoo resembles a ring, then it would kind of defeat the purpose of being inconspicuous!
Want to be different – you don’t need a reason to do something differently, just go with your gut and make sure that you are both happy with the decision.
Tips for Your Wedding Ring Tattoos
DO be creative with the design. That’s not to say that a plan black band is bad, but if you’re going to the trouble of getting tattoos instead of wedding rings, then why not make it into an activity for your and your significant other to come up with an original design? This will make the process even more meaningful to the both of you and you’ll be even more proud of it!
DO consider the timing of your tattoo. These things take time to heal, so if you don’t want to be sporting red hot fingers on your wedding day, get them done at least a week before the ceremony.
DON’T skim the budget on a professional tattoo artist. Even though we got away with getting our tattoos for just €50 in Thailand – we actually chose one of the most expensive artists on the island! You’re already saving a ton by opting for wedding ring tattoos instead of silver or gold, so use some of these savings to hire a professional with plenty of experience. They might even help you with the design if you get stuck!
DO be prepared to give your wedding ring tattoos a touch-up in a few years time! The tattoos will fade and blur as time goes by, so to keep them looking fresh you should ‘top them up’ after about ten years.
If you and your partner opted for alternative wedding rings, or you’re just thinking about it, I would love to hear your stories and opinions in the comments below!
Featured image credit goes to Meli & Matze of Me and Him Photography