Many of us want (or need) to cover tattoos for a wedding. Whether it is our own wedding or somebody else’s, concealing them just seems right. The problem is, we don’t quite know how to do so. Can any tattoo be covered? What can be used to cover a tattoo? Is it bad to do so? These questions are likely running through your mind. So, here is everything you need to know about covering your tattoos for a wedding.
So, how do you cover tattoos for a wedding? There are a variety of methods you can use to cover your tattoos for a wedding, including makeup application, using your wedding attire (dress, suit) and other accessories to conceal, or using products like tattoo cover-up patches or sprays. Depending on the size, shape, and color of your tattoo, different options may work better for you, or several are needed.
As tattoos differ from person to person, their size, color, shape, location on the body, and overall quality can affect which method would work best for you.
While countless tattoos can be viewed as meaningful and creative, many a tattoo have been penned during a drunken night in college.
Either way, whether it’s personal preference, not deemed appropriate in your culture or religion, or if your mom just hates your tattoos, it may be necessary to explore different options to cover your tattoos for a wedding day.
Many women may wish to have a professional makeup artist expertly conceal and cover any tattoos that may show when wearing their wedding dress, while others prefer a bit more non-traditional methods of concealing their tattoos, including using tattoo cover-up patches or sprays.
But depending on the location and size of your tattoo, you may also be able to get away with using your wedding attire, accessories (like a shawl), your hair, or jewelry to conceal your tattoos on your wedding day.
This isn’t to say that men (either as the groom or wedding guest) can’t use makeup or cover-up products to cover their tattoos.
In fact, makeup and/or tattoo cover-up products will likely be viable options for men who can’t really alter their wardrobe or add accessories to hide their tattoos.
With all this in mind, let’s dive deeper into the options and considerations to make when covering tattoos for a wedding day.
What Can I Use To Cover Up A Tattoo?
You can use makeup (or airbrushing), a carefully chosen outfit, accessories, and tattoo cover-up products like sprays, patches, or even bandages. Certain options work better depending on the tattoo’s size, shape, and location on your body. Sometimes, more than one option should be considered to cover your tattoo, especially if it’s on a part of your body that is more difficult to cover with other methods.
You may also need to use more than one method to cover your tattoo, so let us look at each option more closely.
Makeup is the most popular (and consistent) form of concealing a tattoo (for those tattoos that would be visible while wearing a dress or suit/tuxedo).
Makeup artists will likely use a combination of concealer(s) and foundation, along with a type of setting powder or spray to conceal your tattoo.
Some makeup artists also use airbrushing techniques to apply makeup, which can more effectively cover your tattoo.
The benefit of working with a makeup artist is that they will be able to match the tone of your skin with a product.
You can certainly do this yourself, but it is something you are going to want to pay close attention to.
The wrong shade of makeup here will wither fail to conceal the tattoo or make that area stick out for all the wrong reasons.
Equally, another potential issue that may arise with using makeup to conceal your tattoos is the possibility of the makeup running on or staining your attire.
As you can imagine, this is especially problematic if you are a female wearing a light dress – or worse, a bride in a presumably expensive white dress!
So, do be careful – if it is up to you, be sure to invest in high-quality products and be sure to apply them correctly.
A small amount at a time blended in and left to dry for sufficient time.
Grooms or male wedding guests can (and should) consider makeup as a good option to cover tattoos, especially as they are limited in what they are able to do with their wardrobe and (lack of) accessories. Any tattoos on your face or neck should ideally be concealed.
When it’s expertly applied, makeup will look natural, unassuming, and subtle.
You can select a wedding outfit or additional accessories (such as a shawl or Bolero jacket) to cover your tattoos.
If you’re the bride, many wedding dresses are available with sleeves or covered backs to hide your tattoos; you can also select a bridal hairstyle that uses your hair to conceal your tattoos (possibly adding extensions or choosing a hairstyle that leaves your hair flowing down).
You may be able to use the same techniques if you are a bridesmaid or a female guest.
Just ensure that you adhere to any wedding themes, and be sure to consult the bride beforehand if you are not sure, especially if you are a bridesmaid.
In fact, speaking with the bride about your concerns may help to influence her choice of bridesmaid’s dresses. So, do have this conversation early if you can.
For the groom, groomsmen, or guests, the natural coverage provided by suits or tuxedos should be enough to conceal any body tattoos, but other methods will need to be used to cover tattoos on the neck and face area.
You can strategically use jewelry to cover tattoos that are on or around your décolletage area.
Perhaps it’s a watch for a tattoo on the wrist; maybe it’s an anklet or something like that.
Tattoo Cover Products
There is a variety of tattoo cover-up products like patches or sprays that you can purchase to conceal your tattoos.
Tattoo cover-up patches are available in different sizes and skin tones and work similarly to a bandage; you simply put the patch over your tattoo, and it sticks on your skin.
Tattoo cover-up sprays are available in different skin tones, and many brands offer waterproof sprays. Tattoo cover sprays work to cover your tattoos by spraying the tattoo(s) with the product, letting it dry, and then set it with a powder.
Some specialized bandages are available (in different skin tones, as well) that can be used to conceal tattoos.
Tattoo cover-up products are ideal for both men and women to use, and can be quite effective in concealing tattoos.
No matter what you use to cover your tattoos, be sure to test out your chosen methods before the wedding day; the last thing you need to worry about on the big day is how you’re going to conceal your tattoos!
Can Any Tattoo Be Covered Up?
In short-yes, nearly any tattoo can be covered up using some method. This is particularly possible if the tattoos are on the body. Tattoos on your face or neck may be more difficult to conceal, but nevertheless, there should still be an option (or two) that will work for you.
Despite all the options available, the most common method for concealing a tattoo is to use makeup. This is because you can use it anywhere, and it generally does a terrific job.
Whether you are male or female, this is an option for you – although, if you are a male, you may not be comfortable with doing so.
If that’s the case, you can always try another method instead. Or, you can even seek out options for men.
And when it comes to makeup – you have the option of either doing this yourself (although this may pose a problem if your tattoos are in a hard-to-reach area like your back or shoulders) or hiring a professional makeup artist to do so on your behalf.
If you are the bride, more likely than not, you’ve already hired a makeup artist for your bridal makeup; this may be easier for you.
If you are in the bridal party, then you may be able to ask the bride if the makeup artist could spend some additional time on you and your tattoos.
Just be mindful here, though, and you should expect to contribute financially to their cost, as their time costs money.
Otherwise, you may be able to hire a makeup artist outside of the wedding altogether—an independent, for instance.
Just be aware, some makeup artists don’t do tattoo cover-ups but rather focus on bridal/wedding day makeup.
Nevertheless, you should be able to find a makeup artist through your hired makeup professional or through a search and perhaps even a short conversation.
Professional makeup artists can range in price (they tend to be on the pricier side if they offer other services like lashes and hair as well), and those that do tattoo cover-ups may charge a bit extra for their particular services.
While they are certainly a luxury and not necessarily essential, in other cases, they may be required to blend in particularly challenging tattoos. You may simply need their expertise for the application.
But depending on who you are and your budget, you do not always need to go the professional route.
You should be able to apply makeup yourself, assuming you choose the right product.
This brand from Amazon is the one to get. It is available in all kinds of skin shades, is easy to apply, and comes with a wealth of positive reviews.
Thankfully, not all tattoos require makeup, although it does tend to be the most versatile.
Is Covering Up A Tattoo Bad?
Covering up a tattoo is not bad; it should not cause any long-term issues or problems with the tattoo so long as you conceal it with an appropriate method and assuming it was not recently applied and has sufficiently had the chance to dry.
From a physical perspective, you should be fine. So long as you use the approved methods discussed above.
Then it’s over to your preferences, opinions, and views.
You shouldn’t feel bad about covering your tattoo from a moral perspective – whether it’s your choice to cover it or a decision based on the (often unwelcome) opinion of others, just remember that you are doing so for a reason.
It’s just one day, after all.
In fact, it may not even be really in your control.
Some places of worship or different cultures may require tattoos to be concealed, and if that’s the case, I wouldn’t worry about it. The choice is out of your hands.
You may think back after your wedding day and wish you hadn’t covered your tattoos.
If you suspect this could be the case, you could always see if you can arrange a photo session with your photographer to take photos of you in your wedding attire with your tattoos visible.
That way, you have these types of photographs as a keepsake.
This could be an ideal time to schedule your makeup and hair trial, too, so you can be fully done up for these photos.
Other Considerations To Remember When Covering Your Tattoos
Keep in mind that different tattoo cover-up methods may be more or less effective. At the same time, if you have tattoos that may be seen as graphic or offensive, be sure you’re able to successfully cover it all. And finally, it’s best to test out your chosen cover-up method(s) to ensure it not only works effectively but that it looks natural.
Choose Your Tattoo Cover Up Method Wisely
The tattoo cover-up method that will work most effectively for you will depend on various factors, such as the size, shape, color(s), and location of the tattoos on your body.
When deciding on your tattoo cover-up method, consider the longevity of each method (for example, makeup will not last as long as a cover-up method using carefully selected wardrobe pieces).
Consider the cost of different tattoo cover-up methods; professional makeup or airbrushing can be quite expensive, while sprays or patches are less expensive.
It’s also good practice to test out any tattoo cover-up methods you may be considering to ensure the efficacy and usefulness of the items you select (and to make sure you look just how you want to on your big day!).
Ensure Any Tattoo(s) That May Be Seen As Offensive Are Well-Covered
The last thing you want to do is offend other guests, or worse yet, the bride/groom or either family.
It’s best to make sure any of your tattoos that can be seen or viewed as offensive or graphic are well-covered (better yet, invisible).
For added coverage, use more than one tattoo cover method (like combining the use of a tattoo cover-up spray with long hair extensions to hide that tattoo on your shoulder!).
Consider How Your Wedding Photos Will Look
If you are the bride or groom, it’s always prudent to get a better idea of how your wedding photos will look with any tattoo cover-up methods, especially those that involve makeup, sprays, or patches.
Check with your photographer beforehand to figure out how certain things look photographed (like a tattoo patch on your chest); you may just discover that a certain cover-up method isn’t for you.
Consider having a list of different poses for your photographer (you may be able to “hide” a tattoo by posing a certain way) or have a mini-session with your photographer before the wedding day, so you can showcase your tattoos while in your wedding dress.
Covering tattoos for a wedding is not necessarily difficult – unless, of course, you have one in a particularly inconvenient place!
That being said, there are numerous options for covering tattoos, all of which are relatively flexible depending on your preferences.
Just be sure to give them a try ahead of time.
There would be nothing worse than to find out you cannot conceal it and need to, on the day!
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!