Should I Cover Up My Tattoo For My Wedding?

It's not a big tattoo, but choosing whether or not to conceal it feels like a pretty big decision.
Publish date:
April 4, 2013
weddings, concealers, tattoos, brides, Dermablend

I got my tattoo during a pretty turbulent time in my life. In the six months prior, I had gotten fired, landed a new job in a new city, almost moved to that city, decided that job wasn't for me, quit the gig, returned home, and started on my own as a full-time freelancer.

It was scary and liberating, and I decided to finally bite the bullet and get the tattoo I had been dreaming about for years. Besides, I never wanted to work for anybody who would look at my tattoo as an employment deal-breaker. Stick it to the man! Power to the people! Stuff like that!

But, more importantly, I thought the message was apropos for this new chapter. My tattoo is the word TIMSHEL, in a typewriter-style font on my right inner wrist, from the book East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The basic gist of it is the belief in free will and the notion that no matter what you've done in the past or where you come from, the next step is your choice.

Nearly two years later, I haven't tired of the tattoo or the message, although explaining it to drunk strangers in noisy bars has gotten a little old. My family, including my future in-laws, has accepted it, even if they don't completely get it.

Speaking of future in-laws, I'm getting married next February, and since I've been contemplating every detail of my look for the day, from head to toe, my wrist certainly isn't exempt. Therefore, I've been debating whether or not to cover up my tattoo.


  • My future in-laws are Jewish, and tattoos are frequently frowned upon in Jewish culture.
  • I could easily use some kind of heavy-duty concealer like Dermablend Leg & Body Cover, which several of my inked friends recommend.
  • These photos are going to last a long time--even if my love of the tattoo does not.
  • The ink might look like a jarring black blemish amid my otherwise perfectly conceived look.
  • My fiancé isn't crazy about the tattoo.
  • It might draw attention away from other parts of my look I'd prefer get noticed.


  • I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of my tattoo.
  • It could help add some personality to my bridal get-up.
  • It's on inside of my wrist and therefore not super-visible.
  • Covering it up sort of feels like hiding my personality.
  • I'm worried about the tattoo cover-up coming off on my dress.
  • It's a beach wedding, so it's not very formal.
  • I could always Photoshop the tattoo out of photos.

Keeping it uncovered seems to be edging out concealing it, but I'm still not sure. What do you think? Have you ever covered your tattoos for a special occasion?