How to Cover Up a Tattoo for Your Wedding

We talked to the pros to bring you a few creative—and temporary—ways to cover up a tattoo for your wedding day.

By Ruksana Hussain

How to Cover Up a Tattoo for Your Wedding
Photo by Jen Peterson Photography

When planning wedding day attire, plenty of brides and grooms realize they don’t want their lovely body art making an appearance in pictures, so they start exploring how to cover up a tattoo. Don’t worry: A permanent solution isn’t necessary. Industry professionals say there are a few creative—and temporary—ways to address the situation.

Try Makeup

A good waterproof tattoo coverup concealer on its own or blended with a color corrector or long-lasting foundation can help temporarily mask a permanent tattoo for a few hours. Your makeup professional can help you with this, but if you want to DIY, try a few different brands to see how much coverage each offers and for how long.

You will want to keep the product handy in your touch-up kit, so you can keep the tattoo covered for as long as you wish. For larger areas of coverage, you might want to consider airbrushing for quicker results that last longer. Also remember to see how this works with your wedding dress, suit, or other traditional garments. If the product stains or leaves a visible discoloration that’s easily noticed on your clothes, then you’ll need to look for alternatives or consider a few different product options for the different outfits and look for the various events you have planned.

While this might seem a time-consuming task, exploring all your options well before the wedding day festivities is highly recommended.

Consider Tattoo Covers or Sleeves

These are available in different skin tones and sizes and can be easily worn over a tattoo to cover up exactly that portion of your body for a few hours. If these are the adhesive variety though, depending on your skin and the weather at your venue, they might peel off rather quickly so having multiple covers or ensuring a professional handles the application is best for good results.

Try a few different options well ahead of your big day to ensure you’ve made the right choice. Having the cover peel off halfway through the ceremony would be a wardrobe snafu you don’t want to deal with while all eyes are on you.

Tattoo sleeves on the other hand can be worn to provide exactly the amount of coverage you want on your arms. Again, you want to look for the right skin tone and a material that’s comfortable for you to wear for the duration of your ceremony and the festivities before and after.

These options vary in price range and availability, so starting your search ahead for the right color, tone, and material is strongly suggested.

Your Choice of Wedding Dress

This might prove an easier solution if you allow sufficient time in your planning. A wedding dress with high collars and long sleeves can easily cover tattoos on your neck and arms, or gloves can address any tattoos on your palms or fingers, serving its purpose in helping cover your tattoos while also looking like a style statement.

Garments with ample coverage around the waist and back can address larger tattoos you might have in those areas. If you’ve added darker tattoos to your body art, then refrain from lighter shades of clothing, and aim for details like frills or lace to camouflage those parts of yourself for the wedding. Even your footwear plays a role here.

If you have prominent tattoos on your feet that you’d like to conceal for your wedding, then spend some time finding the right footwear for each event or outfit. Look for straps or other embellishments that adequately mask tattoos.

Given the right amount of time invested in finding the appropriate outfit, this could be an easier answer to covering your tattoos than makeup and covers.

Strategically-Placed Accessories

When accessorized correctly, your tattoos can be easily concealed behind a fancy piece of statement jewelry or a creatively-placed stole that matches your outfit. A shawl over your arms and shoulders can cover tattoos in those areas. Hair accessories that hold your hairstyle in place to cover the sides of your face or larger, festive ear cuffs or studs can help with any tattoos on your ears. Statement necklaces, bracelets, and rings can address tattoos in those parts. Even broad anklets can sometimes take care of any prominent tattoos along your ankles.

If you’ve hired a wedding stylist, they should be able to lend their professional expertise in helping you find the best solutions to cover up your tattoos. Your bridal designer might have some recommendations for vendors you can work with or might even create a custom piece for you, depending on your needs.

Consider your events and outfits for your wedding, and then plan out the different accessories you will need for each style to successfully cover tattoos. If permanent tattoo removal isn’t in your plans, there are many great ways to cover your tattoos for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on your needs for your wedding.

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