To Get a Tattoo Engagement Ring or to Not Get a Tattoo Engagement Ring

Find out everything you need to know about tattoo engagement rings. Here are the pros and cons of engagement tattoos to help you decide if you should get one.

By Kathleen Wong

tattooed married couple
Photo by Pexels

For some, engagement rings are so passé. In fact, a recent Zola survey of 500+ engaged and married couples revealed that 38% considered an alternative engagement ring. There are plenty of reasons you may not want to wear a traditional engagement ring and, thankfully, there are some unique options. For example, tattoo engagement rings.

If you do want something to show off your commitment and feel prepared for the long haul, consider a tattoo engagement ring. The trend of symbolizing engagements with tattoos isn’t necessarily brand new. However, it’s recently gaining steam as a creative (dare we say trending) way to go traditional-engagement-ring free.

Whether you’re a tattoo lover or free of any ink, you could come to love a tattoo engagement ring. As with anything (especially something permanent), it’s important to weigh the good and bad. Let’s do that to help you figure out if an inked-on symbol of love is best for you.

Pros of Tattoo Engagement Rings

If tattoo engagement rings have caught your eye but you’re still on the fence about them, maybe this positive reasoning can help sway you.

They’re totally unique to you.

While you can indeed customize your wedding and engagement rings with different stones, metals, finishes, and more, a tattoo engagement ring allows for peak customization. You can work with an artist so that the design is meaningful and special to you and your partner’s values and tastes.

Go minimalist with simple geometric lines, or go bold with thick shading. Even how you get the tattoo can be unique to you and your partner. Hitting the tattoo shop can be spontaneous or a more thought-out and planned process.

It can be a bonding experience.

For most people, getting a tattoo means nerves, excitement, and some adrenaline. So, it’s sort of an ideal experience for partners to take on together. Getting a tattoo engagement ring with your S.O. can be a romantic bonding experience you’ll never forget.

They’re impossible to lose.

Engagement rings are technically always at risk of getting lost or damaged. Even if you have ring insurance, the process of losing and replacing something so meaningful can be difficult and time-consuming. Obviously, with a tattoo engagement ring, this anxiety disappears.

They may cost less.

Let’s be real: Engagement rings can be expensive AF. On the other hand, a small tattoo would probably cost a fraction of a real ring. Even complex designs would likely never cost as much as an actual ring would, depending on who’s doing the tattooing, of course. As anyone who has ever gotten married knows, saving money anywhere in the wedding process is welcomed.

Cons of Tattoo Engagement Rings

Despite how beautiful they are, tattoo engagement rings just aren’t for everyone. Here are some cons to consider before going under the tattoo needle.

They’re permanent.

This one is a no-brainer but worth repeating: Tattoos are permanent. Unless you undergo tattoo removal, which can be expensive and painful in itself, then that baby is on there for life. While you’re probably going into it with the faith that you and your partner are going to be together ‘til death do you part, the permanence of a tattoo should be kept in mind. Also, even if relationship concerns don’t bother you, you may get tired of the tattoo down the line.

They can be painful.

Depending on your pain tolerance, tattoos can hurt a lot or a little. No matter what, though, they will hurt. In fact, your finger is often one of the most painful places to get inked thanks to the thin skin and bounty of nerves there. Tattoo artists tend to tattoo the ink deeper into the dermis to make the tattoo as long-lasting as possible, too.

They fade.

Unfortunately, finger tattoos aren’t just one and done. Since the skin around this area sheds more and also gets a lot of exposure to the sun, finger tattoos tend to fade relatively quickly. You’re also always using your hands so the skin often just rubs together, causing the design to spread and blend together over time.

You’ll most likely need to go in for touch-ups throughout your life. Sure, this won’t be too expensive but you’ll have to undergo the tattoo pain and healing time, which can be annoying.

They’re super visible.

While pretty and often dainty, tattoos on your fingers are also pretty difficult to hide. Keep this in mind as you consider getting one. If you work for a very conservative company consider if your job would be okay with that. Also, consider your own tendency to stick with or get bored with certain accessories. You may realize it’s not even worth it.

Tattoo Engagement Ring Options

Now that you’ve decided to go ahead and get inked with your SO, it’s time to pick the design. You want to choose something that really speaks to both you and your partner. After all, it’s there for life. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to picking your own engagement tattoo design.

Classic Lines

Are you and your partner minimalists who believe that less is more? Consider getting a super simple line tattooed around your ring finger. It sends the message loud and clear with any extra fuss. Start from there and see if you want to add anything extra like a diamond design, for example.


Get personal to make even the simplest design or idea feel more special to you and your partner. Try your initials on each other, the date of your wedding in Roman numerals, or maybe the coordinates of where your first date was.

Words of Commitment

Pick a word that summarizes how your relationship and future marriage makes you feel, such as “Unity,” “Forever,” or “Blessed.”


To be honest, your tattoo engagement rings don’t even need to resemble rings or bands. If there’s a motif or icon that’s special to you and your partner, then, by all means, go for it. Maybe you both hail from Celtic roots and want to get matching Celtic knots.

Skipping the metal and diamonds in favor of tattoo engagement rings is a decision that should be between you and your partner. Due to its permanence, upkeep and risks, take a bit of time to consider all the pros and cons. Taking the plunge and commemorating your bond with permanent art is exciting and romantic if both partners are truly into the idea.

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