I married a police captain, and when we first got engaged I listened to all the jokes by him and his coworkers about how police and rescue workers shouldn't wear wedding bands because it's not a good idea to let the bad guys know you're married, and it's also dangerous because they could get the ring caught on something and then they'd have to cut the finger off.
For the most part, that's bullshit. And I knew I was being teased. So I made it clear to my fiancée that he didn't have to wear a ring as long as he had his wedding band tattooed onto his ring finger. The result: My husband chose a lovely ring in a combination of metals unlikely to be damaged when he was slapping handcuffs on a suspect.
But wedding tattoos are very, very popular and they're something that more and more of my clients are doing together. Some get the tattoos before they even arrive to get married. In this picture, the bride and groom had each other's initials tattooed on their ring fingers before they arrived on the island.
Some of my clients have decided to get tattoos on their honeymoons and my planning team has been tasked with finding a reputable tattoo shop wherever they're going to be honeymooning and making that important appointment for them. In these cases, they usually bring a drawing of exactly what they want with them when they come because it isn't something you should choose on the fly.
My clients Dwayne and Rodney, who were married on my TLC show "Wedding Island" on 12-12-12, went back home and had matching tattoos done a few weeks later to signify their union. They love them and they've been wildly inspirational to their friends and other clients of mine who want to do the same sort of thing. But Dwayne and Rodney spent A LOT of time designing and redesigning their ink plan. At first they wanted to include the shape of Vieques Island somewhere in it, but then it got too big. They worked it and reworked it until they had something they both loved very much and could agree upon. Only then did they put needle to skin.
It's important to remember that a tattoo -- even a wedding tattoo -- is a permanent thing (unless you end up divorced and spend a lot of money to have it later removed). To choose something that you're not both absolutely in love with is a horrible idea and one that at least one of you will likely regret. This takes a lot of time and forethought before you actually make the appointment at the shop.
Brides and grooms don't have to get tattoos that match exactly. I've seen them done with different color palettes. I've seen them have each other's names done in very different tattoo designs. A few have even chosen to get completely different body art from one another, but include their wedding date in it to make it a designated marital tattoo.
Whatever route you choose to go, the most important thing is that you're both comfortable with the design decisions that you've made, hopefully, together. It's not enough to figure that you're the one wearing it every day for the rest of your life, your husband or wife has to look at it on you. And if it's supposed to be a wedding tattoo, then it should DEFINITELY be something that you both agree upon. In advance.