Inside These Couples' Wedding Day Tattoo Sessions

“Why not do something permanent when you’re making a permanent promise to each other?”

Lambros and Carrino wedding tattoos

After Jacey Lambros and Anthony Carrino exchanged "I dos" at their outdoor Catskills ceremony last summer, they didn’t go right into the reception. Before having their first dance as husband and wife, cutting their wedding cake, and tossing the bouquet, they opted for a more unconventional celebration: getting tattoos.

“It was the most intimate part of our wedding,” Lambros, a fitness entrepreneur, tells Coveteur.

“Knowing how inundated and bombarded you are with all the people you know and love after the ceremony, I would recommend it to anybody,” Carrino, a home design expert and HGTV alum, adds. “It’s 30 minutes of quiet with people you care a lot about. It was a really nice way to settle into married life for that first 30 minutes and then dive into the party.”

The couple tapped their close friend, celebrity tattoo artist Luke Wessman, for their wedding ink. “They did the nuptials and then we rushed into the house and had this really special 30-minute moment,” explains Wessman.

jacey and anthony tattoo

Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Ferrier

The morning of the ceremony, Wessman visited the couple to confirm the designs and placements. They decided to get each other’s initials on the side of their hands, just above the wrist, so that they could be visible while they held hands. This wasn't Carrino or Lambros's first time getting inked, but it still felt different.

“My handwriting is atrocious so I left it in Luke’s capable hands,” Carrino explains. “He developed the font and asked us our opinion and that’s it. It was a flowing conversation, and he took the time to place it and make sure we liked the positioning.”

As society becomes keener on body art and more averse to tradition, we’re seeing couples create their own customs, like wedding day tattoos. Though couples getting dedicated ink isn’t a new phenomenon, incorporating it into the wedding day is far less common than getting tatted before or after their nuptials. The newlyweds saw it as the ideal setting. “Why not do something permanent when you’re making a permanent promise to each other?," Lambros says. "It seemed like the most appropriate time."

For Lambros and Carrino, it was a moment to re-center their focus and double down on their commitment. “It’s as significant as the rings and it’s way more permanent,” Carrino explains. “They go hand in hand."

The couple says that the idea initially came about while they were selecting rings. From there, it felt natural. “It didn’t feel like we were trying to do something trendy,” Carrino says. “This is who I am, and my wife embraces that. Plus, Luke is a dear friend. Jacey very naturally accepted it. That’s why it was such a powerful thing.”

Russian newlyweds Diana and Roman Skorokhod’s wedding tattoos were also done by someone in their inner circle. When the couple tied the knot last summer, they toasted their newlywed status with matching tattoos reading "17:17"—the exact time that they were pronounced husband and wife. It was Roman’s second tattoo and Diana’s ninth—she brought the idea forward while they were planning their nuptials. “I told my husband, and we thought it would be cute, romantic, and unforgettable for us and the guests,” she explains. “Like a ceremony with rings, but with tattoos.” Though their families were initially unsure of the idea, Diana tells Coveteur that seeing it done first-hand by her friend Masha Vivo made the moment more special.

diana and  roman skorokhod
roman skorokhod getting his tattoo

Photos: Courtesy of Diana Skorokhod

So are we on the precipice of a new wedding trend? “I think that this will be a bigger trend as young people getting married are a lot more hip to tattoos in general. I’ve been asked after [Anthony and Jacey’s wedding] a few times,” Wessman explains. “It’s one of the ultimate things that you can do to show full-on love. Love is a little crazy and getting tattooed is a little crazy, so it’s a perfect mix.”

Before diving into a wedding tattoo, Toronto tattoo artist and studio owner Cesar Mejia says that it’s important to stay authentic—not only to your relationship but to yourself. “Focus on the core of your relationship and not the other person’s needs and wants,” he explains. Though the wedding finger seems like the most logical placement for a newlywed tattoo, a tattooed band might not always be the best choice. “The wedding finger is tough because the band is supposed to represent eternal love, but that placement always fades out,” he explains. “You could keep touching it up, but the top of the finger would be better.”

Aside from Carrino and Lambros’s initials tattoo or the Skorokhods’ wedding timestamp, Mejia says that doves are a common option for couples since they stay in pairs. Otherwise, he tends to draw from elements of a couple’s origin story. “When I consult with a couple, I pick their brains about the inner workings of their relationship, like what’s nostalgic, where they went on their first date, etc. Then we’ll build a concept from there.” Most importantly, it should capture the essence of the moment. “A tattoo is frozen time,” he says. “It’s a memory.”

diana skorokhod getting her tattoo
17 17 tattoo

Photos: Courtesy of Diana Skorokhod

While most opt for wedding bands, tattoos are still archetypes of commitment. “It’s just like a wedding ring: It can be a symbol of love,” Mejia says. “That permanence is something that is pretty endearing.”

To Wessman, the decisiveness required to get a tattoo is akin to committing to a partner. “A lot of times in conversations about tattoos, you’ll get those people that don’t have tattoos who say, ‘Well I’m just scared to commit. I don’t know what I would get,’” he says. “Anthony was like, ‘I’m committing to this woman and I’m committing another tattoo because I’m not afraid of commitment.’ It is impressive. We live in this non-committal world. It is really nice to see that commitment.”

At the end of our call, I asked the couple to summarize the concept in one sentence. For Carrino, “wedding tattoos are the best way to show the highest level of commitment.” Lambros’s take was equally poetic: “For me, it feels like a badge of honor to wear the initial of the person I love the most on me.”

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