Wedding rings are typically exchanged during a marriage ceremony and are worn as a reminder of a major milestone in your life. In traditional wedding vows, couples promise to love each other “‘til death do us part.” And while intentions are certainly for feelings to last forever, metal rings don't always live up to the same promise. People often grow out of them (be it physically or just outgrowing a certain style), they're expensive, and they're easy to lose. Instead, many couples are opting for ring finger tattoos for a permanent way to symbolize marriage.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind some things when getting a finger tattoo, notes tattoo artist Dillon Forte: "If you are getting a tattoo on your ring finger you should manage expectations and be ready for a lot of care. In my experience they can last a lot longer than what you read online, but note the finger skin is very thin and susceptible to blowouts and likely the bottom will fade quicker over time. Getting touch ups from your artist may also be in your future. Fingers get a lot of wear and can age more rapidly due to their exposure to the elements. Try to limit the amount of time your hands are submerged in water—like when you’re doing dishes for example."
Meet the Expert
- Dillon Forte is a tattoo artist based in Austin, Texas.
- Shaughnessy Otsuji is a cosmetic tattoo artist and the founder of Studio Sashiko.
Ahead, see some of the most stunning ring finger tattoos to ink as newlyweds.
Roman Numeral Ring Tattoo
Since a ring finger tattoo is supposed to help commemorate your wedding—an important life event—consider getting its date tattooed in place of a ring. You could use Roman numerals to give it a sense of permanence and lasting. "I’ve seen a ton of people get numbers on their ring fingers, which usually reflect wedding dates or sentimental events," says Forte.
Minimal Ring Tattoo
Why not keep it super simple with a basic, medium-thick line band? "Some ideas for the ring finger could be lines, dots or small symbols or designs that have meaning to you," Forte notes. "Fingers have limited space, so try to pick something original and meaningful, but keep it simple."
Dainty Floral Ring Tattoo
Adding florals to the basic ring shape makes it seem like the plant is wrapping around the finger, adding a sense of movement to the tattoo. The watercolor technique gives colorful depth and makes it feel light and dainty.
Star and Eye
If you’re getting more than one piece of ink on your fingers, consider designs that can be complementary. This look features a dainty constellation of dots, a bold seeing eye, and a delicate star.
Mobius Arrow Ring Tattoo
This design mimics the shape of a Mobius, a conveyor belt that seems to go in a constant loop, representing the idea of forever. The arrow elements call to mind Cupid’s arrow, suggesting the tattoo is meant to show that their love will last forever.
Growing Vine Ring Tattoo
A ring finger tattoo doesn’t have to be a traditional band shape. This design wraps around the finger multiple times to give the illusion of a growing vine. One thing to note about ring finger tattoos, according to cosmetic tattoo artist Shaughnessy Otsuji, is that fluctuations in weight can make a noticeable difference on the art. "Substantial and rapid changes in weight loss can alter the original placement of tattoos and may cause minor skin texture changes due to volume loss and increased laxity," Otsuji says. So keep that in mind when getting a design on an area prone to swelling or changes in weight, like the fingers.
Want a super minimalist tattoo but don’t want to sacrifice personality? This thin cross tattoo is delicate and elegant to begin with, but the added component of being slightly bolder makes it unique and adds an element of design.
Dotted Ring Tattoo
Another suggestion for jazzing up a basic band design is to play with dot detailing. "I personally enjoy some of the more geometric and dot-work type designs on fingers," Forte says. "You can get the bulk of the art on the top of your finger, and wrap it around the bottom if you truly want that 'ring' aesthetic."
Pastel Flowers Ring Tattoo
This dainty flower ring takes the idea of a traditional band and adds elements to make it feel more elegant. For one, the band doesn’t go straight across; instead, it twists as it wraps around the finger and doesn’t connect. Also, the colors used for the ink are pastel, and a watercolor effect is apparent.
This specific design is a great way to represent a number of things in a relationship. The star could be a metaphor for your relationship or symbolize something personal. They could also represent the promise of your love. Or, it could represent something completely different, depending on what it means to the wearer.
Rainbow Dots Ring Tattoo
Create a whimsical ring-finger design that still feels simple by using colored dots. While the placement is that of a traditional band, the dots only go across the top of the finger, giving it a minimalist feel.
Infinity Band Ring Tattoo
Mimic the appearance of a real metal ring by running two lines parallel to create the illusion of a thick band. Here, the two lines overlap in the front to give the impression of an infinity sign, emphasizing the purpose of the ring as a reminder of forever, and of your love’s undying nature. After you get your ink, be sure to care for it properly, so as not to damage the art. "Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will ensure that your skin looks, feels, and heals its best as your body continues to change," says Otsuji.
Full-Finger Ring Tattoo
Getting a full-ring finger tattoo doesn’t need to be super dark or complicated. Here, it's a flower that wraps around the entire finger but still leaves enough skin space so the design is not too overpowering.
Silhouette Ring Tattoo
This specific design uses a thin, wiggly line that gives the tattoo a very dainty feeling. The design itself is actually the silhouette of this person’s partner's face, which gives an elegant personalization to an otherwise minimal design.
For the person who keeps you grounded no matter what stormy seas are ahead, an anchor symbolizes unshakeable trust between two people. Wear it on the outside of your finger or tattoo on the inside for a hidden surprise.
Snake Ring Tattoo
This small snake is a great alternative to a design based on the traditional wedding ring. Instead of getting a band, consider getting a symbol, like this snake, that is in some way symbolically significant to you. Here, the snake is kept simple for a minimal aesthetic.
Varied Dots Ring Tattoo
Unlike the dot detailing we’ve seen on a lot of other ring finger tattoos, this ink uses dots of varying sizes to put more design into the dots, rather than just using them as a detail. The tattoo also isn’t a straight-across band; instead, it seems to twist around the finger.
Bow Ring Tattoo
Here, the ring features a literal bow, tattooed using a fairly thin line, making it feel less shoelace and more delicate tie. It’s also a nod to the ring’s job to remind the person getting it of their wedding.
Two Leaves Ring Tattoo
Make a simple, medium-thick band tattoo something more personal by adding two leaf details to signify you and your other half. The simple nature of the tattoo makes it feel sleek, simple, and elegant.
Single Line Ring Tattoo
What more do you need for a ring than a simple band? This ring finger tattoo uses a very basic design and a thin line to create a minimalist band that feels delicate and minimal.
Simple Flowers Ring Tattoo
If you want to keep your ring finger tattoo minimal but still fun, try adding some basic floral details. By using the same thickness of outline as the band, the flowers feel part of it, rather than placed on top of it.
It's worth noting that finger tattoos might fade faster. This is because we frequently use and wash our fingers and hands, potentially causing more expedited wear and tear over time. Before you get your tattoo, make sure to ask the tattoo artist to be realistic with you about how often you'll need to come in for touch-ups.
Colored Floral Ring Tattoo
Ok, we know this is on the middle finger, but it's still a viable option no matter which finger you choose. Add a bit of whimsy to your ring finger tattoo by creating a band shape out of disconnected elements. The color and floral design used here also make the ink feel bright and dainty.
Bird Inner Finger Ring Tattoo
This small tattoo is placed in the inner finger, meaning the ink stays relatively hidden. It’s a design meant to be enjoyed more by the person getting the tattoo than others looking at it. Customize the design with something meaningful to you, like an animal.
Block Letter Tattoo
The key to a timeless tattoo is simplicity and personalization. This elegant block letter has both. Concise and customizable, the subtle nod to your partner feels both personal and appropriate.
Simple Shapes Tattoo
If you are a minimalist at heart, look into some simple shapes like the one above. The combination of dots and lines adds some interest without being distracting.
Calling all beach bums: We have found your next tattoo. In all seriousness, the best tattoos have a story behind them, and many great stories start by the water. Customize with your own take on the shape.
White Ring Tattoo
White tattoos tend to look more delicate and less harsh than traditional black ink. Use white ink to create a simple band around your finger or try one of the above designs in the pristine hue for a unique look.
Delicate Dot Tattoo
If you are interested in a tattoo but are afraid you won't like it after a few weeks, try going for a more simple design. Wear them where you would place a ring or position them around your fingertips.
Layered Multi-Colored Band
What is better than one band? Two bands. What is better than black bands? Multi-colored bands. This inspo offers the best of both worlds.
Hidden Letter Tattoo
A letter is an easy way to customize a tattoo to your relationship. One way to make it even more special is to put it in between your fingers. This gives you the power to show it when you want and hide it when you want.
Layered Rainbow Tattoo
Yes, a simple black ring is sophisticated and chic, but adding colors and layers is one way to make your tattoo stand out. Use rainbow colors like the photo or customize with you and your partner's favorite shades.
Simple Heart Tattoo
Hearts can look cliche when it comes to a symbol of love, but a delicate outline on the finger looks refined and elegant.
Full Name Tattoo
Instead of getting a simple letter tattoo, try getting your partner's full name on your finger. You can get this where a ring would be, but we love the look of this tattoo on the inside of your finger.
How long do ring tattoos last?
Sun, water, and warm temperatures contribute to tattoo fading. Because hands bear the brunt of this, they tend to fade quicker than in other spots. The general rule is they last around six to eight months.
How much should a ring tattoo cost?
The price of your tattoo varies greatly depending on where you live, what studio you go to, and the size of your desired tattoo. In general, they cost somewhere between $50 and $300.
How painful is a ring tattoo?
Everyone's pain tolerance is different, but since there is less fat and tissue in that area, it is more sensitive. The fingers are filled with nerves which can also increase pain.