What do you do when your bridesmaid has a tattoo?
I’m going to take the risk of being known as “the Modern Manners girl that hates weddings” (I don’t hate them!) and answer back to “Other People’s Advice” on this issue, because despite just having reminded people that there is no nice way to remove a bridesmaid, this one is just too good to leave sitting there.
A bride wrote into Dear Abby. Dear Abby responded. Erica got heated.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 36-year-old woman who has a 25-year-old friend I love like a little sister. Because of that connection, I felt compelled to ask her to be a bridesmaid in my wedding.
After she agreed, I overheard her mention that she would be getting a large tattoo on her arm. Because she knows how I feel about visible tattoos, I asked her if she’d wait six months until after the wedding. She and the matron of honor are scheduled to wear strapless, knee-length gowns.
She proceeded with the tattoo and now has half an arm of full-color design. I don’t want her to ruin my wedding or the photographs. I would feel guilty if I had to force a jacket or sweater on her or my matron of honor, especially if the day is unseasonably hot. What should I do?
DEAR NO INK: If your “little sister” cared as much about your feelings as you seem to about hers, she would have postponed getting the tattoo as you requested. Too bad she didn’t.
However, weddings are more than the procession and the picture album. They are about loving friends and family and the joining of two people who intend to build a life together. If you’re worried about the pictures, pose “Sis” so her “canvas” can’t be seen by the camera.
Oh Dear Abby and AwfulBride, you guys are such jerks. You are also seriously missing the point. There are so many things wrong with this picture.
- Why does your age matter, AwfulBride? Are you trying to get on Abby’s good side with your advanced age? Show what a young neophyte this 25 year old woman is?
- You were “compelled”? As if you are doing this woman a favor?
- You want her to wait six months to do something to her own body, because of your one Special Princess Day?
- Ruin your wedding? Seriously!? How is this going to ruin your wedding? Is this going to interrupt the vows? Take the food off of Grandma’s plate? Invalidate the marriage license? This is one serious sleeve!
- Ruin your pictures? A photograph of your beloved “little sister” with a piece of art on her arm that she feels important is a ruined picture? Why wouldn’t you want a picture of the people that love you, just as they are – not as you wish they are?
- You would have to force a jacket or sweater on them? Or what? The tattoo will slap the officiant and kidnap the flower girl?
And dear, Dear Abby. What do I say about our beloved Dear Abby? She semi-redeemed herself with the reminder that the wedding is more than just about a procession and a photo album, but loses serious points for her obnoxious “quotation marks” and feeding into this AwfulBride’s idea that if someone doesn’t bow to their insane demands, they really don’t care.
Bridal Party Photograph Newsflash
Your friends and loved ones are not props or accessories for Your Special Day. They are real people, who while they presumably love you, have other things to do, other priorities and other desires. They may gain weight, get pregnant, have a disfiguring accident, or get some sort of body adornment that you don’t like. If you chose them because they would look good in pictures, please remove them from your entourage, hire models and get yourself the number of a really good therapist.
People are who they are. The photographs are there to remind you of the joy you had on that day, with the real people you love. Not the idealized versions you wish you had. Accept and love them for who they are. And is anyone else really curious about the bridesmaid-in-question’s tattoo? I hope it’s awesome.
Photo Credit: My beautiful newlywed friend Becca and her awesome ink. Jeremy Lawson Photography.