The ancient Celts were essentially a tribe. And like other tribal peoples around the world, they have a long tradition of adorning themselves with tattoos. At marriage ceremonies in the old world, Celtic couple generally showed matching tattoos rather than exchanging rings.

weddingtattooThese days, modern brides and grooms with a taste for Celtic style have picked up on this tradition by getting wedding tattoos in addition to, or in some cases instead of, wedding rings. Tattoos, obviously, have a sense of permanence that’s often seen to reflect a deep commitment. The most popular types are ring tattoos that simply take the place of a ring on the finger. If you’re considering this approach, remember that some of the Celtic designs used carry particular meanings:

Spirals: Evolution and continued growth.

Circular: Completeness or wholeness.

Square: A strong foundation to be built upon.

Triangle: Moving forward, a strong direction.

CladdaghTattooRingThese are usually melded into knot designs, given the long association of Celtic knot patterns with eternity. You can find lots of ideas by searching for “love knots” online, though in truth this is more of a modern marketing term than a Celtic one. Of course, you can have a tattoo artist use just about any design you want. Some Ireland-oriented folks have even created tattoo versions of the famous Claddagh ring.

As a matter of practicality, remember that if you opt for a wedding ring tattoo, the skin on the palm side of your finger may not hold on to the ink very long – a reason why some couples get wedding tattoos that are only on the tops of their fingers, and exchange traditional rings in addition to the tattoos Also remember that in the first few weeks after getting your tattoo, you need to keep it out of the sun and avoid putting it in water as much as possible. That way it will, hopefully, last as long as your happy marriage union.

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