BFF says tat is too tacky for formal wedding

Published 11:23 am Monday, June 5, 2023

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Dear Aunty Pam,


Got a big ol’ problem and I hope you can help.

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Last year my BFF, Melissa, asked me to be her bridesmaid for her wedding this month and of course, I said yes.

The dresses that Melissa picked for me and the other 3 bridesmaids are sleeveless and off-the-shoulder. They’re really not bad. In fact, they’re pretty elegant. It’s going to be an evening wedding, so all black tie and formal.

The problem is that a couple of months ago me and another friend decided to get tattoos. Yes, there was alcohol involved. We’d been out at a bar and dared each other to do it. Actually, I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo of a big, red rose on my right shoulder and it was a great excuse to finally get it done. It’s a tribute to my late mom who everybody called ‘Rosie.’

Well, when Melissa saw it she freaked out to the point that she started crying. I couldn’t believe it. She said had she known I was going to get a tattoo she never would have chosen strapless dresses. 

I’m really proud of my tattoo because it’s beautiful, but Melissa’s on her high horse about how elegant she wants her wedding to be and in her opinion, tattoos are “tacky.” I got pretty offended and said creating a tribute to my mom meant a lot to me and maybe she needs to get somebody else to be her bridesmaid. We’re still speaking but the wedding’s a week away and she’s still freaking out.

What can I say to her to make her see that tattoos aren’t a big deal, they’re very common and it’s not going to affect her big day?





Dear Cara,


First of all, nobody can “make” another person “see” anything, so no help from Aunty Pam on that score. And no help either in agreeing that your giant rose-tattooed shoulder isn’t going to affect Melissa’s big day. Come on, now—the woman is entitled to have the wedding she planned for a year, including elegant bridesmaid dresses (you’re darned lucky you didn’t wind up in ‘Bo-peep’ puffed sleeves) for what sounds to be quite a refined ceremony.

Also, I’m afraid I’m not buying your claim and retort to Melissa that creating the tattoo tribute to your mom meant a lot to you in that it resulted after getting liquored up at a bar in a spur-of-the-moment decision with your friend to do it. Not quite the soul-searching endeavor you’d like for it to appear.

Look…if Melissa is truly your best friend and you really want to ’support her any way you can,’ then lose the tattoo for the wedding, can’t you? Surely it can be covered with carefully applied makeup? Maybe try the stuff advertised that covers varicose veins. Whatever you choose, make the effort. It’s one night. Then you can show Rosie to all and sundry so your mom can live forever in your epidermis.


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam