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'AITA for refusing to tattoo at my cousins wedding?' + Update

'AITA for refusing to tattoo at my cousins wedding?' + Update


"AITA for refusing to tattoo at my cousins wedding?"


So a little to my background: I am a tattoo artist. I’ve done an apprenticeship the first year of tattooing. I work as a tattoo artist for 4 years now and I opened a studio recently.

Me and my family are invited to a wedding, that is taking place in another state. My cousin is marrying and we got the invitation a few months ago. Time has moved forward and now the wedding is in a week already.

Out of the blue my cousin, let’s call him Matt, texted me with something along the lines of "you’re gonna tattoo me on my wedding day.“ I was a bit confused as I never even thought of bringing my equipment, since I also didn’t plan a guestspot or anything. (guestspot is a tattoo artist working at another studio for a few days or weeks, mostly in a different area to grow the clientele.)

I jokingly asked if he has a machine, as i still hoped that he wasn't serious. He then just asked if I don't have one (???) and that one machine wouldn't take up that much space to take with.

I replied that I didn’t plan on bringing my equipment, that in fact contains more than just a machine (color, hygiene stuff, stencil (thats the purple stuff you put on the skin to then trace the tattoo with actual needles etc) and that I'm not prepared to tattoo at a wedding I don't know anything about (layout of the location, is it inside/outside and so on).

He then said that he had planned on this and that it would mean a lot to him to both get a tattoo on his wedding day and that I'd be the one to tattoo him. Remember that this is the first time I'm hearing this.

I again tried to explain that I don't feel comfortable with that and that it’s quite short notice as I work until me and my brother fly over to attend the wedding and a tattoo needs to be designed first, right? He saw my message but didn’t reply anymore.

This morning, my mother called and she was furious… she asked why I couldn’t pull myself together and just tattoo Matt. I told her what I’ve previously told Matt as well but she didn’t wanna hear it.

She just said it would mean a lot to her and Matt‘s family if I’d do that and that it could be my wedding gift then she hung up. I talked to my brother about it and he just shrugged it off and said "it would be nice of you tho.“

I’m unsure what to do now, as I said I’m not really comfortable with the whole situation, especially because I’ve never been guestspotting, so I never had to travel -let alone get on a plane- with my equipment. But is that just selfish? I mean it would mean a lot to apparently everyone and I’m just saying no?


I do have an actual wedding gift already as they sent out a wishlist with their invitations. There was a point that said Artwork, because they recently moved into a bigger house and apparently they want random artwork to decorate.

I oil painted them a painting i spent several days on, so I also don't plan to give him a voucher as a gift. Matty doesn't have any tattoos as far as I know. I don't know what my mom's problem is with all of this, I think she just wants to "keep the peace."

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:


NTA. If Matt had his heart set on this happening at his wedding then he should have discussed it with you as soon as possible, NOT ONE WEEK BEFORE!! Jeez he knows a tattoo is permanent right? He wants you to just show up with kit in an unsterile environment and what, just wing out a design on him? No prep, no planning? All on his wedding day?

It would have been better he has contacted you and gotten the tattoo done before the wedding, then he could have revealed with at the ceremony, all healed etc. Getting it done on the day, for what reason? This just seems silly AF.

But mainly, not your problem. He should have given you more notice. That's on him. Maybe offer to do it at your shop after the wedding? Tell them you'll look for inspiration for the design at their wedding so it can be unique to their day?

The OP responded here:


I especially don’t understand why I should tattoo at a wedding since you can’t (or shouldn’t) combine getting tattooed with drinking alcohol and knowing Matt, there will be plenty of alcohol at this wedding.


My guess is he probably tried to get someone else to do it closer to the venue and either for the reasons you mentioned or because of cost he’s just decided you should to it, for… sentimental reasons. Regardless NTA for not doing something you are uncomfortable with.

The OP again responded here:


This is so sad to think of, but yea maybe you’re right?


NTA. It's inappropriate of him to expect you to work for free at an event to which you're a guest. Are you even licensed to tattoo in the other state? The entire thing sounds ludicrous.

Tell your cousin your hourly rate (build in the PIA rate for hauling your equipment) and he needs to cover your flights and hotel. After all, flying in a trained professional to perform a service costs money. Oh, and he needs to pay up front since this is a special service.

Three days later, the OP returned with an update.

"UPDATE: AITA for refusing to tattoo at my cousins wedding?"


So the last hours have been a lot First of I called my mom and WOW she asked me again, this time very friendly, if I want to tattoo Matty at his wedding & again I said no, with all the reasons I’ve previously given her + some of the very good points you guys had.

Before she could say anything else, I added that I felt like she wouldn’t take me & tattooing seriously. She didn’t say anything for a bit until she tried to explain that she really thought it wasn’t a big deal.

I told her again that it is and that my mom of all the people should know how my job works. She agreed and apologised profusely. I then asked her if she’d like to attend and watch me work on a clients appointment and to my surprise she said yes! (Mom is tagging along tomorrow)

Now to Matty or rather his bride: I finally got hold of the bride, let’s say her name is Becky, and asked her about the request her fiancé confronted me with. She seemed surprised as she apparently had heard from my aunt that I made them something for their new house.

She assumed it would be a painting since I’m "the artist“ of the family and it’s known that I also paint. I confirmed that, but that Matty has come forward with this out of the blue and that it’s not a good idea for many reasons.

She agreed with me immediately (I think she does have tattoos) She thanked me for telling her as no one else did. Becky seemed really mad but she seemed to pull herself together. (I would’ve lost it.)

I’m assuming Becky confronted Matt after our call because only 3 to 4 hours later I checked the family groupchat and there was a message from Becky: "There will be no ceremony on the 13th as Matt and I decided we aren’t getting married. Matt and I have things to figure out so please text or call us tomorrow if you have questions, for the rest of the day we’ll be on flight mode.“

After dinner Becky called me and apologised for Matt again, she said it was a stupid idea of his and that he just thought it would be cool. She then informed me that she still wants me to fly over for the wedding day as she will be hosting a party instead of a wedding.

Everything is paid for anyway and she doesn’t want anything to go to waste. I asked if they broke up "not yet, but I’m gonna stay at my sisters place until next week“. I’m assuming Matt hasn’t been too great but I’m sure I’ll hear about it. (Apparently my brother and my mom aren’t invited lol.)

My call must’ve been the last straw but as far as I am concerned Becky is handling it gracefully and Matt will be okay too, I’m sure. So I’m going to a party but did I just make a new friend? Thanks y’all for having my back!

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


Lol, I love how mom went a full 180 there! I'm a little shocked the bride canceled the wedding over this one thing — did she just have no clue her fiance was as impulsive as he turned out to be?

"Everything is payed for anyway."

Paid, please. This is the worst trend on the internet.

The OP responded here:


I don’t think it’s the only thing that has happened, but as I said I’ll probably hear about it at the party, and if not from Becky, I’m sure there are some of her friends that like to spill the tea.


Matt isn't ready for marriage or a tattoo if this is how he acts. I hope he's learned his lesson.


Please give a second update OP. I wanna know why she really called off the wedding. This was not the reason lol.

The OP again responded:


I will do an update after the "wedding“! I will have to post it on my account as I can only post one update here I’ll also include my moms visit in my studio as a lot of you are interested to hear how that’s gonna turn out! Thank you all again! <3

So, if we get that update, we'll let you know. But for now, what do you think? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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