Open thread: Are you hiding or showing your scars on your wedding day?

Guest post by BlueSwirl

Heads up: this post references self-harm and scarring.

Photo by Sara Smile Photography
Photo by Sara Smile Photography

Offbeat Bride has published numerous insightful and encouraging posts about “controversial” body markings such as tattoos, piercings, and out-there hairstyles — but what about scars? Especially those that have a story you DON’T want to tell?

The scars on my wrists caused by self-harming have been hiding underneath long sleeves (no easy feat in the South African heat!), and I haven’t even shared the background story with my friends. I’m not ashamed — in fact, looking at my scars reminds me what I’ve managed to survive. (I’ve got adamantium in my bones!) But I’m an intensely private person. And these scars are an intensely painful part of my story.

The result is a constant struggle between a desire to keep my inner anguish private, versus one to honey badger it (honey badger don't give a shit!), and let the rude people be rude and the judgmental ones be judgey.

Thus far, privacy has won out.

My beloved has been extremely supportive — helping me to find the best treatments, buying and making endless bangles to hide my scars, encouraging me to just pitch up in public with bare arms… whatever I've needed at the moment. So far, so good.

However, our getting weddinged date is now a reality, and of course the affair should be authentic. On the one hand, Authentic Me likes wearing short, sweet, summery dresses. This choice would mean sticking my scarred arms in the faces of my adored ones. They care about me, so they might freak out and then… all the attention! I would have an introvert melt-down, because another Authentic Me fiercely guards my privacy.

Or, hey, my loved ones might tactfully, but awkwardly, ignore the scars. It seems like both reactions = vibe kill.

And this is where I’m stuck. How do I choose between versions of me? Does it boil down to a choice between a dress and my own privacy?

Sure, there are a couple of practical solutions:

  • Combining the short hem with long sleeves
  • Wearing gloves
  • Using temporary tattoos to turn my existing tattoos into temporary sleeves

But this is not about finding a compromise. It is about the compromise itself. A self-induced one at that! As a person who knows their own mind, being so unsure is a very unsettling experience. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but it would be great to hear how others are approaching similar situations.

How are you dealing with your self-harm scars on your wedding day? Are you hiding your scars, or wearing them with a survivor's pride?

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Comments on Open thread: Are you hiding or showing your scars on your wedding day?

  1. I never cut, but a few of my classmates did when I was younger, and I currently have a colleague that has many, many scars. We’ve never spoken about them, and that’s exactly how it should be. I know what they are; she knows that everyone can see them… and we all just treat each other like human beings. I certainly wouldn’t recommend the amount of pain that put them there, but they are oddly beautiful, white scars against dark tanned skin.

    I don’t know how your family and friends treat you, but on our wedding day, I was the ultimate party host, flickering from one group to another, not really staying long for meaningful conversation. I think it would take either a very small wedding or a very invasive person to make a big deal out of your scars on the day of. So if you want to let them breathe, then do it. Rock out. Be confident. Ask your beloved to support you, practice making excuses to exit a conversation early, and most of all, have fun. A wedding is a celebration, not a test of your adulthood. If people start badgering you about scars, you’re not the one that needs to grow up.

  2. My scars are not super noticeable but they are visible, especially to someone standing close. However, I didn’t even think about them on my wedding day. I did wear a dress with removable sleeves, but that was in case it got too hot. That said, maybe think about having the option to cover up if you feel uncomfortable but not one that is difficult to wear/remove. Sometimes, just knowing that the choice is available can give you the freedom to let go. A summery dress with wrist cuffs (like these – ) could be cute.
    If you do choose to let your scars show, think ahead of time how you want to address any questions or handle the awkwardness. Like anything scary, practicing in advance can really help.

  3. Oy that’s a tough one!

    I can certainly see both angles: be loud and proud and show off those arms for all to see and questions be damned, it’s your freaking day! And the, why rub such a personal, private thing in everyone’s face on such a happy and joyous occasion?

    Of course, as you said: it is a call only you and your beloved can make.
    My vote though is to cover unless you want to “come out” shortly before the big day.
    Cover options: lovely little fingerless gloves that go just high enough up the arm to cover what needs cover, or white henna (it’s a thing and it’s beautiful)

    My compromise recommendation though is *if* you choose to cover for the ceremony, put thought into doing an “unveiling” at the reception. Do it around toast time before the party has really amped up. You can choose to tell as much or as little as you like, but explain that your fresh new spouse has loved and supported you through your healing and you’d love everyone present to not offer their pity, disgust or judgment, but rather their acknowledgement and openness.
    It was a part of your life you never want to go back to and the strength and love of the community (as well as that wonderful man sitting next to you) will keep you from going back there.

    Or something like that.
    It’ll be terrifying, yes, but liberating.

  4. I say wear what you want! I don’t know how your arms look, but mine are covered in SI scars too. There was a time I was very shy about showing my wrists and arms, because I would get questions. Now if someone asks I simply say they are an old bad habit or they are just old scars. They need no explanation or more info then you are willing to give. It is your weddinged day, no one will be looking at your arms. Be true to what you want, forget anyone else!

  5. I guess in some ways I got lucky- I’m a heavily scarred person and while a fair amount of that is from my struggle with self-injury an equal amount is from being a kind of klutzy person and from occupational hazards. At this point the most obvious of the scars are burns from working in a bakery and some interesting ones from a medical test. When people ask about the scars I usually just say “oh gosh, I’ve had those so long I don’t even remember.” Full stop. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s a lie. If someone presses I usually list so of the weirder potential causes “I don’t know, it could have been an iguana, could have been a bundt cake, that’s actually from a medical test they promised wouldn’t scar…” I show and I deflect.

  6. I would strongly recommend that you practice being open about them in a neutral public space before you try in front of family/friends (which is sounds like you don’t normally do, in either situation). From my own personal experience, a lot of it is in my head! I have scar radar: I always notice other people’s SI scars or scars in general. But most people really don’t notice them. If they’re very raised/obvious and you think there’s no way no one would NOT notice them, then it’s time to practice being a bit uncomfortable. It *will* get easier 🙂 (That is if you decide not to cover them)

    It took me a few years to bare my arms in public without feeling totally uncomfortable, with scars that are not very apparent but for some reason are becoming more visible year after year. I’ve never seen anyone glancing awkwardly or staring at my arms, even when I’m in close proximity working on a computer where the scars would definitely be noticeable.

    If someone has the lack of tact to actually talk to you about them (seriously there’s basically no situation where it’s appropriate unless you initiate the conversation), you have every right to say “I am fine but I do not want to talk about it”.

    • I had a similar struggle for a while. After most of my family knew I finally started not giving a shit about who saw (except future MIL, admittedly, but they live 1k miles away and are conservative, so I cover up more skin around her anyways).
      Depending on the asker, I either ignore the question, answer honestly, or unfairly lash out in snark…

  7. My scars are from leg surgery and I have already decided to wear them with pride. Like it or not, they’re on me for life and I’ve always wanted a shorter dress, so the options would be boots or socks – not what I’m going for. I totally agree that people aren’t likely to ask questions about scars on your wedding day, but realistically if you aren’t comfortable then it will show. Perhaps a light bolero/shrug is a possibility? Then if you want to remove it you can, or if you start uncovered, you have the option to cover up.

  8. As a private person myself I get where you’re coming from. Weddings seem to be disproportionately about how the bride looks. If you want to hide a little from the limelight (as I did) get the groom and wedding party in some show stopping outfits. Or just include small children or a cute animal in your party.
    As for covering up options maybe look at wedding themes that’ll give you an excuse to cover up and wear a summer dress. I’d say 40s/50s or a flowery hippyesque them could work with you wearing fingerless gloves.
    Don’t feel like you have to hide and don’t feel like you hiding will be too obvious to your loved ones either – you’ll feel even more uncomfortable.

  9. I haven’t even started looking at dresses yet, but if the one I end up with happens to be backless or have low sides I plan on just letting my scars show and not trying to hide or cover them. My scars are all surgical in nature though, so while they are quite dramatic it isn’t quite the same thing.

  10. My wife and I both have self-injury scars. In daily life, I have decided that I am most comfortable in clothing I enjoy, and I don’t worry too much about them. It does get awkward, and I am self-conscious, especially around family. But I find a balance that works for me, and almost nobody asks about them (children do ask, and I make up stories about sword fighting). For my wedding, I found a sleeveless dress I loved. I wore a shawl because it was winter, and carried a giant bouquet. My scars are not visible in any of the photos, and it wasn’t something I was thinking about too much that day. I would recommend choosing whatever you will be comfortable in and feel beautiful in–the rest will fall into place.

  11. While I don’t have scars from self-harm, I have a friend who does. I think most people know of someone who has scars like this, and they will know better than to ask about them at the wedding. If you find an awesome dress without sleeves, then you should rock it! If I was at a wedding where I saw the bride’s scars for the first time, I think I would be so excited that she is being true and open to herself! I agree though with some of the other posters that having a back-up plan ready may also be a good idea. If nothing else, you know it’s there if you need it.

  12. My scars are only visible if I’ve had sun, but I also covered the worst of them with tattoos to avoid the questions, the rude remarks and comments I received. Self-inflicted scars are a very personal thing and I completely understand if you have no shared your story with your friends that you’re concerned about their reactions.

    On my wedding day, I will be wearing a sleeveless dress. It’s following summer, so I’ll likely still have some sun, which makes the marks on my arms and legs more prominent. I also have scars on my neck and face (those however, were not self inflicted and only my fiance and very select others know that story). I am only going out of my way to cover the ones on my neck and face. The others are less noticeable and part of me just hopes that people will be having too good of a time to really notice.

    I recommend wearing the dress you want, how you want and if you’re still self-conscious or just wish to avoid stares, make some extra special bangles as accessories with a purpose. That way the scars aren’t readily noticeable, but also not completely covered.

    Hope it works out!

    • Pixxie, how was your experience with getting tattoos over scars? i’ve heard mixedreviews.

  13. I don’t have SI scars and I’m certainly not trying to tell you what to do, but here is my perspective:

    I think for someone who knew you back when you still actively self-harmed and who did not know about that (not necessarily because they are bad friends, you might just have been very good at hiding it), it would feel terrible to find out that they should have noticed and helped and didn’t.
    So, if you have the chance, it might be nice to let those people see you in short sleeves before the wedding. That way they could get any feelings of guilt out of the way before a happy occasion.
    If that was me, I’d feel the need to talk to my friend about my shortcoming and I’d know that now is not the right time. I think that might make them miserable on your wedding.

    If to everyone there this is “something from the past they could have done nothing about” or “something I did try to help with”, then wear short sleeves and be comfy. But, to me, a wedding would not be the right time to unveil them for the first time.

  14. As someone who also has battle scars (from my Arch-Nemesis Depression), but isn’t currently self-harming, I’ve found that people don’t say much of anything if they’ve faded, unless they’re a weird shape (there’s one on my shoulder that was supposed to look like an asterisk/star, but it looks more like a spider). For me, it’s enough in the past that if someone does ask, “what’s that from?”, I’ll answer, “Probably a razor blade, but I don’t remember exactly”. There’s a tentative asking, “but you’re better, right?”, a confirmation that yes, I’m better, and then we move on. However, I also tend to be an open person about most things, so that way it deflects from the actual shit I’m uncomfortable with talking about.

    Regarding wedding dresses: I’m probably going sleeveless, and covering up the s.i. scars that are still pink, but not worrying about the rest. I wear short-sleeves and tanks all the time. I know people are going to talk (my mother berates me for the ones on my breasts because they’re distracting) but if someone brings that up at the wedding to my face, it’ll be new confirmation of the fact that my relatives are assholes.

    Re OP’s situation in particular: You mention that you don’t want it to be a “suddenly wedding is the first time people see them and then bam! Buzzkill” situation. I think one possible solution is to try out not covering them up at gatherings/life with some of your guests, and kind of take it for a “test run”. The first few weeks I didn’t cover up were filled with a lot of anxiety and fidgeting and trying to figure out how to hold my arms. But eventually I realized people don’t care enough to comment, and it got easier. If you decide to not-cover your scars, make sure your wedding day isn’t the first time you don’t cover, and that you have a back-up. You’re a superhero, and these are battle scars. But it’s scary to show them while a civilian. What if someone realizes? It’ll be okay though. Best of strength and badassery. <3

    • I do want to add a little to the “don’t care enough to comment” part. It’s true that a lot of people don’t care enough to comment, or simply don’t notice. It’s also true, though, that there will be people (even people who don’t know you) who instead care enough not to comment. Just because people aren’t commenting doesn’t mean that there aren’t some very tactful, gentle people silently wishing you well.

      The nice thing about exposing yourself to comments is that (in my experience – I have a couple of faded but slightly noticeable scars on my upper arms) they are of three kinds.
      1. People who are somehow worried and caring about you. These might be people who know you, or they might just be people who know what those scars probably mean. If these people comment, you can feel loved and cared-for. If you asked them, they might say that they felt a little awkward, but that by far the most important thing to them is making YOU feel good! If they mention something they are happy and willing to bear a little awkwardness to make sure that you know you are supported.
      2. People who are honestly clueless. Sometimes people make conversation based on prominent scars, expecting you to say “yeah, that was a hell of a bodysurfing accident” or “my ex’s cat was totally insane!” If you want to tell a little white lie to these people, they’ll probably believe it, and if you don’t, they might be awkward and concerned for a moment just because they’re surprised, but in my experience if I assure them that it was a long time ago and it’s not a big deal to me now, nobody feels too weird.
      3. People who are assholes. Sometimes there are people who feel superior, or who like to gossip, or who think it’s still socially ok to stereotype and trivialize issues of self-harm. Luckily, their opinion does not matter, and if they say something to you or if you overhear something they say you don’t even need to take the emotional energy to confront or correct them. You can just know that in a kind of metaphorical way they are self-harming and exposing their own scars, but unlike you they aren’t self aware enough to realize they have these scars, or caring enough to have tried to spare other people pain by internalizing their own.

      Anyway, my point is that I would go with whatever makes you feel the most beautiful, without thinking about any issues of awkwardness. People whose opinions matter will be happy to deal with the awkwardness in whatever way seems appropriate to them at the time – whether that is being silent or expressing concern – because they will want you to be comfortable and happy.

  15. Good makeup is also an option. I think I’d do henna if I wanted to avoid questions, but it depends on your comfort level and all. I’m sure everyone will only comment to you on how beautiful you look, unless they’re ridiculously rude!

  16. I don’t have scars so this might not be at all useful but I digress.

    I’d definitely identify what you want to achieve. If you don’t want people looking closely at your arms I’d be inclined not to cover them with something “interesting” like henna. I think intricate henna would cause more focus on the area than not.

    If it’s more that you just want to downplay the scarring, perhaps some camouflage make up on the brightest/darkest/most noticeable ones?

    I’d also like to suggest that you focus on what you do want to show! Stunning eye make up, a beautiful dress, giant peacock feather tiara, boobs ahoy cleavage, anything you want to wear or do that’s more you than the scarring

  17. I too am a recovering cutter. I have many fairly small (1″ ish) scars on my left wrist, plus some longer, thinner ones that I can easily blame on cats, and a few burn scars on both arms. For a long time I made an effort to hide my wrist under many bracelets, especially when I was still actively cutting (I’m proud; it’s been a couple years) but now I don’t bother. Most of the people closest to me know what they’re from and most other people don’t bother asking. I’ve had a few people ask in the most polite manner you could, mostly out of concern or curiosity and usually I’d answer honestly. I’ve only had one person ask in the most obnoxious way ever – I am a horseback riding instructor and one year on the last day of horse camp when we throw a big BBQ and pool party for the campers and their families, I was over by the pool on one kid’s mom very loudly, and in front of everyone, asked if all those scars on my arm were from cutting. I lied and told her no and walked away. Never really liked that mom and damn well didn’t like her after THAT!

    As for my wedding day, I hadn’t even given them a second thought. Both of my dresses are strapless with no sleeves. I may wear little lacy gloves with my second dress but that’s only because I want to. I will wear a single bracelet that will not really “cover” anything as it slides around. It is what it is and while I’m not proud of having done these things to myself, I do look at them as little badges of courage proving that I am a survivor and that is important to me.

    You have to ask yourself what is more important to you… Your privacy or looking as you want to on your wedding day. If you find a dress that covers and you love it, great! If not, take a deep breath and know you are going to look beautiful. Odds are that your nearest and dearest would not bring it up on that day anyway. As others have mentioned, you could always have high or low gloves to add to your look if you panic at the last minute. Hang in there. Your family and friends love you no matter what.

  18. I have severe scarring all over both arms which can’t be covered with jewellery, make up etc. I always cover my arms, although I wish I could wear fun short sleeved dresses.

    I tried on 50+ dresses, a lot of the long sleeves didn’t suit me. Eventually I found a dress I love that has short sleeves, and I’ve paid extra to have them made long. I think the style of the dress will work with long sleeves, but my worst nightmare is that they don’t, or they get the measurements wrong and the sleeves are not full length. My chief bridesmaid was awesome looking after me whilst going through the stress of people in the dress shops seeing my arms.

    Thanks for covering this Offbeat Bride. It’s something that’s been a big deal for me, but not usually covered in magazines/blogs.

  19. I went through a cutting stage, though it was very short lived and I don’t have very many visible scars from it. However, they are there and you can see a few if, like PixxieStixx, I’ve had some sun. I’m making no effort to cover the scars simply because they are not super visible, they are not plentiful, and I’ve never made an effort to cover them.
    I see both sides of your dilemma. I feel as a guest, I would see the scars and think about what might have caused you enough pain that you wanted to hurt yourself. I would think about whether or not you ever considered suicide. I would think about how terrible it is that you had pain you couldn’t manage any other way. I would also think about how incredible you are for having the scars out in the open. I would imagine how brave you are to show them to the world and how glad I am that you overcame whatever hurdles your life has held. I would also be proud of you for not feeling like you were being judged by your family/friends for having had visible struggles.
    Whatever you decide, make sure it is right for you. You don’t want to regret anything later on. You do you, and I’m rooting for you. <3

  20. I have extremely noticeable scars on my arms (and other places, but arms are what’s relevant here) from self harm, like some of them are reddish/purple and very hypertrophic. There are tons and tons of paler ones too. And they are through the tattoos on my left arm, totally ruining them, so people notice if they look at my arms at all.

    I’ve talked to my partner about what she’s comfortable with me showing around her family (she’s more inclined to want to hide things than I am), and she’s left it up to me. I’ve done some deliberating because on the one hand, I don’t want stares and questions on my wedding day, but on the other, I want to be myself and I have nothing to hide. Ultimately, I’ve decided I’m going to not worry about it at all. I’m planning on having bare arms for my wedding, maybe with a few simple bracelets. If anyone makes me uncomfortable, I’m going to ask them to leave, because it’s my day and I will not be dealing with anything that I don’t want to. The same goes for anyone misgendering me (I’m trans, nonbinary specifically, xe/xyr pronouns).

  21. I hid my self harm scars on my wedding day. I don’t normally worry about if people see them or not, it’s part of who I am and my journey. But for some reason I got really paranoid about the photographer taking pictures where you could see them. Honestly that was my only issue, the photographer and any photos taken! Crazy when I think back on it but I wore a pretty cuff bracelet on the day and all was well lol

  22. I’ve been thinking about this myself too. I live in South Africa too, and I have a lot of scars on my upper arms and wrists. Our wedding is in May so the weather will not be super hot but I still don’t think I can wear long sleeves. With the heat here, it’s difficult to always cover up with sleeves. When I’ve worn short sleeves, I ‘ve had people comment on my scars, make messed up remarks, and ask me about them, so I know they are really noticeable. I was worried about them on my wedding day, being really noticeable in the photos especially, so I have started putting vitamin e oil on them in the hopes that they will fade or at least stop being so raised. But my fiance says he loves me and loves every part of me, even my scars because they show what I’ve been through and beaten. Our wedding day is about us and our love. What other people want to think about me is inconsequential and the people that really matter already know about it and don’t judge me for it.

  23. I have some major scars from medical stuff, including a HUGE scar on my chest. I was all about covering it up and the only way to really do that via dress was a high collar style…I didn’t want that. I am slapping some cover up over it and Photoshop is amazing.
    Your friends and family love you. It isn’t about the scars and (at least for me) once I got past worrying about how others would see me, I realized how beautiful I would be despite what I perceive to be my flaws.

  24. I have [what I think are] very noticeable scars on my arms and legs, hyperbolic keloids. The first summer after I started cutting (when I was 17) I stopped hiding my scars [on my arms] because I am very heat sensitive (I live in Tasmania and get heat exhaustion every summer). When I started cutting my legs it really hit me that I had a problem (though I’d been self injuring in other ways since I was 4 years old) so I cannot handle the thought of people seeing the scars on my legs. This is rarely an issue though.
    Oh, just a little brag moment, 26 months with NO self injury behaviours, my longest by far since I can remember.
    I do cover my scars around children (except my own) because I personally don’t want to expose kids to it and I don’t want to put other parents in the position of having to respond to questions they don’t know how to answer.
    I covered my scars with gloves at my first wedding.
    When I married my beautiful husband I wore a knee length dress with a 3/4 length lace sleeves. My scars and wrist tattoo were both visible but everyone there had seen my scars before.

    Everyone is different and we all know in our gut or heart what is right for us. And that can change during our life. Do what you feel is the best thing for you.

  25. I know others have said something along those lines already, but please wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing, because if you are comfortable and feel beautiful in your outfit, you will be in a better position to deal with the reaction of others. I personally will be wearing some of my scars with pride, and hide others. My very visible scar on my neck was the first thing I put on the list for the photographer – I want my survival from cancer marked and I feel my scar is utterly beautiful. My scar will be the only thing I will wear around my neck on the day. However, I will hide the very big and very fresh scars from knee surgery which by the time our wedding comes around are likely to adorn my legs – if not, I will be wearing ice packs throughout the day, so a big skirt and hefty fabric is so much of a ‘must have’ that I am sewing my skirt myself to be able to feel comfortable – both emotionally and physically. Do whatever you feel you NEED to do. And I don’t know if someone else has said this already, but maybe take a close look at your guest list and ensure you are surrounded by people who know you as a whole person – scars and all.

  26. My story: I have big self harm scars from knees to hips. For the first year after stopping I covered, as they were angry red pink purple and I was still scared to discuss. I had hidden it from family and friends and psych. I slowly grew more confident to show and explain. Especially as they went white. But they took 10 years the flatten and are still very visible. I recently tattooed over them a little and eventually will cover them as I want full body tattoo coverage.

    I am now proud that I survived my first severe depressive episode. I have learned much better coping methods. They are battle scars and I’ve had a lot of good conversations with young people about mental health after they’ve seen them. They help me help others.

    As they are now clearly old and my friends see I am happy in life, I show them always.

    My only family to comment has been one sister and her husband. We are very close. The rest ignore. I’m ok with that.

    My suggestion: show them to friends at another event before hand. Same with family. With your partner maybe make a small statement like “I have scars. These are my personal history. Please respect my privacy and my right to be happy in my body.”. See how they take it. I think most people will be good. Any douches you now know about and will be shown up in public by all the loving people who do act kindly to you.

    Or: rock out some flowery beaded jewel encrusted dandelion lacy arm warmer prom flower thingies. So pretty.

    We love you. You are strong.

  27. Maybe if you’d like to go bare arms you could find a concealer or foundation to use to disguise your scars. Or if you are into lace pick a short dress with long lace sleeves or beautiful lace gloves. I have some light scarring on my arms but thankfully most of my SI scars are on my upper thighs so they stay hidden unless I’m in a bikini. Being that your partner seems so supportive maybe he could assist you in coming up with some phrases and answers for people that ask about your scars if you do show them. Remember this is you, and your partner’s day, it’s all about what you are comfortable with.

  28. My wife and I both have many many scars on our arms but neither of us keep them hidden or covered them on our wedding day. It’s been a few years since I stopped cutting and I no longer feel the need to cover my scars up – most days I genuinely forget they’re there or that my arms are anything different to other people’s arms. Some people have accused me of attention-seeking by not keeping them covered but it’s not like that – to me, they are simply scars of a catastrophic event in my life which I have survived. When people (mainly past employers) have asked me to cover them, my retaliation has always been “Would you ask me to cover them if they had been caused by something else – a car accident or fire for example?” When the answer is (always) no, I point out that my scars are a result of intense mental illness I suffered and were beyond my control – no different to a scar caused “accidentally” or through a physical illness. I have nothing to be ashamed of by them being there and I have a right to wear short sleeves if and where I want to.

    Having said that, I understand why some people do want to keep their scars covered, to keep some privacy for themselves and avoid the inevitable surprised double-takes, unsubtle glances and stupid questions (“Did it hurt?”) that come with not covering them up. I think it comes down to who you are and what your style is. I’ve never been a fan of sleeves anyway – they just annoy me dammit – so there was no way I was going to wear them on my wedding day. I didn’t really give it too much thought tbh – I just picked a dress I was in love with and the rest followed.

    My advice – what you’ve been through has shaped you and made you stronger – but don’t let it dictate your wedding. Let yourself go, and be like any other bride and just choose a dress/outfit because you love it and it makes you feel confident & beautiful – then, whether it happens to cover your scars or not, you will look (and feel) stunning.

  29. I have medical scars and SI scars. Luckily the SI ones are 10-12 years old and therefore not really visible anymore, especially in Summer and Spring.

    You or anyone with scars is NOT of lesser value! But IN MY OPINION,if you have people make you feel that way and you always hid the scars, I personally would feel more comfortable not to show them. All eyes are on the bride(s) and groom(s), so the spotlight is on you. Be the most comfortable as you can. (or cut the people who make you feel uncomfortable and/or vurnerable from the guest list)

    Personally, I would use camouflage make up to hide them.

    I wear my medical scars with pride… my SI ones, not at all. To me personally the feel different.
    My medical scars are always a “proof” why I physically can’t do some things/need to be careful/have pain, where the average person would otherwise tell me it’s an excuse and I am whiner/quitter/pretender and not a legit cause.
    My SI scars are personal, making me vurnerable and to people who don’t know the story/know psychology (and whom I don’t want to tell the story) will call me attention whore/give me bull$hit.

    If my SI scars would still be highly visible, I would ask myself the question: Who is attending my wedding that will give me bull$hit. Is it someone I can brush off or is it someonewho makes me feel vurnerable.
    I have an uncle that is always super in your business and ALWAYS knows better, because he is “educated” and sitting on a high horse with a freaking stick up his bottom. Everything I do is questioned, not good enough, wrong and I am of lesser value. I am a strong, independent and talk-back person (with a degree and a good job), but whenever I see him, I turn into a 5 year old little frightened girl. I never wanted him to see my scars and he never will.
    I managed to not invite any family to our wedding other than parents and siblings. BS Uncle is uninvited *whew*.

    But: If he would be, I would get camouflage make up to hide them.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I think poeple should be open about this topic and showing their scars, but personally, on a day like my wedding, I want to be in my comfort zone and not all of a sudden showing what I hid all my life.

  30. i am in the same dilemma so i would like to share my ideas and my fiance’s ideas. maybe it will help someone. some of my scars are covered well with tattoos, but i am very self-conscious about my wrist. my scars are basically layers of dark, raised scar tissue.
    idea 1)
    idea 2) my mom recently passed away, so i might find a strip of lace from her wedding dress or something, and tie it around my wrist so that she is with me on my wedding day AND my scars are covered. my maid of honor- my sister, would also have one to have our mom with her, and mine wouldnt stand out.

  31. As someone who had very visible scars on their wrists as well, I wear them like tiger stripes. Like, I’m not proud of the action. Never. But I don’t cover them or try to hide them. And since they’re usually visual when I say, hand someone a pen at the hotel I work at, no one ever says anything. They may not even notice.

    But the truth of the matter is: When I get married I’m going to talk about some heavy stuff, including my cutting. As of late I’ve been VERY out in the open about my mental illness, past, etc. Because it’s a part of my story, and, ultimately, part of my relationship, because of how my boyfriend also helped me heal and loves me, scars and all.

    That’s my two cents. I don’t think you should hide them, and shame on anyone who says anything. But in the end, you do what feels most comfortable for YOU.

  32. Feedback: I debuted my scars – not just because I got tired of the back-and-forth described in the post, but also because it’s too friggen hot for all those sleeves and bracelets! And you know what? No one cares. Most people don’t notice. Those who do are tactful enough not to say anything. I’ve figured out a response for if someone should ask that accommodates my need for privacy without making light of my experience. A couple of people close to me were upset when they realised I attempted suicide without them even knowing what’s going on – but they understand me so well that it all turned into love and concern. But not too much. 16 months and a post on OBB gave me courage to just be, scars and all. Whoo-hoo!

  33. i have always taken out my piercings for my grandma. she is truly awful and i havent wanted to deal with her backlash. however, they are a part of me and i plan on wearing them for my wedding. but i didnt want her to cause a scene in the middle of it. my solution is to test it out by wearing them during my bridal shower. that way we can get that mess over with and by the wedding it wont be a conversation anymore.

    as for my scars, i bought some corset lacey gloves in ivory. it was a no brainer for me since i usually wear similar gloves in black. i know you felt it was a compromise though, so i hope you find the solution youre looking for!

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