What to Do About Self-Harm Scars on Your Wedding Day
Weddings can be stressful under the best of circumstances. How do you cope when you don't know what to do about self-harm scars on your wedding day?
Should You Hide Your Self-Harm Scars at Your Wedding?
Before you panic, think carefully about what you want to do—not what others expect you to do and not what you think you should do. This is your wedding day, after all. Whether or not you want to try and cover up your self-harm scars at your wedding is up to you.
Don't just think about the scars. Think about who you want to invite, what you're going to wear, and how you want to feel that day. Every wedding and every marriage is different. And, in general, there's no rule that I know of that says you must cover up your self-harm scars at your wedding.
Unless your scars are impossible to cover up (we'll cover that later), just remember that it is ultimately your choice—and that there are ways to cover up your scars for the day, should you choose to.
Ways to Hide Self-Harm Scars at Your Wedding
If you feel you need to conceal your self-harm scars on your wedding day, you've got a few options for doing so. Some require more time or advanced planning than others, so keep your wedding timeline in mind when considering the following possibilities.
- Choose a style of dress or suit that covers your scars.
- Wear accessories that will cover them, such as gloves, bracelets, or body jewelry.
- Use tattoos to conceal them—for a less permanent option, try temporary tattoos, henna, or body paint.
- Use makeup to hide them—choose high-quality makeup so it doesn't wear off or stain your clothes.
- Get them surgically removed—only if you deem it necessary for your mental and/or physical wellness.
Choose whichever method works best for your beliefs, your preferences, and your budget.
Showing Your Self-Harm Scars at Your Wedding
I'll say it again for the people in the back—you don't have to hide your self-harm scars at your wedding. Maybe, none of the above methods mesh with your hopes and plans for the day. Maybe, you can't hide your scars for one reason or another, or maybe, you don't even need to.
I'll be married by this time next year—and I'm thrilled about it. I'm not stressing about my self-harm scars because they're so faded at this point that no one is going to notice them. My heart surgery scars, on the other hand, are still pretty noticeable. But I'm not going out of my way to cover those, either.
If you can't, or don't want to, cover your scars, but you're still feeling a bit uneasy about it, here are some other options to consider that might help:
- Eloping (Who says you need a fancy ceremony?)
- Keeping your guest list small and your event intimate—only invite people who know or won't cause a fuss
- Only including people "in the know" in your wedding party
- Keeping your event short—this will put less pressure on you than a 12-hour marital marathon
- Talking through your concerns with your soon-to-be-spouse
- Letting a therapist or trusted loved ones know that you'll need some extra support for the time being
It's also important to practice extra self-care during the time leading up to the big day, the wedding day itself, and the days immediately after. Equip yourself with healthy self-soothing techniques and other coping mechanisms that will help you manage your stress, regulate your emotions, and minimize the chances of a relapse.
One last thing to note—the one person you shouldn't feel you have to hide your scars from is your betrothed. If you haven't talked with your future spouse yet about your self-harm, please consider doing so as soon as possible. Whoever you're marrying, it should be someone you trust—someone who will understand, or be willing to accept, what you've been through without judging you or shaming you for it.
I had this conversation with my fiance years ago, long before we got engaged. It was scary, but I knew that I couldn't spend the rest of my life with someone who didn't know about or, worse, couldn't accept that part of me. I was so relieved when he responded with nothing but empathy and love. I hope the same is true for you and your partner. I wish you all the best for your future together.
Kim Berkley (2022, May 12). What to Do About Self-Harm Scars on Your Wedding Day, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/5/what-to-do-about-self-harm-scars-on-your-wedding-day