Getting Tan For Your Wedding

Every bride wants to look flawless on her wedding day, and for some women that vision of perfection includes a glowing tan. Yet, there can be health hazards associated with tanning, not to mention the risk of sunburn, or looking “tanorexic” on your big day. This is the bride’s guide to getting tan for her wedding: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First of all, be wary of getting overly tan for your wedding. Setting the health risks aside, it can just look tacky. When a bride has tanned too deeply, all you see in her wedding pictures is white dress, white teeth, and white pearl bridal jewelry. The rest of her face disappears, and the contrast against all that white just does not look pretty, especially in black and white photographs. So unless you want to look like nothing but teeth, dress, and pearl jewelry in your bridal photos, err on the side of caution when it comes to getting that tropical glow.

The next issue with tanning for a wedding is the question of safety. Many women can gradually achieve a healthy glow over time, but don’t try to force it. If you are getting married in the winter months, it is okay to be fair! It looks overdone when the bride shows up for her holiday nuptials looking like it is August and she has spent the whole summer as a lifeguard. To dress up your skin in the winter months, a subtle shimmer dusting powder is actually more attractive than a deep dark tanning bed tan. And honestly, tanning beds are not healthy at any time of year, even for a “base tan”.

There are a variety of sunless tanning methods available to the bride who wants to get a little glow before her wedding. The key is to start experimenting early so that you can determine which method works best for you. Some women swear by sunless tanning lotions, either the instant variety or the type that you use daily to build up a gradual color. On the other hand, some women (myself included!) turn orange from sunless tanning lotions, even the very best ones. There is also the risk of ending up with streaks or orange palms if you don’t have practice at applying the tanning lotion. Be sure to test out any lotions you are considering on all body parts; what turns into a lovely glow on your shoulders might end up giving your face the dreaded Oompa Loompa effect when it mixes with the oils your skin.

Another option is to get a professional spray tan for your wedding. Although more costly than using self-tanners at home, the results are also likely to be more consistent. The spray tan booth is one quick and easy option that some women swear by. The gold standard, though, is to have an airbrush tan professionally applied at a top notch salon. It is more costly, but the results are generally going to be the most flawless. Go for a trial run, and be sure to let the person know how much tan you are hoping to achieve, so they don’t go too dark. The best thing about the airbrush service is that they can use several shades to make your skin appeared more toned and contoured. How wonderful to get the appearance of toned arms for your strapless gown by hitting the salon instead of the gym!

Finally, remember that there is no rule that a bride needs to be tan. If you live your whole life pale, that is how your friends, family, and fiance know and love you; to show up looking differently on your wedding day would just be strange. If all you want is to get a hint of a glow on your cheeks or on your shoulders, a light dusting of a good bronzing powder may well be all you need (it can also help to blend out old tan lines when you are wearing a strapless gown). After all, as the bride, you will have a naturally radiant glow; you don’t want to cover it up with a too-deep tan.                    

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