Tanning is one of the biggest questions on a Bride’s mind, do I tan or don’t I tan…that is the question. It is on our minds from the moment we start to think about the way we want to look on the day and as we glance through the beauty section of our Wedding planners, it becomes all too apparent that it is quite a scary decision we have to make! This is often because we, not just Brides, do not have the foggiest of idea of where to start or which route to go down when it comes to fake tan. I used to be absolutely terrified of fake tan as I thought I would end up looking like an oompa lompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but little did I know I just hadn’t explored the world of tan. It can be pretty intimidating to delve into this world, especially when you are heading towards one of the biggest days of your lives HOWEVER it doesn’t have to be that way guys! Here are a few little pointers I’ve learnt along my little fake tan journey….my tajourney if you please…

First of all, you need to decide what look you are going for, what you want to achieve. Do you want a little sun kiss, do you want a Beyonce glow or perhaps a castaway “I’ve been stranded on an island for 6 months” kinda look. I would probably discourage the latter straight away, as if you are wearing a light colored dress, a white, ivory, champagne, blush, the list goes on.. your tan will look EVEN darker, so it is probably good to try it out first, ideally before one of your dress fittings.

You don’t particularly want to look like Ross from friends…..so it’s good to have a goal in mind.


The next thing to think about it what form of tan you are going to go for, the most common options being spray tans or are you going to DIY. So here are the pros and cons of both.



  • Great finish, no streaking which means seamless natural tan.
  • A large variety of shades, you can get the right one for you.
  • Professionally done, so if something goes wrong at least you have someone to blame. (it won’t go wrong!)
  • You will get a consistent result, when you try it and before the Wedding Day.


  • You may smell like a biscuit.
  • If you do not follow the proper instructions to exfoliate etc then you may get dark orange elbows or in between the fingers….not good for ring shots.
  • You have to go to a salon and get Rudey Nudey in front of someone else (little price to pay to look like a sun goddess in my opinion PLUS everyone has wobbly bits).



  • Could be seen as the less intimating/scary option.
  • Lotions/moisturisers and mousses are the best options as they are more likely to give an even finish.
  • More control.


  • If not done properly, it could end up being streaky.
  • DIY tans can smell worse than spray tans.
  • Such a large range of products, it can be quite intimidating choosing the right product.


  • ALWAYS trial your tan whether it be spray or DIY before your wedding day, so you know what shade to go.
  • Spray tans are recommended to be done 2 days before you Wedding Day to get the optimum result.
  • Exfoliate every day for a week before your tan, this is essential to get rid of any dead skin cells to provide a smooth surface for application.
  • Moisturising is super important, keeping your skin hydrated not only makes for a nicer even finish but it will also make your tan last longer.
  • ALWAYS leave at least 24 Hours before tanning after any hair removal – the last thing you want is dotty legs where the tan settles into the hair follicles.

So it should go a little bit like this;

Exfoliate for 5 Days and Moisturise

Hair Removal

Exfoliate for 2 days and Moisturise

TAN DAY (practice)

After tan, keep moisturising and make a note on which day after you like your tan the most.

-Then repeat a week up to your Wedding Day.



This is by far my favorite tanning product yet, the St.Tropez gradual tan. This lotion gives an instant tint to the skin and dries quickly like a moisturiser. It is quite a heavy texture which means you have to move quite quickly with it, but once you cover the surface of your skin it settles in to all the curves and doesn’t get patchy. I sometimes use a mitt to apply this, however I do use my bare hands too and it doesn’t stain in between your fingers or your palms, so it really looks natural. Those looking for those patchy orange bits, there aren’t any! You have to remember to go easy on the elbows and the knees making sure you thoroughly massage it in to make sure there aren’t any creased areas, but for me, I am quite the lazy tanner, I want something that will give me a color overnight, make me not smell like a biscuit and that I can’t really do wrong, and I find this is the product that does all the above.  Do remember that it is gradual tan so it will develop so keep track of its progress!


Just don’t do it. Instant tan is not water-proof/water-resistant which means if it rains or you splash water on your arms in the ladies then you can wave goodbye to  your sun kissed arms. It can also affect the tan if the weather is humid and sticky and in my opinion it is probably best not to risk it!

Hopefully this has helped you in some way if you have been thinking about tanning before your Wedding and what your different options are and what would suit you best. In short it does look lovely having a subtle glow for the big day but my advice would be to make sure it isn’t too far off what you normally look like or have looked like in the past. I always advise my wonderful clients to go with their heart and if your heart isn’t talking sense then ask someone who’s opinion matters to you, that will do the trick.

Good luck lovelies and I hope you find the best option for you.

Sarah xx