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How to get the perfect tan for your wedding

Don't look back at your wedding photos to see an uneven and awfully dark tan, follow these tips to get the perfect tan for your wedding day instead!

While a fake tan was once considered taboo for weddings, spray tanning and DIY fake tans have evolved in recent years to become a major factor in achieving the perfect look for the big day.

However, no one wants to look back at their wedding photos and see themselves looking orange, streaky, patchy or too dark. That's why, just like your hair, dress, venue and wedding makeup, tanning needs some well thought-out planning and research.

Regardless if you're going to opt for a spray tan or try some self tanner, these tips should have you golden, glowy and streak free for the perfect wedding day tan:

The rehearsal tan...

Oompa loompa, orange, carrot face, pumpkin-coloured, Donald Trump - no matter what you call it, no one needs or wants a bad tan.

Especially on a wedding day!

But, if you can have rehearsal dinners and makeup trials you can have a rehearsal tan too. No need to be orange or have a bad tan, practice makes perfect and the same goes for a sun-kissed glow.

Even those who do not normally fake tan opt for an extra glow on their wedding day. So, it's important to do a test run about six weeks before the big day.

Tanning experts say normally one trial is all that's needed, but, it's important to have enough time to fit in a second tan trial just in case the perfect glow wasn't achieved on the first go.

It's recommended to leave the tan on for eight hours after your first trial and then wash it off the following morning.

And, just like rehearsal dinners and makeup trials, you'll see what changes need to be made ahead of the big day.

Self tanner guide!

Just like, if you were to go for a spray tan, self tanning should be trialled, tested and then trialled and tested all over again.

When it comes to self tanning, there are a few hot objects and products that are worth looking into.

Firstly, invest in some disposable gloves, unless you like the look of ridiculously dark hands. Or, hands that look like they belong to an Oompa Loompa.

We aren't here to judge, so if you're into that then cool...

Secondly, don't apply your fake tan with the disposable gloves alone, where them under a tanning mitt.

When it comes to your hands, feet, knuckles, elbows, ankles, fingers and toes, treat them differently to the rest of the body. If you are using a tanning mitt, just use the residue from the mitt. Don't apply a full blob of tanner to these areas. They need less love than the rest of your body!

Unless you're a contortionist , getting an even coat on your back can be a little challenging. So, enlist a friend, turn the mitt around so that the applicator side is on the back of your hand or opt for a mist or spray.

Just like perfume, you can spray the air and walk through it or simply spray over your shoulder.

Other golden rules include being hair free, completely clean and dry before you start tanning away.

Another tip, is to have your hairdryer with you. On low heat the dryer will help the tan dry faster so your don't have to stand naked like a robot for a a stupid amount of time.

Lastly, apply your tan in front of the mirror and in good lighting! 

Now onto the products...

  • Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam 
  • Jergens Natural Glow
  • L'oreal Self-Tanning Water Mousse
  • Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
  • Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion
  • James Read Coconut Water Tan Mist Body

And for the face...

  • St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
  • Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Night Moisture Mask
  • James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face
  • Tan Luxe's The Face

Other hot products to look out for...

  • Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette Classic
  • Kate Somerville Face and Body Tanning Towelettes
  • Skinerals Self Tanner Extender Lotion
  • St. Tropez  Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

Preparation is key when it comes to a fake tan and a wedding

All big things in life come with a little bit of preparation and your wedding tan is no exception.

To achieve the perfect tan for your wedding day, make sure no self-tan has touched your skin for at least two weeks prior to your big day. While you might dread being pasty and white for two weeks, it's important your skin is completely clear for the wedding day spray tan.

Shave or wax 24-48 hours before the spray tan and not on the day. This gives time for your pores to close, helping to achieve the perfect wedding tan and guaranteeing no blotchy spots.

Blotchy spots are a big no-no when it comes to fake tan, especially a wedding day tan!

Exfoliate your skin with an oil-free scrub 48 hours before the spray tan, paying extra attention to your hands, elbows, wrists, knees and feet. Many beginners and spray tan virgins skip over this step, but if you don’t exfoliate you’ll likely be left with a patchy tan that fades unevenly. Something that's better avoided on your big day.

Don't moisturise your body on the day of your tan. The moisturiser will act as a barrier to the spray tan and your colour won't be as rich and potentially not as uniform in appearance. Remember ladies we don't want any patches!

The Do and Don't post-spray tan rules

These are not guidelines these are non-negotiable and hard stern rules for your fake tan safety.

When a good streak-free tan is at stake, there can be no shortcuts or exceptions, you must do the following:

  • DO test, test and test again! Visit your beautician or tan expert a few times to test different colours and brands so you find the right one for your skin. Then remember to take their advice!
  • DON'T get your tan on the day, it's best to get your spray tan 24-48 hours before walking down the aisle
  • DO leave your tan on for at least 8 hours and shower the next morning
  • DO moisturise daily to help your tan go the distance and fade evenly
  • DON'T wax or shave or exfoliate on the day, this is best done 24-48 hours beforehand
  • DO drink through a straw after getting you tan, this stops water getting on your top lip and leaving you with a white patch
  • DO wash your teeth before getting the spray tan because you want to avoid getting it wet
  • DO apply talcum powder on the areas where your dress is tight, this will stop the sweat from making the tan transferring onto your wedding dress
  • DON'T have scorching hot showers, try and have cool showers
  • DO press your skin dry after you shower, avoid rubbing excessively
  • DO exfoliate after three to four days so your tan fades evenly
  • DON'T wash, rinse, wet or moisturise those hands for several hours after your tan. Unless you want white hands and a beautifully tanned body, it's a no go. It's your big day so have people spoon feed you if need be, whatever it takes to keep those hands dry and untouched
  • DO check how it looks on camera! This might sound stupid and while you might not have a professional camera, checkout what your tan looks like under different lighting, especially a flash. You don't want any flashback horror stories! 
  • DON'T over do it or go too dark. yes it's your wedding day and you want a natural glow, but white naturally makes you look darker so wear plenty of white during your trial tan and do not go full oompa loompa.

The hen weekend tan...

If the whole 'fake' natural look is not your thing, get the real sun-kissed and bronzed glow during your hen weekend instead.

Replace the spray tans for some sun and head to the beach, lather your body in some tanning lotion and top up that tan au naturel

Maybe start dropping hints the the bride's tribe and Maid of Honour for a beach getaway...

When it comes to top hen weekend beach getaway destinations, you can't go back the sun kissed sands of Spain or Portugal.

Along with golden sandy beaches and warm weather, Spain and Portugal offer up an abundance of affordable hen weekend activities, accommodation and nightlife.

Our top destinations include:


And, when it comes to top activities, especially ones that will help with the tan, you can't go pasta Booze Cruise or Private Catamaran Cruise.

For more hen party activities, ideas, nightlife options, accommodation options and hen weekend packages, head over to our main page or give our team a call on 0208 236 0111.

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