Ok ladies, let's talk about Wedding Day Spray Tans! We've all seen a friend or someone on social media that posted a photo of a wedding they were in and you literally can see that they are either way too dark (the darkest in the photo) or they look a little brassy (orange) in the finished filtered photo. After 13 years of spray tanning in and around Central VA we could write a book on the horror stories of "Spray Tans Gone Wrong". And you know what, it really doesn't have to be like that. It may take a little research and a few spray tan trials, but with a professional airbrush artist that offers custom blended spray tans, you will find the perfect and fabulous faux glow for your wedding day.
"The BEST spray tan is the one that no one knows you got",
Michelle Walters, founder of Island Glow Tanning & Beauty
1. Do: Research professional salons with bridal tanning specialists.
Finding the right spray tan professional is super important. Research spray tan salons with experts who specialize specifically in bridal tanning, that way you know your skin is in the right hands. Ask them about the undertones in their solutions that would be a perfect match for your skin. Ask about the brand they choose to use and if you could see their photos of past brides.
2. Don't: Argue with your specialist when it comes to color.
Once you find your pro, listen to them when it comes to picking the right shade for you (especially if they tell you to go with a lighter one). "I suggest your spray tan artist be more conservative when selecting the color for a bride. Remember, a vacation spray tan should be and look much different that a wedding day spray tan", Michelle, owner of Island Glow LLC suggests. With a true custom blend spray tan, your artist will also keep in mind how your tan will look in all different types of lighting on wedding day and also how it will look when your photographer adds her signature filter onto your photos.
3. Do: Schedule spray tan trial sessions.
Schedule trial sessions during the same season as your wedding is in. This way your skin tone is about the same tone that you will be two days before your wedding. Some brides even schedule extra spray tans for special occasions so they can be more familiar with the overall tan. For example, schedule a spray tan 2-3 days before trying on your wedding dress. This way you can see how the tan gives an overall "warmth" and can help with a little contouring in the arms, back, shoulders, etc that will look fabulous in the dress styles. Be sure you are booking with a professional Airbrush Artist and don't settle for an airbrush booth tan (if at all possible).
4. Don't: Spray over an old spray tan.
Be sure to read and ask your professional spray tan artist about how to prep your skin the best for your wedding day spray tan. Also, be sure you understand which body washes, body soaps, body lotions and moisturizers are a NO NO for spray tanners. These could contain harmful ingredients that will fade and strip your fresh spray tan off before you even walk down the isle. That could increase your stress level that isn't necessary if you are familiar with the simple steps your artist should review with you. Be sure to use a product she suggests to remove any old spray tan residue or product. You NEVER want to spray on top of an old spray tan or self tanner.
5. Do: Exfoliate your skin.
Exfoliate your skin a day or two before your spray tan appointment, and use gloves instead of a washcloth. Be sure you are not using a product containing mineral oils or oil-like ingredients. These can sometimes create an invisible barrier that your spray an artist can't see and could cause an uneven spray that you will see after you rinse it off.
6. Don't: Exfoliate the day of your spray tan appointment, ever!
Always exfoliate 24-48 hours prior to your spray tan. This way, any residue has left the skin and this allows your skin to renew, pores to close up and be in perfect shape for your spray tan.
7. Do: Wait to shower.
Be sure you understand completely on the post-tan rinse instructions. Your spray tan artist will review her best tips with you and please LISTEN. "One time a bride requested an express spray tan (we don't recommend this) and she decided she would leave it on while she slept (8-10 hours later) rather than rinse it off in 3-4 hours as suggested. She hated the color on her skin because it over processed. She spent most of her wedding day morning scrubbing until her skin was raw." states Michelle, spray tan artist for 13 years. Don't make this complicated. Just follow the directions!
8. Do: Get other treatments done before a spray tan.
We all love to book in all the pampering appointments we can fit into the week leading up to your big day. Massage, facial, pedicure, manicure, etc. Be sure you are booking them prior to your spray tan appointment and not after. We promise you won't like what happens if you skip this really important tip.
9. Do: Book your wedding day spray tan at least 2 days prior.
So typically we are talking about a Thursday if your wedding day is on a Saturday. Book ahead 3-5 months with your favorite, most trusted spray tan artist to be sure she has availability. You want to plan on a spray tan 48 hours prior to give the tan time to fully develop and to be sure you have had 2-3 showers (lukewarm water only) to avoid any bronzer transfer onto your wedding dress.
10. Don't forget your bridal party
Don't forget to share your spray tan artist with your bridal party. This ensures that everyone is getting the same tan to be sure everyone will look consistent in the same color for your forever photos. Ask your artist if she offers a Bridal Spray Party so everyone can get together as a Girls Night Out. Also, keep in mind that if you have some out-of-town bridesmaids suggest they purchase a self tanner from your tanning salon and not online or somewhere else. Most professional spray tan artists offer a self tanning collection of lotions, mists or mousse that is the same color as the spray tan. Again, this removes the guess work from one of your besties being the "orange tan" that stands out like a sore thumb.
"My spray tan was wonderful and I am so thankful to you all for doing such an amazing job for our special day. I hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year!", Maddy P 2022 Bride
Venue: The Barns of Kanak in Prince George, Virginia.
Photographer: Monica Mendoza of MJ Mendoza Photography
Hair/Makeup: Kirsty Wingfield of Richmond Makeup Artist
Spray Tan: Island Glow Tanning & Beauty located in Central VA