Are you considering a spray tan for your wedding day?


A pretty sunless glow before your wedding can highlight your gown, even out your skin tone, brighten your eyes and make your bridal makeup POP! If it’s done correctly a spray tan is the secret trick that puts the sparkle in your bridal beauty routine.

wedding spray tan

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My name is Kathryn (learn more about me here) and I am a professional spray tan artist with 19 years of sunless experience and thousands of spray tans under my belt.

My specialty is airbrush tanning for brides so let me help you plan your tan and answer all your questions.

How to decide if you should get a spray tan before your wedding?

First things first, do you need a spray tan for your wedding?

You are going to have some of the most important photos of your life taken on your wedding day of you and your loved ones.  You want to look and feel your best.

Your wedding dress is also likely white, ivory or champagne and you don’t want to disappear into your gown.

So the questions really are:

  • Is your skin tone the same color as your gown?
  • Do you have uneven areas?
  • Are there tan lines that need softening?
  • Could a little contouring provide some definition?

If your answer is yes then warming up your skin tone and highlighting the neckline of your dress with a bit of color is recommended.

If you already have a darker skin tone then a spray tan may not be necessary for depth of color but can go a long way to even and smooth your skin tone and provide some contour.

Please notice that I said a “bit of color”.

Wedding spray tans are NOT the same as vacation tans and a pretty glow is all that is required here!

I like to say that your tan is not walking down the aisle. Your hair, makeup, skin, and gown must come together create a beautifully balanced look.

Beautiful BRIDE is the goal here!

So if you are one of us many gals that have a very natural pale hue to your skin or you have uneven areas, then a spray tan is something to consider trying out.

Related Articles:

Pro Tips For The Best Bridal Spray Tan

Keep reading because I’m going to walk you through all the common questions and concerns that I am asked by brides-to-be in my spray tan studio and online.

Best Time To Get A Spray Tan Before The Wedding?

I recommend you get your spray tan 2 days before your wedding date.

There is a reason that the busiest days of the week for me in the spray room are Wednesday and Thursday. Those are the perfect days for all of the brides and their maids to get their tans for Friday and Saturday weddings.

Then you have plenty of time for the spray tan to set in completely and time for a couple of showers to remove any bronzer and soften the tan so it is picture-perfect.

This timing also keeps your fresh spray tan out of the way of your rehearsal dinner.

Pro Tip: NEVER get a spray tan or use a self-tanner the day of your wedding!

Will a spray tan rub off onto my wedding dress?

As long as the following 3 things are true then the answer is NO.

  1. Your spray tan was 2 days before your wedding date
  2. You showered 2 times before your wedding date using a sulfate-free shower wash
  3. The spray tan artist was experienced and uses a high-quality spray tan solution

When shopping for a place to get your wedding spray tan, find someone who either mixes their solution and bronzer or has experience spraying clear spray tan solution, meaning there is NO bronzer in it at all.

Opting for this helps ensure that you don’t get the bronzer on your gown because there is none.

If you don’t have the option for a clear solution where you live, but you have showered properly then you don’t have anything to worry about because the bronzer has been washed away leaving just your tanned skin.

Helpful Shower Tip: When showering after your spray tan before your wedding, I suggest washing gently (not exfoliating) with a soft washcloth and a sulfate-free shower wash.

Pay special attention under your arms. Making sure there isn’t bronzer left on the underside that could rub on your gown.

For info on what to wash with to preserve the life of your tan check out my blog post on What to Wash with Before & After Your Spray Tan

Will a spray tan make me orange?

Not if you go to an experienced spray tan artist who is using a quality spray tan solution.

There are some great spray tan solutions on the market. That being said they usually are fairly expensive and this will be reflected in the price that the spray tan artist is charging.

This is not the time to shop for price. No $10 introductory new spray tan artist specials for your wedding, please.  You are looking for quality and experience.

You can support your friends’ new business venture when there won’t be pictures involved.

An experienced spray tan artist is going to have a great spray tan solution because she wants to make her clients happy and want to come back to her over and over again. And she is going to know exactly how to coach you through the pre-spray tan prep and the after spray tan aftercare.

Ask to see photos of the girls she has sprayed.

You can check out my gallery here.

I always recommend that you are looking for an independent spray tan business owner. She is going to have control over what products she uses and finding the best solution available will be her top priority.

Events To Spray Tan For:

Will a spray tan work with my wedding makeup?

Here we are talking about your foundation color.  You may need to get a different color of foundation for the perfect match for your new tan self.  Go to a professional to have your color matched.

Either with your professional makeup artist or if you are going to be doing your makeup get a foundation match from your preferred makeup line.

Should I have a spray tan trial before the wedding?

Absolutely yes, please!

If you have never had a spray tan before and you are not sure what to expect you should 100% get in for a trial run before the big day.

I recommend that you are coordinating your spray tan trial 2 days before your hair and makeup trial.  This way you have a complete look and the perfect makeup color already chosen before your wedding date and there is nothing to worry or stress over.

It makes your life easier to have all of these details already worked out.

If you have already had your hair and makeup trial or you are pressed for time then 2 weeks before the wedding works fine.

It gives plenty of time for the tan to completely fade away in case it’s not your thing and if you do love it then there is enough time for you to get another one without layering new tan on top of old, ensuring that you are perfectly bronzed for the big day.

Layer a fading tan with a fresh spray is not recommended for brides.

We need your skin looking flawless for your photos.

Often my brides are coming in for several tans leading up to the BIG day. Engagement photos, bridal shower, and bachelorette party are all great opportunities to experiment with color to get the perfect look for your wedding day.

How does spray tan look in photos?

Great question! A spray tan shows up in photos just a bit darker than it does in real life.  If you are about 1 shade lighter than you think it should be that’s when its the perfect color for your pictures.

Think less is more.

It’s that tiny little change that makes your eyes pop, your teeth look whiter and people ask what you have been doing because you look so great.

It’s not about looking tan.

It is about smoothing out your skin tones so that your photog has less editing to do.  Win/win!

Check out what professional photographer Brittany Ganss thinks about getting a spray tan before your photoshoot.

How do I organize my other beauty services and my spray tan?

I call this a beauty timeline. When organizing your appointments for your beauty routine the main thing to remember is that your spray tanning appointment is LAST!

Once we get the tan on you then we are all done with the beauty prepping.

The reason we need to keep things in order is that waxing removes skin along with the hair and will remove your tan leaving white patchy looking places. Not the look we are trying to achieve.

A word on having your eyebrows waxed the week of your wedding: please be careful and know who you are going to or do it the week before.  Over the years I have seen many many burns and torn off skin in the delicate eye area from the wax being too hot. Not cute for wedding photos.

We need you to have your nails done before your spray tan because of all the chemicals that are involved with the process of putting nails on and taking them off.  Acetone, nail drying agents, exfoliators, lotions, and oils are all damaging to your tan.

You will be showing off your new ring and we want your hands looking perfect without white areas where they soaked your tan off along with the old set of gel nails that you had on.

Speaking of nails.

Will a spray tan ruin my acrylic/gel/shellac/french nails?

NO, because your spray tan artist should be wiping your nails off after she sprays you to ensure that there is no bronzer left sitting on your nails that could stain.

To read more about having your nails done and getting a spray tan check out this article When to schedule your manicure so you don’t ruin your spray tan.

Should I have my face sprayed and does my MUA have an opinion on this?

KATHRYN: From a spray tan artist’s perspective I can spray your face or not and just blend up to the jawline and allow your MUA to take it from there. But I’m going to let the makup pro’s from Merle Norman chime in on this one!

MUA AT MERLE NORMAN COSMETICS: As a makeup artist, I love it when my bride does her pre-spray and then comes for her pre-bridal makeover two days later. This allows the color to settle into the skin and it will make her day of wedding makeup application go even smoother having the correct foundation shade already picked out. So if you are contemplating a spray tan for your wedding or special occasion I 100% say do it! There are guidelines that you do want to stick to but all in all the spray tan will make you feel so much better and give you that extra oomph of confidence. Plus whiter teeth, brighter eyes, and smoother skin are not such a bad thing either.

Want to know more about how a spray tan works with your makeup head over here to read more on that.

Will a spray tan cover tan lines?

Depends.  How bad are they?

Uneven skin tones and straplines that have a soft fuzzy edge can be blended away.  Hard lined burns and distinct strapline such as with halter style swimsuits can be harder to make disappear.

I say I can always make them look better but if they are too bad I may not be able to make them vanish.

The better plan is to not get them in the first place.

If your gown is strapless and your wedding is in the summer, then your new best friend is the tube top, sunscreen and bandeau style swimsuit.

If your dress is backless then cover up and stay out of the sun until after that wedding day!

Also, sunburns tend to start peeling 2-3 weeks AFTER you get them.

A spray tan cannot fix peeling skin and it cannot cover it up.  As the skin continues to peel the tan will go with it leaving white patchy looking areas.

Not picture pretty.

Should my bridesmaids and/or my fiance get a spray tan?

For this one think about your photos.

We have all seen wedding pictures where there is one person that just really stands out. They are way too pale or way too dark. This is where your eye naturally goes. Various shades of medium will create a nicely balanced look.

So think about the skin tones of the girls in your wedding party. If anyone is on the end of pale then a little spray tan can help.

Also, think about what color your bridesmaids’ dresses are.  If they are the blush pink, soft peach, yellow, mocha or pale lavender then your girls may need a tan.  These colors are often very hard to wear is very close to skin color. Especially the blush pink, so having a little tan helps the bridesmaid dress show nicely.

Takeaways on getting a spray tan for your wedding

Just like anything in life in the spray tan world you get what you pay for.

No one has ever said, “my spray tan was just ok”.  It’s either the most horrible thing ever or the most amazing life-changing experience.

So if you and your maids are going to get a spray tan for your wedding we want to go for life-changing!

That means that if you don’t have an amazing spray tan artist on speed dial already then you are going to have to do some research.

  • There are different spray tan solutions on the market (some are great, some are not) Look for someone that is using a custom blended solution. Stay away from the generic brands.
  • There is the spray tan technicians experience to consider (practice makes perfect) Can you see pictures of her work? How long has she been spraying? Does she have a professional reputation? How often does her name come up when you are looking for recommendations?

You are going to have to ask around. There is usually a go-to gal in each town.

You know where the amazing salon is with the top-notch hairstylist, and the girl who is known to be the rock star of eyebrows, and the best colorist in town.

There is also the best spray tan artist.

You just have to find her.

She is probably locked away in her spray room because she’s slammed with appointments.

Which leads to your next problem…….getting on her books once you do locate her. (wink)

Photo Credit: Ritter Collective

Flowers: Garden View Flowers

Bridal Beauty Team;

Gown Shop: Belle Amour Bridal

Makeup Artist: Makeup by Amy Lewis-Jess

Hair: Golden Vanity Salon

Spray Tan Artist: SunSpray by Kathryn

Getting married in NWO then click here to find out how to get an appointment for a spray tan with Kathryn from SunSpray

Not in NWO no worries!! Feel free to share this info with any of your fellow brides who are wondering if they should get a spray tan for their wedding.

I am happy to help and hope you find a wonderful spray tan artist near you.

Need to BOOK A SPRAY TAN? Head over to the contact page for all the info.

As a small business owner, I can’t stock all the amazing products that are available in the world of sunless tanning but I can give you my professional opinion.

Spray Tan Business Pros:

Do you have a mobile spray tanning business, home-based spray tan business, or are you looking for information on HOW to start a spray tan business? Then check out my tools of the trade area of this website for help in setting up your own airbrush spray tanning business.

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