Tips for Creating the Perfect Bridal Tan

Written by Stylist Gretchen

Custom airbrush tanning can be the perfect solution for your wedding day when you feel like you have dull skin that needs a little boost. To stay looking natural and like yourself on your big day, I recommend keeping your tan on the lighter, more conservative end of the color spectrum—about a shade darker than your natural color. This will ensure that everything about you shines, not just your tan. Here are some tips for the perfect bridal tan!

Photo by A Nomadic Love


A trial run is a MUST. While we can estimate how various tanning solutions and applications will look on different clients, nothing is guaranteed until you try it. Booking a trial run allows the client and technician to rest easy knowing the bride will be thrilled with her tan.


Schedule your tan for 2-3 days before your wedding. The color will be most intense the first day after development, and it will look best a day or two after that. So if you’re getting married on a Saturday, come in Wednesday or Thursday depending on your schedule and how intense you want the color to be for the big day.


While I am biased, I will still say I do not recommend using a machine or booth for your bridal tan. You have very little control over the application and run a very high risk of looking orange. Everyone looks tanner when wearing white, which means you’ll look even more orange with an automated applied tan. A one-time visit to a machine/booth tanning center will cost you around $35-40, while a one-time custom airbrush is $50. However, a custom airbrush decreases in price when you purchase multiple tans at once. For example, we offer 10 tans for $350, making them $35 each. For such a small price difference (if any), you will receive a world of difference in terms of quality, color, and customer service.

I offer rapid solutions that can be rinsed off in as little as one hour, or 8-hour solutions that can be rinsed off after 8 hours. They are both great options—the only difference is convenience. Usually your schedule will decide which solution is best for you. All of the solutions are organic, sugar-based formulas with no harmful chemicals. They’re even safe for mommies-to-be!

Photo by A Nomadic Love


There are a few keys to correctly preparing for your airbrush tan. Make sure to book any hair removal appointments, nail appointments, and salon appointments BEFORE the day of your tan. Shave and exfoliate thoroughly the day before your tan. Arrive at your appointment with clean, dry skin (no lotion, perfume, deodorant, etc). Wear dark, loose clothing to your appointment and sandals if possible. Block off your schedule so that you can do as little as possible during the 8 hours after your appointment while your tan develops, even if you are wearing a rapid solution.


Maintenance is crucial between your initial application and the event day. Wearing tight clothing, especially while perspiring, can rub off your tan prematurely. Try to stay cool and don't wear restricting clothing to avoid altering your tan. Finally, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Use a shea or cocoa butter formula twice a day. Avoid exfoliants or sitting in bodies of water to make your tan last longer.

Photo by A Nomadic Love

If a custom airbrush tan is out of your price range, there are some great at-home products you can use. If you do decide to apply your tan at home, practice is crucial! Tan Towels are a very affordable option—one box is priced at $27 for 10 towels, and we sell them at the studio.

This may feel like information overload, but it’s important to be as prepared as possible when tanning for your wedding. For many, it’s the first step to feeling your best for the big day!

You can come see me or any of my expertly-trained coworkers at The Tan Bar, 3818 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas. Happy tanning!

The Tan Bar (214) 716-0810


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