Bridal Spray Tanning Tips


(Actual brides with custom spray tans using Perfect Glow Sunless)

The Ultimate Spray Tan Guide for Brides
By Melissa Weinberg- Founder Perfect Glow Sunless

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! To help you look your best on your special day, we have some tips to help make you say “I do” to the perfect spray tan!

A wedding is one of the most important days for a bride to be. You have taken the time and painstaking details to make sure your dress, venue, and other details are perfect. In all my years of spray tanning, it is common to see many brides booking their sunless tanning appointments at the last minute. Some even book their appointment a day or two before the wedding! Leaving this important detail for the last minute is not a good idea, especially if you are a first-time spray tanner.

If you are a bride, please read these three important tips to make sure your tan is perfect for your special day:

Research professional spray tan salons in your area. Now is NOT the time to do a booth or a self tanner. You want your sunless tan applied by a trained professional. This ensures a perfect application. So, while researching, make sure to read reviews and and check out the spray tan artist’s portfolio. You want to use someone who specializes in bridal tanning and knows what they are doing.

2. Find out if your chosen spray tan technician offers bridal spray tanning trials. Many choose to structure a package deal that include a few sessions. This a great way for brides to test out the airbrush tan for their bridal shower and bachelorette party before the special day.

3. When it comes to how dark you should be for your wedding, please listen to the professional. When I get a new client that books without a trial, I always recommend that they go light and natural. Just because they might want a dark tan, it might not be the best for their skin tone. They should not risk any unnatural color or the dreaded orange look. A bridal tan should always enhance your natural beauty and not overpower it. When you walk down the aisle, you want to show off your gown and flawless beauty. You do not want the tan to take over and be the first thing people notice.

Booking a Trial Spray Tan
I recommend a bride should book a trial at least a month or so in advance. This way, you can get sprayed at least once if not twice beforehand. It also gives the salon ample time to further customize the tan if you want to go darker or lighter. You’ll also have enough time to see the true longevity and fade, which is important if you want the tan to last for their honeymoon. You also have the chance to ensure you have enough time to get the old spray tan off before your sunless tan for the big day. (You never want to spray tan over an existing spray tan!)

To help avoid any misconceptions about their sunless tanning results, I share these facts with my bridal tanners:

Even if you have spray tanned 100 times, every salon uses different sunless tanning solution. All of these products have different ingredients, cosmetic bronzers, and fade times
A spray tan is a cosmetic procedure and you need to make sure that your skin does not have an adverse or allergic reaction. If there was something in the blend that irritated you or gave you a rash, you would be uncomfortable during the ceremony, and it would show in your wedding pictures. If you don’t do a trial, you are stuck with the color you get whether you like it or not!
You can not just wash off a spray tan like you could a bad hairdo or makeup application. You are stuck with it for at least a week in many cases.
A common question that I get asked is “Can’t I just spray over the first tan?” You can, though I do not recommend it, as you are not spraying on fresh skin. You will be spraying over some areas that have started the exfoliation process. Since it won’t be a fresh canvas, the new tan will not be flawless. I compare it to getting a manicure without taking the old, chipped nail polish off first. Up close, it is not going to look good, and every bride’s wedding tan should look perfect.
If you do not have time for a proper trial, I recommend you ask the salon if they can do a patch test on an area of your skin that won’t show. (Your stomach or legs should be good if you will be wearing a long gown.) This allows you to see if you like the results. Also, you might want to stick to a natural color and not spray your face if you can’t do a full trial because your makeup artist can match the foundation to the rest of your body.
Do not get any spray tans the day of any dress fitting. This can result in bronzer getting on the gowns, which the bridal shop will not appreciate. I had a client ask me if she could wrap her body in plastic wrap to protect the dress, which I do not recommend.

Let’s Talk Pre-Wedding Festivities!
Most brides need to consider the events they have planned for their wedding weekend. After consulting with them, there have been a few that I have actually turned away, as the events were not compatible with spray tanning. Discuss your planned activities with your spray tan professional to see if this service is the best choice for you.

Here is a list of some post-wedding activities that can negatively affect your spray tan results:

Massages and certain spa treatments.
A tropical climate or destination wedding.
Beach and water activities.

Some Important Tips for Tanners
Proper preparation is the key to achieving a flawless tan. Even if you chose a bridal tanning expert, the way you prepare for your spray tan can make or break your chance for a flawless experience. Here are some helpful tips for preparing for your spray tan:

Exfoliate your skin the day before or even for a few days leading up to the spray tan. (Do not exfoliate on the day of your sunless tan.)
I recommend you use exfoliating gloves rather than a washcloth or loofah. Also refrain from a scrub that contains oils, unless it is more than a day before your appointment. Oils can leave a film on your skin that can create a barrier and possibly block the spray tan absorption.
Never go to your spray tan session with any existing self tanner or an old spray tan on your body.
Consider getting sprayed topless. Just like a regular tan, bras or bikini tops leave tan lines. This is something to consider, especially if you have a strapless or backless gown.
While the tan is developing, drink out of a straw to avoid getting any liquid on you.
If you only have time to do one trial, and you are not sure how dark you want to be, ask for the darker color at your trial. It is always better to have to go lighter for the wedding spray rather than risking going darker for the big day and end up with an unnatural color.
Manicures and pedicures must be done before the spray tan session. If it is on the same day, you cannot have any lotions or oils applied to your body, as these create a barrier that prevents the spray tan solution from being absorbed.
You need to refrain from massages after your spray tan session, or on the same day of your appointment. This seems to be a common pre-wedding ritual.
Waxing and shaving should always be done 24-48 hours in advance. Do not use oils, lotions, perfumes, or deodorant the day of the tan, as these can act as a skin barrier and cause streaking or color from being absorbed in certain areas.
Many people think that they should shower right before the appointment, but I highly recommend you don’t. That is because when you shower, the steam will open the pores and your body gets very hydrated. This can adversely affect your tan because your skin might not absorb all of the solution. This results in a lighter tan and can take longer to dry off. I recommend showering at least showering four hours before by doing a light rinse with no soap or body wash, except on your armpits and private areas. If you absolutely must shower before your appointment, do not use very hot water or any soap or body wash, and make it a quick rinse.
Make sure you have the proper clothing to change into after your spray tan session. Refrain from wearing tight clothes such as yoga pants. Wear loose, dark clothing instead to avoid messing up the tan.

All the Best on Your Special Day!
When getting a spray tan before your wedding, don’t be shy about asking questions of your sunless tanning tech. We are here to help you look your best for your special day, so a professional spray tan artist shouldn’t mind answering their tanners’ questions. Also don’t be shy about asking for a printed list of aftercare instructions to make sure you take care of your tan and preserve it for your wedding. You have enough to worry about for your wedding, so you should trust your spray tan to the professional who applies it to your body.



Melissa Weinberg is a spray tan expert and the founder of Perfect Glow Sunless and Melissa Weinberg Tanning & Beauty. Luxury lines of spray tan solution & Self tanning products. She also provides sunless education & business consulting through her Perfect Glow Sunless Spray Tan Academy. For more information please visit