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Wedspiration > Advice > Wedding Fake Tan Tips From The Experts (Not Us, Don’t Worry).
Wedding Fake Tan Tips From The Experts (Not Us, Don’t Worry).
Despite the frequency of our fake-tanning efforts, we still wouldn’t call ourselves professionals. So we called in some help from a spray tan artist to give you pre, during and post tan tips to make sure you’re glowing and streak-free on the big day.
wedding fake tan
Words by Melany Mashman
22 November 2019

If fake tan is your thing (it’s totally ours – hello fake tan Thursdays), then you might be considering getting some extra glow on for the big day, which is both exciting and bloody nervy to be completely honest – especially if a professional one is completely new to you or you’re booking somewhere new close to your wedding venue.

We’ve all heard horror stories of spray tans going wrong (peeling, turning orange, streaking, the tan sweating off or getting caught in rain post appointment) and so forth, but if done right and using the tips from the experts (not us) below, you’ll nail your fake tan.

We chatted to a professional tan artist on what to do before, during and after a tan to make sure you get the most out of it. Here are the tips.


  • Fake tan trial

We 100% recommend a fake tan trial before your big day, with the person that’s going to do it for the real thing. That way you can master the pre-care if you’ve never done it before, nail the colour you want and have an idea of how everything will look all together.

  • Shave or wax 24-48 hours before

Shaving on the day of a tan is a big fecking no-no, if you ask any expert. Take it from us, we’ve tried it and they’re right. Shaving 24-48 hours before your appointment will leave a smoother, more even tan with less irritation and no residual soap chemicals on your skin.

  • Exfoliate like crazy

Next up, the pros recommend giving your skin a good old scrub, right after shaving or 24 hours after waxing. Why? It gets rid of any build-up – we’re talking deo, moisturiser, dead skin and body lotion so you are left with a super clean and even base for the tan to cling to.

  • Moisturise 24-48 hours before in the lead up to your appointment

Keep your skin dry in the 24 hours before the appointment, but definitely moisturise as per usual and pay VERY close attention to those extra dry bits. We’re talking elbows, knees, ankles/back of your feet and lastly wrists.

  • Tan 48 hours before the wedding

Two days before the wedding is the golden time for tanning. As a tan continues to develop even after you shower, this gives the colour time to develop fully, while allowing you to fix any small issues that might have arisen (super dark elbows, etc.). If you tan right before the wedding, your skin may darken and your wedding makeup may end up not matching the rest of your body.


  • Remove everything before you arrive

Take off your jewellery (earrings, bracelets, necklace, rings, etc.) and arrive with no makeup, moisturisers, oils, deodorant or makeup on your skin.

  • Take a brolly, just incase

If you’re a regular to profesh fake tans, chances are you’ve been caught in some drizzle leaving your appointment and trust us when we say there is NOTHING worse than not having an umbrella in this moment. Terrifying. Take one – just in case, unless there’s 100% chance of no rain in sight.

  • Bring a loose fitted dress 

We’re talking a massive boyfriend tee style dress or something long and flowy to leave the appointment in, and we’d totally recommend going braless on the way home. Something with sleeves is ideal too if you’re driving home from the appointment, to avoid having the seatbelt lying on your freshly tanned skin.


  • Avoid exercise

If you’re anything like us, this won’t exactly be an issue. Rather, the permission we’ve been waiting for. Exercising can cause some patches to sweat off, especially on your underarms.

  • Shower at the time suggested by your beautician

Listen to the professionals when they tell you when to shower (and don’t give much time on either side – as this will really impact how light or dark your tan will develop) and don’t use soap and shampoo when rinsing. When it comes to keeping your colour natural and hydrated, try and stick to cool showers or luke-warm showers rather than blistering heat. Press your skin dry with your towel (don’t rub yourself down). Then, you guessed it, moisturise.

  • Keep up with sunscreen and stay away from chlorine 

Just because you’re rocking a glowing tan, doesn’t mean you can’t get burnt, so keep up the sunscreen! Plus, remember chlorine and fake tan just don’t mix, so the longer you can not swim, the better, or at least keep pool-dips at bay until you’ve said your I-do’s.


  • Typically tans develop on different levels – usually 1-2 hours for a light tan, 2-4 hours for medium and 4-6+ for darker.
  • Avoid getting sweaty or wet while the tan develops. Don’t suddenly do the dishes and get your hands wet!
  • Your tan continues to develop and deepen over the 24 hours – even once you’ve showered. So if you step out of the shower and think you’re still too fair, wait half a day before reassessing your colour.
  • Regular showering may be taken 8-16 hours after application (double-check specific timing with your beautician).
  • Results should last 5-10 days without patchiness if well-maintained.


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