Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography

Should I get a spray tan for my wedding?

To fake tan or not to fake tan for my wedding photos, that is the question.

As a bride-to-be you want to look your best on your big day, and the question of having a spray tan for your wedding day is one that is asked by my clients quite regularly.

Recently one of my clients sent me this email:

‘Hi Kat,

I read an interesting blog / Facebook question and answer on fake tanning versus natural tan for a wedding.
A few photographers commented on what looks better in photos, but you are my photographer so I’m keen to get your thoughts on whether I should get a fake tan or not.
My dress is white silk – so it will definitely be visible if I do get a fake tan but it will also show if I’m too white. I was thinking of trying to tan naturally as I do get a bit of colour, but I won’t bronze up. Do I then get a light spray tan on top a few days out to create a natural glow?
Keen to get your thoughts – both from a photography perspective plus what you’ve seen other brides do.


I do come across this a lot. A bad fake tan can really change the look of the bride in her wedding photos, even with the best makeup artist and hairdresser.

Usually I say a big NO to spray tans for any kind of photo shoot as the tan often looks a bit too orange to the camera, and they are very rarely perfect.

However, I do understand that having a nice glow will definitely make you look more radiant on the day so, here are my tips if you decide to tan:

1.     Test out your spray tan

If you can find a salon that does a very light spray tan, to even out your natural tan, and you’ve had at least two trials to get it right then this would be an exception. Make sure to exfoliate really well beforehand, follow all instructions from your spray tan artist, and ask them to be extra cautious around your hands as they will feature quite a lot in your photographs.

Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography :  Sutherland Shire Wedding Photographer

Karen’s light spray tan

Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography :  Sutherland Shire Wedding Photographer

Jess’s light spray tan

Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography :  Sutherland Shire Wedding Photographer

Jackie’s spray tan

2.     Trial gradual tanning products

Gradual tanning is also a beneficial product on the market. The ‘holiday glow’ range is quite light and easily applied like a general moisturiser. I personally use Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze, which goes on easily and stops your skin from drying out at the same time. It is nice and light, allowing you to apply it in the nights leading up to the wedding. Once again be wary of your hands, elbows and underarm creases as these areas can be highly visible in photographs.

3.    Gradual natural tanning looks best

There is no substitute to a glowing bride on her wedding day, and a natural gradual tan will leave you looking bright and healthy for your photos. But the part I need to stress is gradual. I do not recommend going out in the sun the week leading up to your wedding day, and arriving so burnt you are literally lighting the place up with your ember glow.

Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography

Olivia’s natural tan

Wedding spray tan : Kat Stanley Photography :  Sutherland Shire Wedding Photographer

Brooke’s natural tan (thanks to her Danish heritage!)

If this is something you are worried about try researching beauty salons that provide tanning booths and offer discounts for a set of visits. But make sure they follow hygiene and legal tanning limits as prolonged sessions may cause skin cancer.

Still not sure?

With all this information, my number one tip is to make sure you test your desired tanning method out before the final run. If you find one doesn’t work for you, try an alternative. Remember, you will also have your makeup applied over the top as this could add a few more shades.

My thoughts are that soft, light and glowing skin is classic and timeless. And most importantly, the natural you.

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