Every bride wants to achieve a beautiful bridal glow on the big day. So we’ve teamed up with celebrity spray tanning expert James Harknett to teach you how to achieve that perfect sun-kissed shade – and there’s not a hint of orange in sight!


Decide on the application

Would you rather be tanned at home or at a salon? A professional application of your tan is highly recommended, especially if it’s for your wedding day. Look for a recommendation and go for at least two trial sprays first to see how the tans works with your skin.

The consultation

When meeting your tanning therapist, it’s a good idea to have a picture of your wedding dress. Show them how much skin will be on show and describe your ideal look. Start with a lighter finish first. One coat can just give a natural glow of radiance and no one need know you are faking it.

Check the colour in daylight

Most brides have their tan applied 48 hours before the wedding. This gives the colour time to settle and look its most natural. Have the make-up tail during this time, too. A warm dusting of tan to the face is a perfect base for your wedding make-up.

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Be prepared

Skin preparation is key for the perfect finish. Any waxing should be completed 48 hours before the tan and have a gentle exfoliation on the morning of the treatment. I recommend The Ren Moroccan Rose Scrub. It leaves the skin smooth and rejuvenated, and a clear canvas for the tan to cling to. Avoid any oil-based products on the skin during the days leading up to the tan because they can leave a residue on the skin that patches the spray tan.

Watch for problem areas!

Ensure you keep your feet and hands dry after the tan has been applied. These areas are on show at all times and need to look flawless. Make sure your therapist has applied barrier cream to the hands, wrists, ankles and feet. This will stop the tan from gabbing too dark and helps the colour fade naturally to the hands and feet.

Tanning at home

If you are a tanning pro and feel confident to DIY I recommend a gradual tanner. Sisley self tan hydrating cream is a gorgeous at-home product. Application is smooth and easy. Also Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner is a beautiful gradual tan. After applying two evenings in a row, the colour looks warm and natural.

Gradual tan tips

When applying a gradual tan always apply to clean exfoliated skin. Give yourself time and space and wash your hands in-between sections of the body to avoid staining. Ensure coverage is even and relax in loose dark clothing after application.


Make it last

To keep your wedding tan looking gorgeous, avoid hot baths and keep the showers warm as hot water can be killer on fake tan. Moisturise generously every day. Bliss lemon and sage body butter locks in the colour while hydrating the skin.

Bridal glow

On the big day you can give the tan a smooth gleam by applying Sienna X Moisturising Body Balm. This easy-to-apply balm adds a slight radiance without sparkle, while keeping the skin hydrated and the skin supple and nourished. Perfect for that bridal glow.

Don’t go OTT

The top tip for tanned brides is don’t over apply to the face and neck. Remember your make-up can always be darker on the day so avoid a strong fake tan on the face. For contoured cheeks, try Laura Mercier powder bronzer. This product adds depth to tanned skin and stays looking flawless all day!


Thanks James! So that’s your tan sorted for the wedding, but what about your hair? Check out this amazing gallery of real-life brides and find your bridal ‘do in no time!