LOVE/HATE: Pre-Wedding Fake Tan

I don’t get it. I never got it. Years ago, I did try tanning before fear of UV rays and their potentially cancerous effect became widely discussed. It didn’t work on me. I come of the Transparent Peoples. We come in two shades: lily white and lobster red. There ain’t nothing in between the two, no way, no how. Our burns do not fade to tans. They just peel a lot. In the words of the late, great Warren Zevon, it ain’t that pretty at all.

I knew that I couldn’t tan, so I stopped trying. I live in sunscreen and dress in colors that bring out the best in my pale skin and dark eyes and hair.

It never once occurred to me to get a fake tan for my wedding, but I know there are a lot of women would no more consider walking the aisle to their beloved pale and interesting, as the Victorians put it, than they would consider doing so in a fright wig and galoshes three sizes too big. Those women, if they don’t tan easily and naturally or if they live in areas not conducive to tanning at the time of year they intend to marry, often get some sort of applied tan.

Maybe it’s the number of horror stories I’d heard of spray tan gone wrong. Maybe it was the shock of my first sight of George Hamilton.
Maybe it’s all those years I did theater and had to make up in bizarre and sometimes torturous ways, but I couldn’t imagine spraying on a tan on my wedding day. I did basic, subtle street make up with a slightly more lavish hand to avoid looking washed out in the photos… and then I expected my photographer to know how not to overexpose the shots or take a lot of photos that made me look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I chose to wear a shade of white that made the most of my natural skin tone. I looked fabulous, if I do say so myself.

So yeah, I do kind of HATE the idea of fake tans on brides.

What about you?

4 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: Pre-Wedding Fake Tan”

  1. Cara October 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Lots of people have asked me if I plan to get a fake tan for my wedding, because I am ridiculously pale as well, and it is driving me crazy! I’ve started to just say that I’m “embracing the pale” because it is who I am. I don’t personally see any reason to subject myself to all the worrying about whether it looks fake or the extra cost or the time and effort it will take. I’ve been pale for pretty much my entire life, why would I change now?

  2. SarahDances October 11, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    While I think the spray tan gets a bad rap (and i say this as another translucent-freckly person who has done the spray tan for a couple performances that called for it), I think the goal on the wedding day should be to look like oneself. While most people couldn’t even tell I’d gotten a tan, because that’s how fair I am, I knew I didn’t look like myself. My usual makeup and clothing colors seemed off.

    If the bride fake tans regularly, sure, keep that up. Otherwise, I agree I don’t see the point.

  3. Jessica October 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    This is not the time to experiment and have something go horribly wrong (as it often can with tanning). Better to leave it alone.

  4. Katie October 16, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    I am also a Transparent Person – my brother once claimed that I’m so pale I glow in the dark. But I accepted that years ago, and saw no reason to do otherwise for my wedding day.
    If you’re usually tanned, then go for it (though try not to be orange!) Otherwise, accept who you are!