Today's Bride

5 Tips for Tanning Before the Wedding

Thinking about getting a little color before your wedding or honeymoon? Tanning indoors has become one the easiest ways to gain beautiful bronze skin without taking a single step outside. Although this is a great alternative to sun bathing, it is important to take precautions when tanning indoors. Using a tanning bed can be safe and effective if the essential steps are followed. Here are five easy to follow steps that will help you tan the safest and most efficient way possible if you are tanning before the wedding.



Tanning dries skin out as is; therefore it is very important to make sure to exfoliate your body before tanning. This helps prevent sunburn and also helps achieve a better tan. With fresh exfoliated skin, ultraviolet rays can reach and lock into the skin. This is something that should be done before you tan for the first time and again after 2-3 days of tanning. You don’t want to exfoliate too much; otherwise it can strip your color.

Using a tanning lotion:

Many believe that buying a lotion from a tanning salon is a waste of money and not necessary in order to achieve a perfect tan. This belief is VERY wrong!! Tanning lotions are one of the MOST important step to tanning safely and effectively. Without a lotion, you are guaranteed to get a sunburn, damage your skin, and waste 50% of your session. All tanning lotions sold at a tanning salon supply the skin with the essential nutrients and moisture necessary for indoor tanning. It is proven the moist skin tans quicker than dry skin. This is because when skin is dry, ultraviolet rays are reflected rather than absorbed. Lotions also help counteract the drying effects of the heat and light associated with tanning. An added bonus is many lotions today include antioxidants that help prevent fine lines and wrinkles!

Wearing protective goggles:

Most tanning salons will provide protective goggles for you to wear while in the tanning bed. This is important because the ultraviolet rays are very bright and could cause damage to your eyes. Many people believe that wearing goggles will leave goggle marks….this is a myth. Goggles have been tested and proven to act like a form of sunglasses. Yes you can get sunglass marks from sitting in the sun too long, and from burning. However, this won’t happen within the 15 mins max you would be in a tanning bed. If you still don’t believe me, there are other forms of protective eyewear such as stickers; you can apply these to your eyes before entering the tanning bed. The stickers won’t go over your nose or the side of your face, just your eyes.

Limiting your exposure time:

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!! Many people believe that they can go over the recommended time their first time and not burn. Well nine times out of 10, you will burn if you do this. Ultraviolet bulbs are very strong and should be used with care. If a beds max time is 10 minutes, and your recommended start time is two minutes, don’t think the session will be a waste of time or money. It takes your skin time to adjust to ultraviolet rays. You may not see results from your first session, but that’s because most tans do not develop until after a week of tanning in a bed. Every day you continue to go you should wait 24 hours and increase your time by one to two minutes each time if you did not burn during your previous session. Remember, slow and steady won the race!


As we all know, tanning dries out skin; therefore, moisturizing is essential. This will lock in your color, and help keep your skin silky smooth. A handful of tanning salons sell certain moisturizers that are meant for after tan lotion. These lotions are made from a variety of ingredients that are important in the tanning process. As I mentioned, moisturizing will lock in your color, but the lotions created for after tanning are meant to reverse the damage cycle done to your skin in the bed. For example, many of the lotions contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. When tanning, ultraviolet rays absorb all three; therefore, the lotion will replenish what was absorbed.

These are just five key steps to help you prep for tanning indoors. It is important to remember that you should take precautions when tanning before the wedding. These steps will help you tan in a safe way, but are not guaranteed to fully protect you. Regardless of the intensity of your tan, you should still wear sunscreen on your honeymoon to prevent any skin damage or burns.

If you prefer not to expose your skin to ultraviolet light, there are other options to explore, too. Consider using a self-tanning lotion that bronzes your skin over time. With this option, you’ll have to plan in advance to see a noticeable change in color. Another option to safely add color to your skin is by applying makeup correctly. By hiring a professional makeup artist, you’ll be sure to look like a bronzed beauty, with highlights in all the right places. With the right makeup application, your face will have the natural glow of a week spent at the beach without the harmful exposure to the sun’s rays.


Written by Today’s Bride Editorial Intern, Dominique Pishotti.

1 Comment

Janet says:

sweet tip for pride and for me, i love tanning

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