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This blog is where you'll find a more extensive view of my work, some wedding tips, and you'll get to know me on a more personal level. Enjoy!

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  Hi!  I'm Jessica, the main communicator for Five Fourteen Photography. Here is where I love to share our client's stories! As you browse, you will find complete wedding galleries, some great wedding tips, and you'll get to know my family and I on a more personal level. Enjoy!

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July 18, 2017

Tanning for the Wedding

Tanning Bed, Spray Tan, or Self Tanner?


Your wedding photography is  going to be full of images that you look back on for the rest of your life!  When you’re a bride to-be,  having the perfect glow is definitely something to consider!  Here are a few tips to ensure you don’t look like a zebra-striped-carrot on your wedding day or in your wedding pictures!  Best Wedding Photographers in Atlanta. Best wedding photographers in North Georgia. Best barn wedding venues. Best wedding photographers in Cleveland GA Georgia. 


Things To Consider First:

  • Plan to test out tanning options MONTHS IN ADVANCE!  The worst decision you can make is to decide last minute to head to the first spray tan shop that has an open appointment 2 days before your wedding.  This is an almost guaranteed disaster.
  • Look natural! A base tan is all you need. If you are so tan that it looks like you just got back from a week in the Keys but your groom is ghost-white, there is no amount of editing that I can do to make you look natural in your portraits. It’s easier to warm up (or cool down) your skin tones in editing if you both have similar skin tones. I have regretfully had to deliver photos where the bride was orange (seriously, orange!) and the groom was white like Casper… don’t let that be you!
  • Tanning for the wedding is good – when there is a plan that has been trialed first. Below are my best tips for the 3 main tanning options:


Tanning Bed:

  • Begin Tanning at a MINIMUM of 6 weeks prior to the wedding.
  • Alternate between lay down and stand up style beds to ensure all over coverage’ and decrease striping.
  • If your wedding dress is a sleeveless gown, make sure your alternate tanning with arms up and arms to your side.
  • Do not tan AT LEAST  5 days before your wedding! This will decrease the orange tint and give your color time to settle into a beautiful more natural color.
  • Use a good quality tanning lotion!  Ask the salon for recommendations and read Amazon reviews; this is just as much an investment as anything else is!
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!  Did you know that dry skin won’t tan? It will only cause you to peel and loose the glow you’re working so hard for! After every tan and/or shower, lather your entire body in a good quality lotion.  Bonus: If you use your favorite Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret lotion – you’ll smell amazing all day, too!!!
  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!  I don’t even need to explain ALL of the benefits of drinking plenty of water every day… but you guessed it, your bridal tan will thank you for good ‘ol H2O!
  • Don’t over-do it!  Go for a natural sun-kissed tan!  Appoint your BFF, Maid of Honor, or bridesmaids to be your voice of reason and ask them to totally call you out if you start looking even remotely leathery.


Spray Tan & Self Tanner Trial First:

  • Trial your spray tan 3-4 months in advance to be sure this is the look and/or salon for you!  This gives you time to find other options if it doesn’t work out for you.  This step is especially important if you are planning to apply self tanner yourself.
  • After the trial, look for even-ness and be sure there is no striping!
  • Don’t forget to really check your finger creases, elbow folds, and armpits!  If your dress is strapless, it’s important to pay attention to how your armpits tan (make sure they’re not darker, or striped in the creases, or draw extra attention for unevenness).


Spray Tan & Self Tanner Tips:

  • Once you decide this is the option for you, a spray or self tan is best done 2 days or 3 showers before you get into your wedding dress.  This will allow the color time to cool down and look most natural in your wedding photography!
  • Be sure you follow the salons/manufacturer guidelines and rules specific to the brand for your best wedding ready tan!
  • Wax and/or shave 24 hours BEFORE your appointment/application – this gives your pores time to close back up and keeps you from getting tiny dark spots.
  • Do not moisturize 24 hours BEFORE your spray/self tan.
  • Do not get wet 24 hours AFTER your application.
  • To keep your tan, shower in cooler water and be sure to PAT yourself dry. DO NOT wipe dry after showering.
  • Moisturize with an OIL FREE lotion – oil will remove your self tanner the same way it will eye makeup!
  • Don’t forget to really check your finger creases, elbow folds, and armpits!  If your dress is strapless, it’s important to pay attention to how your armpits tan (make sure they’re not darker, or striped in the creases, or draw extra attention for unevenness).


Happy tanning, brides! The most important thing is to trial your option of choice! You SHOULD NOT decide to get your first ever spray tan the week before your wedding nor should you decide to lay in a tanning bed 2 weeks before the big day! Trust us, it will show! If you’re considering a last minute tan, consider it again – I beg you! A natural skin tone is far better than the possibility of a funky tan you can’t reverse or peeling skin!

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