Get the glow

Forget blushing bride- you'll want to be a
bronzed bride on your big day

In life, and love, it’s all about timing. You’ll have your wedding day planned down to the tee, but one crucial element to your look requires some extra consideration - your tan.

White might be a popular choice for bridal gowns, but it isn't the most flattering shade for pale Irish complexions. If you are used to wearing tan every day you’ll definitely want a top up for your wedding and even if it’s not a treatment you use often a hint of colour will do wonders to have you literally glowing on your big day.

There are two keys factors when self-tanning- getting your prep and timing right, and choosing a shade that suits your natural skin tone.

While your hair and make up will be looked after on the day itself you’ll need to begin applying your tan several days beforehand. With so much to think about, don’t play roulette with your bronzing and end up with a last-minute attempt that could turn streaky or worse, a zingy shade of tangerine.

Opt for a gradual tan you apply in the lead up to the big day like Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Gentle Bronze. Paraben-free, vegetable-derived and cruelty-free, this cult product is beloved by celebrities, Beauty Editors and make-up artists for a reason. Apply to clean, dry skin every day in the days leading up to your wedding and you’ll control how deep the tan develops. It’s the ideal way to apply a measured amount of colour without the risk of a rogue session on the morning of your wedding. It’s also perfect for different skin tones- simply apply as little, or as much, as needed to complement your natural colour.

Before applying your tan, it’s vital your skin is prepped. You’ll need to exfoliate thoroughly to ensure all dry skin cells are buffed off. It’s thanks to these pesky, flaky areas that you could end up with a patchwork colour rather than an even glow. You’ll need to pay particular attention to your elbows, knees, hands and feet using a grainy exfoliator like Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Tough Stuff. Use sweeping strokes back and forth with the product on your skin. Using it on dry skin will give you a deeper exfoliation, while using it in the shower will be gentler on your skin. Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Tough Stuff is also brilliant for removing stubborn bits of old tan.

After exfoliating, apply a generous amount of moisturiser all over your body to keep your skin hydrated. Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Chocolate Whip is an oil-free moisturiser that helps your tan fade evenly, formulated with skin-protecting panthenol and Vitamin E- oh, and it smells like chocolate cake. Need we say more?

When applying your tan, it’s imperative you use a tanning mitt lest you end up with orange paws. Ensure the product is absorbed by your skin and completely dry before getting dressed, but not before applying a moisturiser such as Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Chocolate Whip to keep skin supple.

Instead of tanning on your big day, you can enhance the colour you’ve already applied with a shimmering coat of dry body oil. Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Goddess Oils are super shimmery and available in three shades. Perfect for topping up a tan or using as a standalone product, they make a beautiful gift to your bridal party on the morning of your wedding.

Apply a generous amount of the silky dry oil in the morning and your squad will be glowing by the time they walk down the aisle. Golden and Rose Gold Goddess are shades perfect for accentuating already tanned skin, while Ice Goddess is ideal for porcelain complexions. The subtle white gold shimmer will give skin a luminous glow without actually adding colour. The dry oil can also be applied to the face- simply dab on areas you want to highlight like cheekbones and collarbones.

So that’s the bride and her party sorted- but what about the guests? While you might not be getting married anytime soon, chances are you’ll be attending a wedding (or three). With increasingly hectic schedules sometimes it’s a last minute fix that we need for special occasions. If time is precious, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Night and Day Tan Mousse is what you need stashed in your beauty bag. It can be applied on the day and needs no developing time. Shower off the next morning for a warm, residual glow. Instant tan, without any fuss? We’ll say I do to that.

Bridal beauty bible: Top tips for the perfect tan

It’s all about the prep; ensure your skin is deeply exfoliated prior to tanning

Your skin should be free of any moisturiser or oil based products immediately before applying tan

Apply a coat of nail varnish to prevent colour seeping onto your nail bed

Brush your teeth before tanning – you’ll prevent toothpaste reacting with your colour at the edges of your mouth

Leave your face, hands, knees and feet until last and apply sparingly

Apply a small amount of Vaseline over your eyebrows to prevent staining

Get beautifully bronzed for the big day with help of Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter. Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter is available in 20 countries and over 15,000 stockists including Boots, Penneys and Superdrug. Find more information on the award-winning tanning brand and expert advice on getting the perfect tan here.