Christmas Advice Nugget #5 — Tan Lines You’ve Never Even Thought About Before

Hola Everybody!

It’s Mike and Patty’s wedding day so I’m headed out the door for their reception setup and will have to keep this short and sweet — so here is today’s advice.  When you choose to get married on a tropical island, you need to give some thought to the tan line situation before you arrive.

Most brides have given some thought to their bathing suit selections, keeping in mind the neckline of their wedding gown (so much is strapless these days that it’s tricky to find something that won’t give you bad tan lines if you have any real boobs you need the suit to prop up), but there are a number of other areas you need to watch out for if you don’t want to have any funny stories associated with your wedding photos.  So, without further adieu, in no particular order:

– beard tans — Grooms cannot be lazy about shaving when they get to the island and then shave for the big day.  You will have a beard tan and people will laugh at you.

– hat tans — Grooms with receding hairlines, or who are mostly bald or closely shaved, should be careful they don’t get a hat tan.  The concept of the hat is good — the tan line is bad.  Get a hat with a wider brim — no baseball caps or visors.

– flip flop tans — If you’re getting married barefoot, try not to tan your sandals onto your feet while you’re walking around the island.  You can prevent this by applying sunblock to your feet before you go out and about.  White strap marks look silly on bare feet in wedding photos.  And beware: once you get a shoe tan, you’re stuck with it forever.  Or at least I am.

– purse or bag strap tans — I know it sounds silly, but if you are very fair-skinned and you’re not wearing sunblock when you’re out and about carrying a purse or a beach bag on your shoulder, you may very well get a tan line.  And let’s face it, bathing suit strap marks are one thing.  A purse strap tan line on one shoulder is just weird looking.

– owl eyes — I’ve had them a million times so I sympathize deeply with your plight but… this is the worst and easiest bad tan to get in the days leading up to your wedding.  I know BIG sunglasses are in style and I know sunglasses are actually an accessory — but they will make tan lines right across the middle of your cheek (and sometimes forehead) if you’re not careful.  Make sure you have some attractive sunglasses with the smallest lenses possible for your extended periods out in the sun (beach parties, picnics, etc.).  Or just go without.  For some of us who wear contacts, the glare is just too much to even consider skipping sunglasses, but you can do some damage-control by choosing something smaller to wear.  Or wearing a giant flopy hat — just beware of tan lines on the shoulders with those.

Gentlemen too — depending on how quickly you tan or burn, even aviator sunglasses can give you some funky tan lines.  Just be alert to it.  Island wedding couples should keep an eye out for it on each other.

Gotta run now!  Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!


Okay, you get the picture (pun intended).  If you’re getting married on an island, be mindful of your skin in the days leading up to your actual wedding date or you may have some regrets when you get your pictures back.  Sunburn that looks bad in a mirror looks worse in a picture.  Don’t kid yourself.

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