Critics Say “Boo Hiss” to Strap Marks — How to Keep the Bride and Bridesmaids Looking Their Best

Hello Loyal Readers!

I’m flying out the door in a minute to meet with a May bride here on a pre-planning trip.  Then it’s to the ferry dock to pick up this week’s wedding couple’s parents.  It seems the well-intentioned bride and groom had double-booked themselves.  And seeing as how the bride’s mother has been kind enough to pay me throughout this process (and I’m dying to meet her), I volunteered to fill in the gap and pick up the bride’s family when they arrive in Vieques.  But before I run out the door to do all this, I wanted to write about tan lines and Caribbean destination weddings.

 I don’t have to opine for very long in order to convey my point here.  Strap marks — bad!  Sunscreen — Good!  Look, it’s not about skin cancer, it’s about the wedding photos.  Let’s get real here.  If you’re wearing a strapless wedding gown (and/or you’ve chosen a strapless dress for your bridesmaids), it’s imperative that you guys find some bathing suits to wear on the pre-wedding days here that won’t mark you for the pictures on the big day.

When I got married on Vieques Island, it was Labor Day weekend.  All of my bridesmaids already had killer tans, and killer strap marks.  Most of them did their best to tan out the strap marks in the three days prior to my ceremony, but it didn’t work too well.  Same with me.  My permanent tan lines (a result of wayyy too many hours in the sun over a period of years) never seem to go away.  And my wedding week was no exception.

If you’re getting married during the summer months or you live in a hot climate and tan year round, you must think about this in advance so you don’t have the same problem I had.

Don’t try to cover strap marks with makeup.  Sure you can tone them down a bit (try using a bronzer powder) but you can’t hide them.  That thick makeup you use to cover tattoos is too thick for strap marks and looks fake.

Wear a high SPF sunblock whenever you’re out in the sun on the island.  Remember, you’re in the Caribbean and the sun is hotter than the beaches up in the states.  And as your mom always said, “you can get burned on a cloudy day.”

Happy Wedding Planning!


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