A Pale Bride

On a normal day I am pretty pale. I’m a redhead and I have very fair skin. I’ve always sort of hated being pale. Over the years I have definitely been suckered into the tanning craze. Unlike some redheads, I do indeed get tan. But, before I get tan, I get extremely red. For many redheads the red fades back into white, but if I stick to it I do indeed get brown.


The year of the tan, my junior year of college

I’m ashamed to admit that for about three years in college I ignored all the warnings and went tanning every now and again. I went to college on Long Island—a school made up of mostly New Yorkers and New Jersey kids. Tan is IN in that neck of my woods. Jersey Shore is no lie.

And yes, I have seen shades of orange that go beyond anything Snookie and Pauly D. have been. My friends and I would always buy a three month package right before spring breaks and sorority formals. No one dared to be pale in the copious amount of pictures we would take. No one thought anything of it. At the time it was pretty cheap and everyone looks “healthier” with a tan. For a few years I wouldn’t get into a dress without one.


Tanning membership + a week in Acapulco

Looking back now I realize I was an idiot. We all know that there is nothing worse than fake and bake. But, like smoking and eating Twinkies, sometimes people just ignore the blatant danger because we inherently think “oh, XYZ won’t happen to me, and if it does I’ll worry about it then.” I just can’t bring myself to lie under a tanning bed anymore knowing what I know about the risks involved. I also can’t bring myself to spray tan. Although I can’t knock it, because I’ve never tried a professional one, I am pretty scared of looking like Lindsay Lohan on a bad day. Because I am naturally pale self-tanning products tend to look a little too orange on me. I also don’t want to have to even *think* about rubbing off on my white wedding gown or seeing weird streaks/fading in pictures.So I have decided I am going PALE-O COMMAND-O. Winter skin pale. Anyone who lives in a cold climate knows that scary sickly level of white us non-tanners get to by the time March rolls around. I’ve looked at a few pictures lately and thought, “hot damn, I look dead!”


Not tan & I was wearing bronzer, oy

I like to tell myself that the light, makeup, and overall glow of being a bride will not make me regret my decision. I’m hoping for a few rays of light to absorb into my face/neck before the big day. On the bright side a long wedding dress=my pasty white legs are covered. So, thank petunias for that. My legs look like they were ripped off a zombie bride corpse right now. Plus, they are covered in greening bruises from moving and being an overall animal…

Are you going the au-natural pale route on your wedding day or will you be tanning/spray-tanning?


Mrs. Porcupine

NYC/Lancaster, PA
Wedding Date:
March 2012
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  1. Member
    cosmo_gmr 946 posts, Busy bee @ 1:50 pm

    I think it’s the way to go! you are pale so what! be you on your wedding XD

  2. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:08 pm

    I have the opposite problem, I get tanned really easy and work in the sun. I do all kinds of things to avoid tanning cause I don’t want lines anywhere. Hopefully the fact that the wedding’s in december will help and I won’t look too tanned.

  3. Member
    Aud1628 540 posts, Busy bee @ 7:07 pm

    Embrace girl, you have beautiful skin and hair!! :)

  4. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:53 am

    I’m about the same shade of dead as you but with golden brown hairs. I’ve been debating hitting up the beach a few weekends before the wedding but don’t want a sunburn or heinous tan lines.

  5. Member
    gallifrey 124 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:01 am

    I feel ya. I’m so pale my family regularly jokes with me about being albino. It’s physically impossible for me to tan so I’ve learned to embrace my pasty skin and will be going natural for the wedding. I debated a spray tan for about 5 seconds but ultimately decided I want to look like ME on my wedding, albino-like skin and all. No one would recognize me with a bit of color :) On a side note, the thing I’m really worried about is getting all blotchy red on my chest and cheeks. Any other pale brides get really red when they’re anxious? (or have any solutions to this little problem?) I’m pretty sure I will be a lovely shade of red walking down the aisle…

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    ButterflyVee, Guest @ 11:42 am

    Pale is beautiful!! The word is Etheral. You’re an ethereal beauty. Pale is classic and timeless. Think of classic princesses and the Civil War era, etc. Women who were tan back then were women who had to work in the fields. Pale skin was a sign of wealth and considered the most beautiful. There are so many beautiful, classic brides with pale skin. I’m 41 years old and I’ve learned over time that being pale is attractive. Men like a women who cares for her skin. They like soft and gentle looking skin. The ladies who tanned and continue to, are wrinkled, older looking and look tacky if they get too dark. I think you are doing the right thing by emracing your naturally fair skin on your wedding day. Instead of spending money to get tan and harm your skin, spend it on seeing a really good makeup artist who appreciates the beauty of your coloring!! He/She can enhance your beautiful skin, freckles, eyes, etc. and give a beautiful look for your special day. I know a lot of men who love pale skin. Believe it or not. Sometimes the male species are way more intelligent about what looks good than we women are who compare ourselves to other woman all the time!! Also, go online, look in magazines, etc. for Ethereal Brides, Princesses, red haired brides with pale skin, whatever, and look up Victorian brides, Civil war beauty, what was considered beautiful in the past, etc. and relate yourself to these beautiful women. Many actresses today have pale skin because they want to preserve their youthful looks. Look to those celebrities for inspiration and LOVE the Beauty you are!!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    ButterflyVee, Guest @ 11:50 am

    It’s also true that the brides in the Bridal Magazines, advertisements, etc. usually have FAIR, alabaster, cream like skin. Let them be your inspiration. You are beautiful as you are. Embrace it! You are a “fair beauty” :-)

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    ButterflyVee, Guest @ 11:51 am

    Sorry, spelled Ethereal wrong in one of my first sentences!!
    It’s also true that the brides in the Bridal Magazines, advertisements, etc. usually have FAIR, alabaster, cream like skin. Let them be your inspiration. You are beautiful as you are. Embrace it! You are a “fair beauty” :-)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    HBanan, Guest @ 8:38 pm

    I think you look much nicer without the tan. I am also pale, and I used to completely hate it. I grew up in a heavily Hispanic area, and I kind of stood out. Most of the Anglo people on TV had tans, so that made me feel even more regret that my skin just couldn’t do its “job.” I learned that I just had to appreciate the full range of colors of human skin, and that my skin was, in its own way, just as beautiful as that of darker people. Watching English TV shows and movies and seeing Christina Hendricks helped. There is a big difference between the pallor of a sick person and the normal pale/rosy color of your skin; take a picture sometime of yourself when you have the flu and note the difference! When you pick out the color of your bridal dress, I recommend testing the colors in different lighting. Sometimes an ivory will be too yellow and can actually not complement your skin as well as a white dress will.

  10. Member
    jema 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:15 am

    glad you chose to go the “pale” route — you look beautiful!! The tan doesn’t look very “natural”

  11. Member
    kelly101212 50 posts, Worker bee @ 12:39 pm

    I’m super pale as well…I love my skin tone now, but I used to hate it when I was younger. I even *shudder* used to go to tanning beds too when I was in high school/college…I’m still kicking myself for the damage I’m sure I did to my skin!

    As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to embrace my pale-ness, though. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it…and my fiance thinks I’m beautiful, so that’s all that matters to me!

  12. Member
    VintageMilwBride 62 posts, Worker bee @ 4:25 pm

    I was a vintage bride and I love the 40′s. I have ivory porcelain skin and it works to my advantage since it was very “in” to have light skin at that time. I actually had to argue with my bridesmaids not to tan since it doesn’t look authentically vintage!

  13. Member
    MoniqueJ 7 posts, Newbee @ 5:21 pm

    You look great without your tan! I’ve got blonde hair & blue eyes with pale skin and I’ve burned in the sun my whole life…like one of the other bees I’ve had moles and had some scares with skin cancer, so I’ve never stepped foot in a tanning bed! I do get spray tans to give me some color. I’m not sure of the brand that my salon uses, but they have different shades that you can get. I usually get medium because after you shower and the bronzer washes off, I have a really nice glow…I live in the South so everyone is tan here! I would go to a salon and just try it out to see if you like it, you’ve got some time! I stay away from the store bought stuff, those always seem to streak on me! Good luck with whatever you decide!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    A Fair Bride | Journey to "i do", Guest @ 8:09 pm

    [...] been awhile since a bee or two has discussed the pros and cons of rocking your natural skin on the Big Day, and since [...]

  15. Guest Icon Guest
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