A Fair Bride

It’s been a while since a bee or two has discussed the pros and cons of rocking your natural skin on the Big Day, and since we’re in the midst of winter weddings, I thought I’d share my thoughts on tanning/not tanning.

It’s been a running joke in my family for years that when I was growing up I was desperate to get a real tan by the end of the summer. I say by the end of the summer, because as all fair-skinned girls know, it doesn’t happen for us with one or two days in the sun. IT’S WORK. IT’S A PART-TIME JOB. And frankly, it’s nearly impossible. The comical part is after working so hard all summer, laying out with friends, hitting the pool, and begging my family for some beach time on the annual camping trip, my tan is all but gone by the time end of September rolls around. I would work so hard for months to see it disappear within a few weeks!

I used to fake and bake as well, but that quickly lost it’s luster due to money and the fear of getting skin cancer. It wasn’t until after college that I finally gave up tanning altogether. Enough was enough, and I decided to give up my goal of being a bronze goddess. And let me tell you, it was pretty freeing. I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Cut to the “year of the wedding,” and people are asking me if I’m going to get a spray tan (which I have done for other weddings and before a trip to LA), use tanning lotions, or fake and bake before the wedding, to which I reply, “I’m marrying a Scottish man. I won’t be the palest person at my wedding.” Nothing against Scottish people, but I’m sure we can all agree they aren’t the darkest group out there.

When I visited Scotland for the first time it was during a week in June, and everyone told me it was the warmest week they were going to get all summer. It was a heat wave. And it was like 65 degrees. I was wearing jackets and shivering!

Then there’s me, blonde-haired and blue-eyed with the fairest skin of anyone in my family. I’m Swedish and Norwegian from Dad Sword’s side and German and Russian from Mom Sword’s side. I like to joke that Mr. Sword and I are going to have translucent children. Lord help us.



I believe in doing whatever makes you feel amazing on your wedding day. But I don’t need to be tan to feel beautiful. It may have taken me a few decades to get to this point, but I’m OK with my skin color.

And word to the wise, if you want to make a lighter-skinned person happy, call them fair instead of pale. Fair also means beautiful, but pale is a negative term meaning “less than” such as when something pales in comparison to something else. Not as nice.

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

Are you a fair-skinned bride who is going au naturale on your wedding day or are you trying for that golden glow? What about other skin types (non Caucasian) people? What pressures do you feel from society in regards to beauty?


Mrs. Sword

Wedding Date:
March 2013
Numerical Carvings
Hoppily Ever After: I'm Yours
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  1. Member
    saus 50 posts, Worker bee @ 8:59 pm

    My FH refuses to marry an ‘oompa loompa’ so no fake tanning for me! I am fair skinned and have decided to rock it at my wedding. I do a lot of cycling, so to ensure I don’t get the tan line from my jersey, FH bought me some sun sleeves to wear. I’d rather be pale all over, than have a tan line!

  2. Member
    Ms_Maple 115 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:05 am

    I am totally rocking the pale look. I even bought an ivory wedding dress because white would wash me out too much!

  3. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:22 am

    I can totally identify with you on the “being tan is a JOB” thing. I used to spend lots of time outside in the summer to get tan, and mine also would fade really quickly. I found this year that I actually held my color longer into the winter (I still have slight tan lines) by NOT tanning. So I’m pretty much translucent, but that’s okay (you can still tell I’m not as pale as I once was). I got pretty freaked out by the prevalence of melanoma in young people and decided it just wasn’t worth aging my skin and possibly getting cancer just to try to fit in with other people.

    I’m embracing my fair, healthy skin in everyday life, and even though I’ll probably be slightly sad not to be tan for our wedding, that’s just not who I am, and I’d rather be me on our wedding day!

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