Tag Archive | au naturale

A Fair Bride

It’s been awhile 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.

This is us at the MOA right before Christmas looking like us.  Thank goodness for bronzer!

This is us at the MOA right before Christmas looking like us. Thank goodness for bronzer!

Pale but happy in an engagement photo on the beach/ photo by Jennifer Jackson

Pale but happy in an engagement photo on the beach this past May/ photo by Jennifer Jackson

I’m convinced this tanning thing is a fad and my goal is to live long enough to see pale skin come back in style.  Here’s hoping!  2045 baby!!

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?