I’m not married yet, but I’ve done the spray tanning as a bridesmaid and I’ve never had a bad experience with it. It can go both ways though – I’ve never had it rub off but in my MOH’s wedding this past summer, the entire neckline of her dress all the way around from her chest to behind her arms turned a rusty-orange colour. You couldn’t see it so much in the front unless you were right in front of her but if she lifted her arms it was pretty bad. She was a good sport about it though!
What I’ve learned from my own experience and her experience is basically:
1. Do a trial run first a good period of time before the wedding to see what shade is right for you and how long it lasts on your skin. For example, I’m super pale naturally so I don’t even get a spray with bronzer in it, it’s just called a “glow” and that’s enough. Anyone with darker skin than me (which is, sadly for me, most people) would probably need the bronzer for it to make a difference.
2. When you do it for the actual day, make sure you get the tan a few days in advance. I usually get it done 3 or 4 days ahead of time, but as I said, I’m pretty pale so it tends to show up longer – that’s why a trial is helpful.
3. The last time you shower before your wedding day, use a loofah or some other type of product that will exfoliate your skin and gently exfoliate – this evens out the tan and helps take off any extra colour that could just be sitting on top of your skin rather than absorbed into it, since that is the colour that is more likely to rub off.
4. Watch out for your feet! I have always done the spray booth type of tan but my Maid/Matron of Honor did airbrushing with an attendant who did the actual spraying – because it was done manually, a lot of the spray drifted down to her feet and on her wedding day, her feet were BRIGHT orange, like Cheetos-orange. Again, she was a great sport about it, but in hindsight, it wasn’t ideal.
Of course, if it’s a hot day and you’re outside and sweating, you do run the risk of it rubbing off a little bit no matter what you do, but if it’s had the chance to absorb, it’s less likely to show up significantly, and you’d probably be the only person to notice it. I hope that helps!