Wight Wedding Blog

Real Bride ~ Rachel's wedding hair and make up trial

Hair ~ Donna Jones Hairdressing

Make Up ~ Harmony Beauty

Photography ~ Wight Photography

When wedding planning there is always a budget looming over you, reminding you to be careful where and how you spend your hard earned (or acquired) pennies. Forgetting or blissfully ignoring the fact you have a budget will mean scary surprises when it comes to paying everyone, which won’t make for a stress free day or start to your marriage. One way of working with the wedding budget is to ask your friends to help out or to take on some tasks yourselves. One of those tasks we would recommend not leaving to a friend or even yourself on the morning of your wedding is your hair and make up. You want to look your best for your husband-to-be, for the friends and family looking at you all day and for the professional camera that will be capturing every moment. Most importantly you want to feel great, confident and being happy with your hair and make up is essential to this.

Rachel Herbert is one such bride on a budget that considered having a friend do her wedding day make up (must add they were in process of training professionally) but changed her mind to go pro when another friend recommended Harmony Beauty and Donna Jones Hairdressing. Rachel was encouraged to find the duo who work together closely at an Isle of Wight wedding fayre where she was able to talk to both and see examples of their work before considering a trial. This is where the bridal trial and consultation can begin as you may find yourself talking about what you want and your concerns for your skin there and then. How the suppliers respond to this will help you know if they are the people for you and your wedding day. Ruth of Harmony Beauty invited me to come and witness how herself and Donna of Donna Jones Hairdressing work as a team with a bride from trial to consultation and decision-making. Rachel was kind enough to let me sit in on her own consultation to witness the action and transformation, while asking all about her wedding hair and make up decisions and thoughts.

I arrive at Rachel’s house and am whisked into the dining room where there is tea waiting for me (don’t get that service at home!). Ruth and Donna have already set all their kit up and is one of things that remind me of the benefits of a professional…they have so much choice available. Much more than my little make up bag complete with exploded eye shadow can offer! Also there with us is Martin Wilkins of Wight Photography who has offered to photograph the consultation as he photographs the wedding day preparations for all his weddings. Rachel seems really lovely and is super nice to have let me sit in on her consultation and I ask how planning is going. Rachel tells me she is getting married on December 23rd this year at Landguard Manor and is feeling pretty organised. We like this organised bride more already being quite up together in March for a December wedding is the perfect way to be. And so we get started.


Ruth starts by letting me know that a bride’s consultation starts before the trial meeting and normally over the phone so clients get a feel for who she is and what she can offer, before moving onto their wedding hair options and discussing the dynamic of working with the talented hair stylist Donna Jones. Talking on potential looks and any concerns that they might have and want advice on (I have many of my own so it would be like opening the flood gates with me!), when the wedding is going to be, the style or theme and what the bride will be wearing. As a professional qualified make up artists and qualified beautician Ruth understands the dynamics of how the skin works and is happy to spend time with the bride to reassure them, offer advice for any problem areas and create a mood board for their look before meeting with them. Ruth takes into consideration the skin tone, features, dress and accessories, theme and colours to create a balanced overall look that enhances the features of a bride. In addition to the mood board Ruth sends a pre-trial instruction sheet so that the bride can ready her skin for the trial. It is important to get the most out of the trial and the advice will help with the application of make up on the day. Ruth only conducts trials during the daytime light as this is when brides get married and they must be pleased with the look in daylight. Both Donna and Ruth like to enhance the natural features of a bride and work to highlight their positive areas and work around those they feel negative about.

Donna can work a trial in the evening as the hair is not as affected by light as the make up. She works in a similar way with images and ideas the bride has seen online, in magazines or even on their friends they bring to the consultation. Those ideas need to be considered once Donna has established the hair type and condition. As a trained hairdresser Donna can offer other advice and services that will help to prepare a brides hair for the wedding day style that is chosen with trims, treatments and colours in the lead up. With 9 months to go Rachel has plenty of time to make any changes Donna advises and is already taking advantage of trims and some conditioning treatments to get her hair wedding ready.

Although Donna and Ruth do work separately they are most often seen in wedding pictures together working with a bride. They have found a unique and convenient way of not bumping into each other while working. I ask Rachel the benefits of having both Donna and Ruth working together for her wedding day and she said that the convenience was a benefit while the fact that they work well together means it won’t require two different suppliers at different times. They literally work with each other and around each other. And did Rachel have ideas of what she wanted her hair and make up to look like? Of course the answer is yes but wanted to discuss it with a professional to check it would all suit her and the wedding day. That’s what they’re here for.


The trial is also a time where the bride discusses how her wedding plans are going and both can offer suggestions on suppliers available. Top of the list is discussing the photographer as they can make you look fabulous in your pictures but your make up and hair need to be just right. No shiny faces or dull hairspray heavy hair as it may come across in your images or leave your photographer tearing their hair out while editing. Glitter is a big no no and if you are going to be fiddling with your hair all day you will find your arm up by your head in many of your wedding images. Make sure you are comfortable. At this point we ask Martin what his main problems are with make up and hair and he confirms it is glitter, shiny make up and fiddly hair that make it more difficult to get that perfect shot straight away that avoids additional time in the studio adjusting. Martin does comment on how this time of the wedding day where the bride is preparing for her wedding is a great time to capture the atmosphere of the day. There are normally some great shots of fathers and mothers with brides, and brides with their bridesmaids that become images to hang on the wall afterwards. It is also nice to see the transformation of a bride with a before and after image.

During the trial both discuss what they are doing as they go along, show the bride as they go, discuss the products they are using and ask how it all feels. This is a point Ruth highlights as it is important for a bride to feel comfortable with the final result as well as like the way it looks. Rachel does comment on how the whole process is a bit of a pamper experience in itself and very relaxing. Just what will be needed on the morning of the wedding! Any skin or hair care questions can be brought up and answered with any concerns being addressed either before the trial to allow time to rectify any problems, or during while Ruth and Donna can see what they are talking about and offer advice or reassurance. Rachel had her own concerns which she has sought advice on that means by the time she gets to her wedding in December not only will she be calm and reassured at knowing how she will look (so she can turn her mind to other things), but will be looking her best. Having a trial means that on the day the hair and make up will be planned and prepared, taking less time to achieve the same look. Both create charts and notes to bring along meaning everything is prepared and to hand.

At this point in the consultation and between telling me all about a brides experience, Rachel’s hair is almost completely curled and Donna is putting in additional pieces of hair that she discussed adding with Rachel. Donna can purchase hairpieces and accessories for brides as well as ensuring any extensions for length or volume are matched to the hair colour. I would personally prefer a professional to buy and match these than expect I can get a cheap deal online. Knowing my luck I’d end up with horsetail hair in the wrong colour. Rachel is shown the final look by Donna who has gone easy on the hair spray to allow for any adjustments to be made easily, while leaving the curl quite tight to allow for any natural drop and also that this was at the request of the bride herself. Adding accessories can lead to tweaks, which would be made at this point. Accessories can be anything from small clips with jewels on to fresh flower crowns and fresh flowers on clips, all of which can be sourced by Donna. There is often a great image of Donna placing the final accessory or veil to the wedding look that often leads to an emotional picture.


This opportunity to make changes is also offered by Ruth who can offer to change anything about the make up look. They always want the bride to feel comfortable to speak about how they feel and the changes they might want

Both Donna and Ruth are almost finished with Rachel’s consultation and it has passed quickly with all the wedding chat between us. There is so much to consider. Ruth makes her final touches to Rachel’s make up and finishes with a setting spray called models in a bottle (I’m wondering if I can drink that stuff and it’ll work) which sets the make up and offers a matte finish that means the make up won’t budge. I do offer the little tip my mum mentioned she used to use years ago and it was…….hairspray! The professionals obviously didn’t recommend it and I would be more inclined to use models in a bottle. But when needs must. 

Rachel looks fantastic and is very happy with both her hair and her make up. We think her fiancée will be fixated as she appears at the top of the aisle. Just the reaction we are all looking for.

After the trial is finished the option to finally go with Ruth or Donna is left open to a bride. Rachel is asked to keep the make up on and see how it lasts and feels, and to get in touch to discuss if she is still happy with everything or if some thoughts or concerns have cropped up. They are happy to come back for a retrial to work on any concerns the bride might have.  


Ruth and Donna will depart a bride on the wedding day leaving her with a little essentials kit of: a bottle of water, a lipstick for touch ups, some pins for hair emergencies, advice (of course) and the chance to take them up on an evening touch up. A new offer by Donna and Ruth to ensure hair and make up lasts the rest of the day and you are looking fab for the wedding pictures late into the night, they will attend your wedding at your venue for a brief touch up to both your hair and make up.

Both Donna and Ruth offer flexible packages for brides, mother of the bride and any other bridal party members that would like to take advantage of picking and choosing the different treatments and services that will suit them. There really is a lot to choose from and they realise that even within the one bridal party there will be varying requests from each person. The best thing to do is to get in touch and discuss what you would like. What is unique is the fact that you can create a package with a hairdresser and stylist, and a make up artist.

We all hope this has offered some insight into a bridal trial with Ruth and Donna, and want to say a massive Wight Wedding Days thank you to them both. To Martin too for being kind enough to capture the moments of Rachel’s bridal trial and let us share them here with you. Most importantly to Rachel herself for letting us all pile into her dining room to watch her be pampered and transformed into her beautiful wedding day self.

To get more information or to just get in touch with any of the lovely suppliers just click their names below.

Ruth - Harmony Beauty

Donna – Donna Jones Hairdressing

Martin – Wight Photography


Wight Wedding Days X

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