No one does class and elegance quite like Bonnie Ryan. She has fast moved from the shadows of her Father’s career, the late Gerry Ryan, becoming a star in her own right. Having garnered a dedicated following online for her impeccable style and flawless beauty routines, she is loved for her down to earth, wholesome personality that shines through so much. I recently sat with Bonnie to chat about her career and recent nuptials to her husband John in the stunning Italian countryside.
Your career has gone from strength to strength, did you always have your heart set on the beauty industry and where did that passion come from?
Actually no, I didn’t think of a career in the beauty industry at all. When I finished school I went straight into music and from there I went into marketing, so I was definitely one of those people who didn’t really know what they wanted to do when I left school. Now I always loved makeup and beauty along with fashion growing up so when I look back on it now I am kind of shocked that I didn’t always know that’s what I wanted to do? So I suppose it did take me a little while to find out just where my passion lay, but once I did figure it out it was just a surprise to me that I hadn’t always known. I definitely think that doing the singing career and marketing really helped me in my current position. There were aspects of them both that I loved that I have been able to transfer into what I am doing today. I would say that to everyone, nothing goes to waste in past career’s or job’s that you’ve had, you always take things that you learned and can apply them to your life and what you are doing now. For example, going to college and studying marketing for 4 years definitely gave me a good background in what I am doing now.
You recently got married to your husband John, congratulations! How have you been enjoying that post wedding bubble?!
It’s absolutely lovely, even from the lead up I enjoyed every minute even though we had to postpone due to covid. We were waiting just over 2 years to get married so by the time it came around we were absolutely dying for it! So planning it all with our families in the run up to it and planning the honeymoon it was just such an amazing time in our lives. When we came home, we had been the first of our friends to get married with a lot of them getting married now over the next few months so it’s nice that we can relax now and enjoy our friends and their day. We are going on our honeymoon shortly which we are both excited for! We decided to go and do some travelling and see a few different places so while I’m still finalising some of the details, I’m very excited to go. I have never really gone away anywhere for longer than a two or three weeks so it will be a nice experience.
When it came to choosing your dress, had you always envisaged the style of dress you would wear or did you go into it with an open mind?
To be honest, I know most brides will say I have always dreamed of my wedding day and what it will all look like, but for me, I could never actually see what I would look like, I had no idea. So initially, I started to look on sites like Pinterest to get ideas of what I liked but go in open minded. A couple of weeks before I went to try on dresses, I came across a dress on Pinterest and thought god that would be the dream dress! So I did a bit of research and I found somewhere that had it and it ended up being the first dress that I tried on and it ended up being the dress I bought. So it really was a very easy process for me, I decided just to tailor some parts of it to make it special and unique just for me, for example the sleeves where never part of the dress I designed them myself and I loved them, so in all it was a lovely experience for me. Even with my bridesmaids I was so lucky, I had said to them from the start that I didn’t want it to be a painful experience or for them to look back in years to come and think I can’t believe I had to wear that! I think when you are choosing bridesmaids, you are choosing your best friends, sisters or whoever it might be so you will want them to look and feel their best on the day. I told them the kind of vibe I was aiming for and showed them a couple of options and thankfully they all loved the same dress. I had been so nervous about it because I just wanted them to feel great and we all have hang ups about certain areas of our bodies so picking a dress that will suit everyone I thought would be more difficult? But I think a great idea is to let them have as much input and even different dresses in the same colour.
When you deal with so many brides, what approach did you take to planning your big day?
You would probably have to ask my bridesmaids to get the real honest answer there! But my answer would be that I would like to think I was pretty chilled during the whole process. I wanted to enjoy every moment of it and all the details so getting anxious over it, I just didn’t want that. After having to cancel our initial wedding date due to covid, it really changed my view on it. When I was planning it the first time, I had a completely different mentality. I was anxious about the day but when we postponed it really let me relax around it. Around the time we postponed, my sister Lottie found out she was expecting her son, Wolf so it was lovely as a family to just focus on her and enjoy that time. I really believe everything happens for a reason and with us enjoying the excitement around Wolf’s birth, he was then able to be there on the day so that was really special for us all to have him there with us. When we chose the date for the wedding it really made me appreciate more the chance to be with our friends and family and share the day with them, really all I wanted was to get to spend time with everyone after so much time apart. I tried to be as chill as possible and not let the little things stress me so I definitely think that helped. Particularly working within the industry, I have seen the little things that can stress people out on the day so I just decided that I was not going to let them stress me because in the end, the bride always gets out the door and down the aisle and it all works out.
Did your mom offer any particular advice to you before your wedding?
My Mom just said take in every second of the day because its going to go by so fast, in the blink of an eye. She was so right and that was one thing that myself and John had decided, to be glued to each other’s side from the minute we saw each other that day. From walking around chatting to our guests, eating our food, dancing, we just wanted to experience every moment of it together. We had put so much time into organising it I didn’t want it to get to midnight and realise I hadn’t seen my husband all day!
With weddings, they can have an emotional side to them when we think of loved ones no longer with us, how did you cope with that and do you feel it’s important to find a way to include them in spirit?
I think everybody deals with these things differently, for me it’s been quite a long time since my dad passed so maybe the sting on the day isn’t as bad after so much time? Maybe for someone who has lost someone closer to the day it could be very painful? But with my family all around me, its funny because my Dad is so much in my siblings and myself that I feel like he is around all the time anyway? He was included in the speeches and we had a little table set with his favourite drink on it so little things like that to incorporate him into the day. Even saying that, I do feel like we incorporate him into our daily lives anyway so I didn’t want to make it an over the top thing on the day and that I would be emotional about it. I just wanted it to be a nice day and of course acknowledge that we were all thinking about him.
Specialising in bridal make-up, what advice can you give to a bride to be on choosing the perfect wedding day look?
The first advice I would give anyone is to try not to get stressed out, which is easier said than done! When we get stressed out we can get break outs on our skin. I think the best thing to do is to invest in your skin beforehand, once you invest in your skin in the lead up your makeup is always going to turn out better on the day because your skin will be at its best. After that its important to get the right makeup artist, the right hairdresser who already fit into the theme and image that you want to go for and collaborate with them to come up with your perfect look. On the day I would suggest having in your bridesmaids handbag your powder for touch ups throughout the day, lipstick and lip-gloss. Those where the things that I made sure to have with me on the day.
When putting together a wedding budget, it is often a nice treat to allocate a budget for a “splurge” item be it shoes, bag, jewellery? What item did you treat yourself to?
Personally, for me I went for a pair of really nice shoes! You can splurge on whatever item suits but for me it was definitely the shoes! I did a lot of going backward and forward on it, thinking will I or wont I? My sister actually got her wedding shoes for just €50 and she still wears them all the time so it’s definitely not necessary to buy expensive shoes but it was something I wanted to do for myself. I’m so happy I did because they are something that I will wear again, actually when I went to buy them I wore an outfit that would be my usual style of going out clothing to see how they would look so that’s definitely a tip I would recommend.
Your sister Lottie married in La Machi in 2017, was there a sentimental reason for you choosing the same location Bonnie?
La Machi is actually where Lottie’s husband is from and the first time that I was there was for her wedding and I just fell in love with the place. It’s very remote, in the middle of nowhere but with such an authentic Italian feel. We had gone back a lot on holidays because it is just so beautiful, I wasn’t even engaged but at the time I said “It’s so beautiful please can I get married here?!” Fabio asked his grandparents and they were delighted I had asked so it really just went from there.
In a world where social media can leave us with little or no privacy, where you concerned with pictures being posted in real time by guests, particularly of your husband who’s privacy you so respectfully protect?
I just said to myself, I have done the best that I can in keeping him private for us and I had to let go of any anxiety around it. I didn’t even have my phone on me for the day. The only time I went on was to post one particular picture that one of my bridesmaids took of me and John. He was on a vespa and I had my bouquet strategically placed covering his face and we both loved it so I threw it up and just thought it’s out now so whatever my guests post from here on in is ok. I completely understand for people that follow me it’s part of my life and my journey but at the end of the day it’s the career that I have chosen. John never chose a career in the public eye so I really respect that and try to keep his privacy for him. I even found a lot of my guests coming up to me asking was it okay to post photo’s online and it had just so happened that I had put that photo up online so I just said of course! That meant that I had posted what I wanted so I could relax and enjoy my day and not feel anxious
There has been some big changes in your family dynamic with the sale of the family home and Lottie’s son Wolf, how has that transition been for everyone?
It’s been really nice actually, I think when I was younger I honestly hated change. I don’t even know why but it just freaked me out, I just wanted everything to stay the same forever. But as I have gotten older I have just learned so much more to embrace change because I see how our lives as a family are moving on and its exciting, change is actually the best thing ever. You never know unless you just let things happen that something better could be just around the corner. It has been such an exciting 2 years in my family, Wolf has just brought so much happiness to us all. My Mom is starting a gorgeous new chapter in her life and we are all just so very happy for her. I think that is one part of getting older that I like, that I am definitely embracing change a lot more.
Finally Bonnie, is there any exciting new projects coming up over the next 12 months?
Yes, there are a few things that I am working on at the moment which I am really excited about but I am afraid to mention anything because god only knows how long these things will take. But what I can say is that I am excited about bringing some things to the market in the next year and I will be sure to update your readers in Connect as soon as I can! But I am really just loving work at the moment, I feel so lucky to be doing something that I love. I love having a job where I am my own boss and that I get to tailor make it to suit me and my life and what I want it to be. There has never been a time where I have taken it all for granted that I have a job that I love so much.