“It’s useful, because I can see what you have, and we can talk about what you think you need, and make suggestions about what else you might want to get if necessary,” Bigley says. “You shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on new stuff, just to achieve one thing. A professional can help with that part of it.”
One of the trends Bigley sees in wedding styles these days, in terms of popular styles of hair and makeup, is a move toward more of a soft, natural look, stepping away from the somewhat harsher, more extravagant approach that has been the norm for the last few years.
“For a while, we saw a lot of sparkles in weddings, more of an over-the-top makeup style,” she says. “Now we’re moving toward a more romantic, realistic, less theatrical vibe. The same with hair. For a while, hairstyles in weddings has been very put-together, super constructed, and now the Sonoma County vineyard weddings I’ve been working with are bringing a more lived-in kind of look, which is definitely more authentic and romantic.”
Asked about other wedding trends that have arisen in recent years, Bigley describes a special pre-vow photo shoot that has been dubbed “the first look.”
“Some people still prefer not to see each other till the actual wedding, but more and more, couples are staging a ‘first look’ photo where they meet in some quiet place and have a moment together before they take their places for the wedding,” she says. “It’s like the calm before the storm, the moment where the couple gets to remind themselves that all of this is about the two of them, their relationship, and what this whole elaborate production is really about, which is love.”
Of course, ever since federal marriage equality laws abolished restrictions on same-sex weddings, Bigley says she has gradually been assisting with the makeup on more weddings with two brides or two grooms. Wedding makeup for men in general is another trend that has been increasingly on the rise as well, she allows.
“With men, the makeup I do is usually to deal with face-shine in the photos,” she says. “But the basic dynamic of a wedding is always pretty much the same whether it’s two men or two women, or a man and a woman. What stays the same is the level of excitement, the nervousness, the keeping apart and getting ready separately until the ‘first look’ or the wedding itself.”
When Bigley does consult on DIY makeup projects, she says that one of her primary tips is to remind the artist that there is a very fine balance between too much makeup and too little. Maintaining that balance takes practice, so she always recommends a trial run or two, leading up to the day of the wedding.
“I always tell people, the camera tends to absorb about one-third of the makeup,” Bigley says, “so you have to strategically overcompensate for that, in terms of the intensity of the pigment you are using. But you don’t want to go too far, or it can look jarring when you come face to face with the person you are marrying. It’s important to remember that it’s always easier to add than subtract. Start our very light, and gradually add more as needed, but don’t go in all excited and then have to do a lot of damage control.
“Damage control,” she adds with a laugh, “is never really a very stress free situation.”