After your wedding gown, a veil is one of the most defining aspects of your bridal appearance. Historically a veil was worn to protect the bride from evil spirits; nowadays it is simply considered a beautiful form of adornment. Today’s bride can choose any type of veil she desires, but it is important to understand that a veil is an accessory, and as such only one part of your overall look. You need to consider how it will work with your dress, face shape, body shape, hairstyle and wedding location.
See-through hats, they flatten and weigh down hair while simultaneously requiring it to look perfect. Which is why stars like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston rely on hairstylist Chris McMillan for their big days—the guy knows a thing or two about making veil hair look both modern, elegant and really, really easy. I called him to get his top three tips:
1) Think about how you want your hair to look before choosing the veil. If you want a bigger, fuller style, choose a lightweight veil that attaches with a comb at the back of the crown: “You can do a Brigitte Bardot updo with height in the crown and have little pieces falling over the front.” If the veil lays on top of your head, like Kim’s did, know that you’ll need to do a flatter hairstyle. McMillan recommends wearing your hair in a ballerina bun at the nape of your neck, in a half-back-half-down style or completely down (tease all around the crown so you still have volume). “I love down hair for weddings because it’s rare. I always love the way Katharine Ross looked in The Graduate and I remember seeing Poppy Delevingne who wore hers down and just thinking it was cooler and a little more modern. I did Jennifer Aniston’s hair down, too.”
2) Make sure it stays in place. “You definitely have to secure veils,” says McMillan. “You can use a comb sewn into the veil, but with Kim’s, because the veil was so big and heavy, it wasn’t holding and I was getting nervous. I asked Riccardo Tisci if it was okay to puncture the veil—I didn’t want to, it’s Givenchy—and he said ‘please!’ so I got the okay from the master and I shoved four bobby pins on the top of her head in a crisscross pattern to make it stay. That’s where the creativity leaves and you have to get kind of industrial about things.”
3) Come up with a post-veil plan. Wedding veils keep your hair contained, so they won’t give you frizz, static or flyaways, but you’ll want to have hairspray and volume spray on hand to bring it back to life for the reception. “What I did with Kim’s hair after was I took two pieces of hair and met them in the back, then I put some flowers where the two sides connected, so it was replacing the veil with little flowers. You just have to have fun with it.”