What more loving act of solidarity on your wedding day is there? For bride Joan Lyon, the decision to support her terminally ill groom by chopping off her locks was a simple one: Cut it off! The buzz cut at the reception was just one of several ways Craig and Joan Lyons infused charity into their big day on April 15 in Liverpool, England.
The Lyons' emotional wedding day was documented by Kim and Ant Struth, the husband-and-wife duo behind Struth Photography. To make this couple's dream come true, the Struths teamed up with the Gift of a Wedding charity, which organizes free weddings for couples coping with terminal or life-shortening illnesses.
"This wedding was something that we had never experienced before, and possibly never will again," Kim writes. "Craig and Joan not only know how to throw an amazing party, but they know how to laugh in the face of their troubles."
What makes the Lyons' wedding extra special is that it's been more than 27 years in the making. The destined pair, both 44, first met as teenagers, but it wasn't until a couple years ago that Craig finally confessed his love for Joan.
"I fell in love with her as soon as I set my eyes on her when we were 14," Craig tells DailyMail. "I was a bit shy about it and Joan has been married previously, but it has always been about Joan for me — she is the woman of my dreams."
Once they were finally together, the couple assumed they would eventually get married, but that timeline was jolted forward when doctors discovered an inoperable tumor on Craig's main pancreatic aorta.
Not knowing how much time they had left, the sweethearts decided to plan an event that would not only be a celebration of their love, but also an opportunity to support and raise funds for charities they care about.
That's how the Lyons came up with the idea to incorporate the solidarity head shave into the reception festivities. Joan explains that she wanted to show her support for her new husband as well as countless others whose lives have been changed by life-altering diagnoses.
Before her head was buzzed, Joan carefully separated and braided her hair so that it could be cut and donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children across the U.K. who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.
After her braided plaits were cut, Joan then sat back and let the electric razor finish the job.
Once the matrimonial buzz was complete, the couple quickly embraced — sporting identical hair-dos.
"It was the obviously the first time I had seen Joan without her hair," Craig says, "and she looked beautiful, absolutely stunning."