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Bride shaves head at wedding to honor terminally ill husband

Joan Lyons shaved off her head to pay tribute to her husband, Craig, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.
/ Source: TODAY

The day Joan Lyons became a blushing bride, she also became a bald one.

Craig and Joan Lyons used their April 15 wedding as an opportunity to raise charity donations.Struth Photography

The British bride wed her childhood sweetheart last Friday in a ceremony that included a traditional stroll down the aisle — followed by an unconventional head shaving at the reception.

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Lyons shed her brunette locks in tribute to her new spouse, Craig, who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer last year.

The groom and bride at the beginning of their ceremonyStruth Photography

In addition to donating her hair to an organization that makes wigs for severely sick children, she and her husband also encouraged their wedding guests to donate to other charities on their behalf.

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“On our wedding night, our celebration party will also serve as a fundraising event where I will complete my head shave task in his honour and to honour and support those affected by life limiting illness,” Lyons wrote on her fundraising page that suggested three specific charities.

Joan Lyons, minutes before her hair was cut off and her head shavedStruth Photography

“Charities such as this rely on public support and funds to help support families and sufferers during difficult times. Please help us to help others, no matter how big or small, every penny matters and will be received with heartfelt thanks.”

Lyons got her head shaved, as a tribute to her new husband, who has pancreatic cancer.Struth Photography
The couple used their wedding as an opportunity to raise charity donations.Struth Photography

One of the photographers who captured the event said the ceremony was full of emotional moments.

“To be honest, it was one of the happiest weddings I’ve ever been involved in. The mood was upbeat and positive,” Kimberley Struth told TODAY. “The bride actually was the smiliest bride, the happiest bride, I’d ever had.”

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Struth and her husband, Anthony, own the photography company that donated their services through Gift of a Wedding, a U.K. charity that provides free weddings to people with terminal illnesses.

Struth Photography

‘I was expecting the ceremony to be quite sad, but really, it was much more emotional than sad," she said. "It was all very touching and it was just beautiful."

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.