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Wales Online
Wales Online
Kathryn Williams

Bride shaves groom’s head during wedding day speeches for very special reason

On the whole, most weddings follow a pretty familiar pattern of events.... vows, photos, wedding breakfast, speeches, toasts and cake cutting. But for one couple they paused the flow of the day for one pretty special moment, the groom getting a buzz cut.

For Stephen and Victoria Clarke there was one person they wanted at their wedding who couldn't be there, Steve's dad Derek, who was diagnosed with dementia in recent years following a Parkinson's diagnosis in 2000. A keen fundraiser before getting ill, Derek raised thousands for Parkinson's UK and Steve wanted to honour his dad and made an impact with the sponsored shave mid-way through the couple's special day at Fairyhill in Gower. Victoria did the honours by shaving all Steve's hair off during the speeches.

Steve, who is quite fond of his previous head of hair, explained: “My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Before his diagnosis he frequently gave blood and when this was no longer an option, he started to raise money for charities instead. He volunteered for door-to-door donations, shaved his head at a fundraiser and sailed around the Isle of Wight raising thousands for Parkinson’s UK in the process. He was later diagnosed with dementia and was unfortunately too ill to come to the wedding.”

Read more: The inside story of the monumental effort to save a wedding after the venue caught fire the day a couple were due to tie the knot

Stephen, with a full head of hair, and Victoria had some stunning wedding pictures (John Wellings Photography)

Victoria, from Blackwood, added: “We wanted to do something to honour Steve’s dad, Derek, and raise money in the process, my husband is very precious of his hair, as you will see from the earlier wedding photos! So I suggested the ultimate sacrifice would be to shave it off - on his wedding day!”

Steve from Colchester, tied the knot with his Welsh sweetheart, Victoria earlier this month but a week before the wedding, Steve and Victoria had a scare when the hospital called and said they needed to visit Derek. They went to say their goodbyes but Derek pulled through and is now back in his care home.

Beats the cutting of the cake any day! (John Wellings Photography)

Victoria continued: “A wedding is one of the most emotional days of your life, but it was even more poignant for us as we’d had such a turbulent week. However, Fairyhill was absolutely magical and everything about the day was perfect, albeit bittersweet as Steve’s dad couldn’t be with us. We’d like to thank Uncle Brian for representing Steve’s dad on the day and joining us on the top table.”

Derek also shaved his head to raise money around 15 years ago (Stephen Clarke)
Steve and dad, Derek - a keen fundraiser for Parkinson's UK (Stephen Clarke)

All 63 of Steve and Victoria’s closest family and friends were not aware that Steve was going to get a skin head on his wedding day and it raised a few laughs, as well as over £1,500 in donations from their wedding guests and wider circle via Justgiving. The fund was topped up by Fairyhill when they learnt of the campaign meaning they hit their £2,000 target.

To donate, visit: Steve Clarke is fundraising for Parkinson’s UK (


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