January 29, 2014
Wedding Facial Hair - To Beard or Not To Beard?
I shrieked in high-pitched pain as my razor splashed into the cloudy water and thunked the bottom of the sink. I looked up in the mirror to see a thick stripe of blood painted down the left side of my face. I had nicked my mole whilst shaving. AGAIN. I’d like to say the bloody scene resembled something cool that came from the opening credits of an episode of Dexter, but the reality of my yelped expletives sounded more like an outburst from one of the Real Housewives.
My mind always wanders whilst shaving, so a post-shave face covered in torn-tissue is a frequent sight. Ironically this time I was meandering on how rarely I see a groom sporting a beard at his Wedding. Go figure. My memory cards are filled with cut glass, clean shaven jaws, but less so the facially hirsute gentleman. I’d like to see the balance redressed.
Despite the return of beard coolness and the credibility it’s been given by the likes of Gerorge Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, (Sad) Keanu et al, beards and stubble are still seen as something of a no-no, especially for a groom on his Wedding day. They are scruffy and dirty as opposed to clean shaven (Whoever said being shaven equals being clean?). Some businesses include rules in their workplace dress-code, stating how men are allowed to wear their facial hair (mostly, they’re not), but this is not the case with weddings; grooms are free to do as they choose. So why don’t I see more 5 o’clock shadows? More fuzz? Modern Weddings break with traditions and conventions more than ever, be it with brides showing off their tattoos or grooms wearing trainers with their morning suit. Still, a beard is seen as a step too far. It’s time we put this nonsense to bed.
I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph all kinds of unions, each couple with their own style, taste and direction. Whilst no two couples have been alike, I’ve noticed one single element that has been present in all of them: Authenticity. These couples have been true to themselves and this has been evident in their Wedding day. I think that’s the key: being confident in who you are and not allowing yourself to be swayed by how others think you should present yourself on your big day. Grooms! This means you. If you wear a beard or stubble, don’t feel obliged to purge it for your Wedding day. Be you. Roll with it. Put down that razor.
Besides, there’s less of a chance that you’ll cut yourself shaving when your mind wanders.