Should I shave my armpits for my wedding day?

September 30 2009 | arielmstallings
Original photo by Flickr user theqspeaks, used by Creative Commons license
Original photo by Flickr user theqspeaks, used by Creative Commons license
I'm having a dilemma about armpit hair.

I haven't shaved my hairies in YEARS, and I really don't want to, but I'm feeling totally out on my own here!

Have you got any advice or photos for brides considering rocking the pit hair on their wedding day?

-Kit

This is a deeply personal (and dare I say political!) decision, so while I can't give you a cut 'n' dry answer I can provide a few questions from a few different angles can help you make the decision for yourself…

The political angle: Why do you choose not to shave?
If it's an issue of body hair politics and feminism, then you should absolutely stick to what you've been doing. There's enough pressure and identity crisis involved with wedding planning without feeling like you're compromising the values that are important to you.

The existential angle: What makes you feel like you should shave?
Would it be for your guests, or for you? For how you'd feel the day of, or how you'd feel looking at photos years from now?

The fashion angle: What aesthetic are you going for with your wedding?
If you're organizing, for example, a pagan handfasting where you'll be wearing a soft muslin dress and holding wildflowers, you may not need to even think about your pits! If you're organizing a posh bed & breakfast event with a formal gown and heels, then you might encounter a bit more of a stylistic disconnect — although again: if you choose not to shave for political reasons, then the visual contradiction could be a powerful one!

The compromising angle: What about trimming or bleaching?
If you don't want to shave but do want to tidy things up, you could trim or even bleach. Again, depends on your reasons for not wanting to shave in the first place.

Ultimately, my goal with advice is always to help brides make decisions that allow them to be authentic to themselves. If your stance on armpit depilation is part of your politics and/or identity, then I say rock it on your wedding day!

If, for whatever reason, you do decide to go bare, I would suggest you skip shaving and wax instead. I come from a family of furry women (seriously: my mom's legs are hairier than my dad's!) and after years of resentful razor burn and stubble, I've been much happier since I became a lazy waxer. (Lazy because see, you HAVE to let you hair grow out between waxings. It's this awesome thing where you can feel completely fine about toggling between totally smooth high maintenance fancy pants and a complete wookie.) Yes, it stings, but the joy of waxing is that after the wedding you'll have no razor burn and hair that grows in waaaay softer.

Now, as for pictures? I'm afraid I don't have any. Offbeat Brides, any of y'all got any to share? Post a link in the comments…

  1. i just feel I should point out that not all Pagans abstain from shaving. I'd venture to say that at least half to a majority of us do shave. I have nothing against people who don't, but there seems to be this stereotype that if you're Pagan it means you don't shave your pits. To each their own, obviously, but I just don't want it to be assumed that Paganism and not shaving are linked. Thanks!

    • Yeah, I know exactly what you mean! Ive been to a few Pagan Pride Days where walking along I get caught by the stench of un-deodorized, un-kempt pits… and omg was it rough!!! I myself am Pagan… more specifically of the Druid/Wiccan/Orisha tradition, but I choose to shave my arm pits and legs when they need as well as use deodorant!

  2. I'm one of the unhairiest people I know, I know hairier newborn babies. It's a very rare occassion when I do de-hair myself. Had a dress fitting last week, and was TOLD "I hope you're going to remember to shave before the wedding" by my own mother. I haven't decided wether I will or not out of principal. Prior to this telling off, I would have shaved if I remembered and if I had a chance and if there were any razors within arms reach when I remembered. Now she's gone and made it all political again! Obviously because my own very hairy mother (it's my father who's the hairless freak) is jealous of my hairlessness. Of course, now my decision is also motivated by needing to provide a hairy wedding photo…

  3. As Ariel is always good to point out, it's important to be authentic to yourself. That could mean doing the same thing you have (not) done for years because it's comfortable or because you want to make a powerful statement. It could also mean that you are in the mood to do something different for a special occasion, and just need to find the right approach to something unfamiliar. Whatever you decide, I think it's important to point out that while political significance might influence your decision to go au naturel on a daily basis, it can but does not have to be the only factor in what you decide to do for your wedding. Similarly, your views shouldn't be determined (or doubted) simply by the way you wear your body.

  4. You can wax your pits??? I am of the wookie tribe – even when I shave I have an impressive bluebeard. I am definitely going to investigate the waxing!

    I think bleaching would be an elegant compromise, depending on the personal politics involved.

    • It's easier to have someone else do it for you. It's really tough to hold the skin taught and pull the strip at the same time.

    • Liz, darling… I want to warn you of the pros and cons to waxing. The pros are obvious. But if you do shave them on a regular basis, make sure you take an anti inflammatory about an hour before your appointment. And bring a leather wallet or watchband to bite down on, because the first time HURTS LIKE HELL!!! lol
      If you wax on a regular basis, it doesn't hurt nearly as much, but have you ever noticed that when you shave your hair it seems to grow in thicker? That's because it does…
      One (technically two) more pro(s): After waxing, the hair grows in finer, there fore hurting less on the next wax. And as an added bonus, when the hair is ripped out by the root, it can sometimes cause damage to the follicle, causing that hair not to grow back at all. Which is why, after years of waxing my unibrow, I am proud to say I finally have two(!) and if I let them grow in to their beautiful bush whacker (or "natural") state, you can actually see a bald line where my waxed brows normally would be. lol

      • Actually, when you shave the hairs, they feel thicker because of the blunt end of the hair. They don't really come in thicker, common misconception.

    • I agree with the bleaching being more elegant! only…if I didn't shave I'd dye mine blueafter bleaching and rock blue armpit hair!
      cuz you know something old, something new. something borrowed and something BLUE!

      • muahahahahahhah! I am totally tempted to do this for my wdg this summer! (actually the whole post kind of tempted me to grow out my pits nice & long for the wdg so I can have hairy-armpit-bride photos for Ariel!)

      • LOL I am so glad you mentioned blue armpit hair dye. I was actually thinking of something like hot pink (My pits are rather sparse and scraggly, but it would be awesome to have bushy hot pink pits

    • i'm a long-time fan of waxing over shaving since razors make my skin throw a FIT. another thing to note is that if you're not used to waxing, your skin might be a bit red and angry for a day or so afterwards. a bit of gentle lotion or Vaseline on while you're sleeping can help but just to be safe i'd get it done several days before if you're going to. you've usually got a good week before it starts to grow back anyway. also, ask around for a good waxer. i went to several high-end places that i HATED every min of before i found my current beloved girl through a friend of a friend. she rents a beautiful room in the back of a horrible little barber shop and is down to earth, fast, really really good, and less then half the price! it pays to look into the little hole-in-the-wall places

    • Yes, you can wax your armpits. However, if you have been shaving than as Kris pointed out, your first waxing will be painful. Exfoliating before the appointment can help also, olive oil afterward will not only soothe the skin but remove any left over wax on the skin.

      The key is choosing a skilled person. Just because a spa offers waxing does not mean that the practitioners really knows what they are doing. Ask people for references.

      I have been waxing for years (armpits, full leg and bikini), the hair grows back much finer, softer and after a while stops growing in at all.

  5. I just want to comment to support any gals (and boys, too!) out there who would rather not do de-hair-ification for their weddings, but are facing pressure to do so. I'm not just a hairy legs-and-armpits girl, I'd bearded, too! I do shave and wax my face, but even that feels like somehow betraying what my body just does on its own. My own reasons for not shaving have largely to do with wanting to undermine a media-defined idea of beauty, and my wedding is going to be a chance to say "Yes! girls with beards and mustaches can be beautiful and happy and find partners who love them and think they are beautiful!"

    I wish brides would stop worrying about their attendants hairiness (or unhairiness)! Your attendants are supposed to be your nearest and dearest – friends and siblings! – clearly you love them because of who they are, not because of their armpits! It's a sad thing to lose a friend over. If you're in this situation as a bridesmaid, suggest things like a dress with sleeves, spiffy tights or knee socks.

  6. I say rock that arm pit hair if it's important to you! The point about identifying WHY you feel you should shave is very important. If it's something you're considering because YOU might want it then I think it's worth the contemplation. If you are worried about your how your wedding guests will feel about it then I say keep em' fuzzy! This is, after all, a day for you and your partner to uniquely celebrate your relationship. If your friends and family know you at all then your fuzzy pits should come as no surprise. Personally I went 4 years without shaving before finally a roll in a musical required me to do so. Since then I'll shave when I'm going to be wearing a fancy dress or something but generally keep things shaggy. The people who matter understand this about me and the people who don't… well they wouldn't be at my wedding anyway 😉

    Enjoy your day whatever you decide to do!

  7. I know that you should stay true to yourself, BUT – do your guests all know that you're all natural? After reading this post, I kept thinking about Julia Roberts walking the red carpet and waving, and everyone went nuts over her unshaven pits. That is all anyone could talk about – not her radiant smile, her dress, her hair – it was all about her pits for at least a few weeks!

    So, I think I would also keep in mind – is this the kind of crowd where all they will remember about your wedding is that you didn't shave?

    Whatever you do, I am sure you will rock the dress!

    • EXACTLY. do you WANT to make a statement (people WILL notice) or NOT? if you DON'T want anyone to notice, shave. if you WANT to keep up your street cred, keep it hairy!

  8. Meh- It's just armpit hair, I seriously doubt you'll look back at pictures of your bare pits and wish that they had been hairy, plus it will always grow back! People are a lot less likely to notice your shaved arm pits over hairy ones anyway.

    • I'm much more likely to wish they'd been hairy than to leave them alone and wish they'd been shaved 😉 I figure even if this is something I change my mind on, some day, I'll look back at hairy-pit pics and think "oh man I was a hilarious hippy wannabe". Good times, good times.

  9. I think Ariel gave great advice. I couldn't have said it better. My only advice is if you do rock the hairy pits, make sure you wear clear deodorant. That would just add to the stares if you have white bits under the pits.

  10. I'm a lazy shaver, letting it grow and shaving when the impulse strikes, and I say you gotta do what feels right for your wedding day.
    That in mind, if you do decide to shave and you haven't in a while, you might want to trim one day and then shave a few days later, allowing yourself a sometime to revel in the look of mid-length pits/(change your mind) and also to not have too much razor clogging when you shave/anxiety as you shave.

    -I've waxed my lower legs before, easy as pie, but I've never done my armpits, do you do them yourself, or do you get them done?

    • As a lazy shaver and waxer, I recommend getting waxed by someone else (even if you just buy the home kit and get a friend to help you). I've done it myself, and it was a bit difficult. I've had some bad experiences with waxing anything that wasn't my legs myself.

      • really? i find it not so hard to do my own pits but nearly impossible to do my own legs properly, my boobs get in the way of pulling at the right angle, lol. if you decide to do it yourself you'll have much less hassle if you use a bit of powder beforehand and get a sugaring kit. they work just like wax but are water soluble so you don't spend half your life scrubbing at sticky wax bits with an oil soaked rag.

    • I wax my armpits myself but it does take practice. the wax must be very warm but not hot and applied lightly. If applied too thick, ripping it off will be painful. If you have never waxed, getting it done by someone else will be the best thing.

      Olive oil is the best thing to remove any left over wax and it is good for your skin.

  11. Ditto on everyone's supportive comments. Do what will make you feel the most comfortable that day (and maybe in the future?)
    If you decide to go bare, and you decide to wax: buy some witch hazel at the drugstore and use it for a few days afterward. It is a mild astringent and will keep the moisture and oil from clogging your follicles while it grows out again. Makes for a much more pleasant experience overall.

  12. Like Sara B, I'm a lazy shaver. The only time I shave is when I'm going to wear something that will show my hairy pits or legs – and if it's not that long, I might not do it then! If you choose to shave, consider getting clippers, like the ones advertised to trim beards and moustaches. It'll chop the hair down so that it's not noticeable, but there's less chance of ingrown hairs or nicks. I'm African-American, and as curly / kinky / coily as my hair is, that's a DEFINITE concern!

  13. To me, it's all about grooming. I know it's not the rad answer (AND PLEASE DON'T ALL QUEUE UP TO HAVE A GO AT ME!) but I remove body hair for the same reasons I wash my hair and cut my nails. It's not out of gender pressure, anti-feminism, fashion or the like – it's about feeling groomed and clean. If we say that leaving our pit hair to grow and be as nature intended, then nature intended us to have long hair and smell of natural body odour. But I also know this is a personal choice and as a fellow woman, feminist and someone who believes in being true to ones self – it's your call and anyone who is a true person would not judge you for it either way. I just wanted to proffer an alternative view that is pro-removal without it meaning sacrificing personal female strength and principles.

    • For me personally, I'm totally with you, Gemma. My feminist husband doesn't even recognize when I've waxed my legs (and in fact has told me many times not to bother) so it's certainly not something I do for him. Like you, I enjoy the process of grooming and like the way my waxed skin feels afterwards.

      That said, it really is a deeply personal decision — and of course fraught with layers of social pressure. That's part of why my goal with this advice was to ask Kit questions about her reasoning, so that hopefully she could find an answer for herself that felt good. 🙂

    • "then nature intended us to have long hair and smell of natural body odour."

      Well, yeah, "natural" is generally "nature-intended".

      But aside from that, I actually notice body odour much more on freshly shaven armpits. Part of the purpose of armpit hair is to move that odour-causing bacteria away from the skin, away from the warmth, so it doesn't breed and do its thing quite so fast. And as long as you wash, there's not going to be any more bacteria or dirt on someone unshaved than on someone shaved.

      • Yes, Lulu, I see what you are saying – but that particular comment was really in context to the earlier comments suggesting bleaching and clear deodorant on long pit hair. If you're 'all natural' then sure thing!

  14. I shave for the same reason Gemma shaves. I like the process of grooming, especially before a special occasion. Showering, washing my hair, putting on lotion, and even, yes, shaving my pits, legs, (andface) was a nice ritual before the chaos of the next day. It also gave me an excuse to get away from everyone for a while.

    • That's exactly what I was going to suggest! To me, it's more of an issue of privacy- you can wear your hair however you choose! There is a variety of boleros and shawls out there- or, if you can't find one, knit your own!
      best,
      lindsey

  15. Hmm, out of curiosity, how long should you grow out your pit hair before waxing? I'm a little OCD about body hair (I pluck my eyebrows pretty constantly and shave everything below the neck), but waxing sounds like it might be a more preferable option…

  16. I'm with most replies…do what you feel is right. I bet most guests won't notice you haven't shaved your pits. As for pictures, how many pics and poses have you ever seen display the pits. Really. I think your good to go, honey.

  17. If you do decide to wax, I'd recommend doing it about five days before your wedding. Your first time will leave you kinda sore. This will allow time for your skin to calm down but not time for the hair to start regrowing. If you have time and are inclined, you might even have it done a couple of times before since hair grows at different rates. That way you can get a couple of crops of hair yanked.

    And I'd really recommend having it done professionally first. I've done my own (everything below the neck) for a several years but only after a few years of having a pro do it.

    • Ha! I wish I'd read this before I got my legs waxed before my wedding.
      I had it done the day before, because I waffled about whether or not I should get it done at all and, once I decided, that was when they could fit me in.

      I hate shaving my legs because I have really sensitive skin. I gave up on shaving after a few years early on in college and my now-husband doesn't care at all. I decided that fuzzy ankles were a little too casual for the wedding and I didn't feel like bleeding/itching/getting ingrown hairs, so waxing it was.

  18. I'm a lazy shaver too – I frequently forget my legs for months, and my pits when I remember. I'm pretty sure I did the pits before the wedding (if there was a razor in the shower, I probably did), but I know I didn't get the time/space to myself to do my legs… so I didn't. *shrug*

    Nobody saw them. I didn't care.

    I remember years ago my ex gf got handfasted in a beautiful corset and long skirt – and didn't shave her pits. There was always something about those photos that I found incredibly earthy and sexy.

  19. I think you should do what is right for you. I'm all about being the best 'me' I can on the day, not an unrecognisable version of me. For me this means keeping my hair curly (not straightening it) and having natural make up.
    So if you are someone who doesn't shave I say keep being you. I think of all days your wedding day is the day you want to be the 'most you' you can be and if that means not shaving your armpits then don't!

    They are plenty of woman you have married with armpit hair, and even if you were the only one, thats ok too, because there is only one you and that is who your future husband/wife/lifepartner is choosing.

  20. I shave pits religiously to help keep my clothes cleaner (hot, humid, climate), but I'm less obsessive about legs (once a week, if I remember). I wouldn't do anything differently for a wedding.

    The idea of having pits WAXED makes me cringe. Doesn't that hurt a WHOLE LOT?

      • I totally agree. Waxing really does not hurt, it stings momentarily. Unless you have previously been shaving, then the first time will hurt because the hair is thicker to rip out or if the person waxing you is inexperienced.

  21. One thing to bear in mind is that your day is, at the heart of it, entirely about you and your significant other. Weddings do involve compromise and some couples really alter things to make other people happy, but the mantra on OBB (and one that I wholeheartedly agree with) seems to be that your wedding is YOURS and no-one else's.

    What have you comprimised on so far? Is shaving within the same sort of realm of significance as other things you've changed/got rid of, or does it matter more to you? Do you love having hairy armpits? Does your partner love them? If so, keep the hair and sod everyone else's opinion on the matter.

  22. the impressive i got from reading the offbeat book is that for your wedding one should try to go an extra step in their grooming practice, as in you don’t wear nail polish, get a manicure. that being said, try shaving them and see if you like it and want to do for the wedding, if not, let it all hang out.

  23. do what makes you feel right! some people want to appear at their weddings the same as they are every day because "that's who they are," others want to do something out fo the ordinary for them because it's a special occasion and think the day should be a little different than any other day. the decision is about you, not your mom. to me, i wouldn't invest this decision with extra weight. when you do something outside of the norm it seems like all decisions have to become poltical ones–but they don't have to be.

  24. I started a thread on this topic in the spring because I was surprised that OBB hadn't addressed it yet! (We think so highly of you to assume). I decided not to shave my armpits. I don't think anyone noticed, but I was glad I stayed true to myself. One of the "outtakes" from the wedding shows my armpit hair. I'll have to upload it soon.

  25. I usually wax my underarms and I chose waxing over shaving hands down.

    Benefits of waxing: results last longer, hair grows in softer AND thinner, hurts less and less the more you get it done, and only really hurts the first time or if you shave in between waxing sessions.

  26. I don't understand the bleaching thing. Is blond hair somehow better than dark hair? I just think that sounds much more extreme than shaving for many reasons.

  27. In theory you could keep the pit hair and, after the pictures are done, Photoshop those areas if you don't like how they looked in the pictures.

    (I know that's not the main concern here, but it just popped into my head and I figured there was no harm in sharing)

  28. I ended up with shaved pits for the wedding… except I didn't shave to feel comfortable at the wedding, I started shaving about a month earlier in the summer when I started wearing tanktops! My general habit is that when I start spending more time wondering if people are noticing my hair than I would on shaving, it's time to shave. So I ended up with shaved pits for the wedding, but kind of not on purpose. 😉

    • EXACTLY why I shave in the summer (and wear makeup to cover the occasional zit). In my early 20s I felt I was too feminist for these things, but the time and energy spent on worrying about NOT doing them made it a bigger issue than the 30-second razor swipe it takes to shave pits!

      Also: why does NOT shaving = feminism? we are still worshipping the cult of the female body, i'm assuming from this question that the writer is wearing an armpit-revealing dress. if we were really EXACTLY equal with men, we'd wear suits and sleeves and socks and things that cover our bodies. Look at all of the OBB posts – no matter how "offbeat" the dresses are, USUALLY there is a lot of skin showing, and the man is wearing some kind of shirt-pants combo.

      soooooo, if one is embracing the idea of "wanting to look pretty for one's wedding" – why would it not extend to grooming????

      just a thought… (for the record – i wore a pink handmade strappy wedding dress, shaved, did my own nails and makeup but had my hair done… with really hippy looking flowers. :p)

  29. I shaved my armpits for my wedding this last Saturday (hadn't in about five years) in exchange for my mother paying for the band I really wanted. My husband shaved his armpits in solidarity with me, so that made less bad! That said, I never plan on shaving anything again!

  30. Ariel! I'm getting married this saturday and actually have been having the same dilemma for months. My dress is strapless and I feel like a lot of attention is on the shoulder, chest, neck area which includes the armpits. I also had not shaven in years, but finally, last night actually, came to the decision that I'd do it just for this one time. I'm still trying to figure out whether I did it for my guests (particularly family…), or myself, but right now I am just feeling weird having smooth armpits. The texture reminds me of a rubber chicken. Sorry if that was tmi.

    Anyway, my message to you, whatever decision you make, is that it's your decision, and if you decide to shave this once, don't feel as though you have compromised your feminism. And the great thing is, it'll grow back!

    That said, this is probably the only event I would ever shave for. I was almost once not allowed to perform in a dance concert because I refused to shave…but that's another story.

    One last note- not shaving my legs although they'll be bare in my reception dress. For some reason that feels different.

  31. My SIL wore strapless and did not shave legs or armpits. It didn't bother her or my brother, so I guess it was a fine choice, but it definitely bothered my mom, haha.

    I'm a shaver. Always have been, so I much prefer the clean look, feel and smell of no underarm hair (even if you bathe and use deodorant, remember that hair carries odors and you will be smellier than normal on your wedding day from activity and nerves). I'd prefer not to cause my guests to wrinkle their noses when I go to hug them on my special day. But that's just me, and I'm a devout everyday shaver. Also, my FH has a distinct preference for clean shaven and it's always in my best interests to give him what he wants there. 😉

    • I don't notice that hair carries more odor– in fact, I've found that I smell a lot better since I stopped shaving and switched to a mild, natural deodorant (or none at all- I alternate). Hair does capture scent molecules, but it also carries sweat and dirt away from the body heat, so they don't get all fermented and nasty. But I & my S.O. have no problem with clean body odor, and I know some people do– it's just a preferential thing.

  32. If you're going to try anything different with your underarm grooming, make sure you try it a few weeks prior. I don't shave/wax/etc. because I have sensitive skin. My hairy legs and armpits are much more appealing — even to people who hate body hair — than obvious burns, razor rash, etc. It would be awful if you found out at the last minute that you have a reaction to a particular bleach, wax, or other hair removal method!

  33. And just so you don't think I'm some random nutjob feeding you old wives tales and random rumours: I'm a licenced (albeit non-practicing) esthetician who used to specialize in waxing. *wink and a gun*

  34. I'm going to take a side: Go natural! I too am a hairy lady (armpits and legs) and it bums me out that I don't see hairy brides. Let's pave the way together!

  35. Our officiant (the friend who fixed us up) is au naturel, but bravely offered to shave her pits for our wedding since her fabulous red dress was sleeveless. I said no way, and she rocked the hairy pits look on our day.

    On the other hand, I have a large tattoo on my upper arm, and I chose to cover it for my wedding. For me, it was an issue of style disconnect. I love my tattoo, and I'm not ashamed at all that I have it, but, for me, it clashed with the whole wood nymph vibe I was goin' for.

    So I guess I would say, don't shave 'em to make someone else happy, but by the same token, don't NOT shave 'em just because you fear it means selling out to The Man. If hairy pits clash with your image of yourself as a bride… well, you have the whole rest of your life to keep it hairy. 😉

  36. i totally wanted to keep mine but that was the one thing my dad chose to be a TOTAL asshole about. i was gonna bleach them and dye them pink, but he turned it into this huge fight… sadly, i gave in despite my husband's pleas, so i wouldn't have to hear anymore of it. even then my dad yelled at me 2 hours before the wedding as i was doing my bridesmaid's hair, about the fact that i wasn't going to shave my legs- with a long dress and stockings on?!?!?! i should have known bc every time i go visit them they make comments about it and get freakishly embarassed if i go sleeveless in public with them… if pit fluffs are the biggest concern they have about me they should consider themselves lucky.

  37. "pit fluffs" made me giggle!

    I'm a shaver. I like the way it feels. John likes me smooth, I like me smooth, it works for both of us.

    That said: It's between you and your partner, really. If they have a care, then maybe for your wedding, shave. Maybe. The day is about YOU TWO, so really, if She/He don't care, and you don't care, anyone else needs to get over it. In the grand scheme of things, pit fluffs ain't a big deal. And if they are, you need a new scheme.

  38. I'm a lazy shaver and plucker. but I don't like the way hair feels in my pits when i forget to shave it and I like the way my brows make my eyes look when they are plucked. Just do what makes you happy.

  39. I use an epilator on my pits, after only two uses the hair is like a 3rd of the thickness, I've got to use it again tonight, it's so thin I didn't even notice it's all grown back! (And I have BLACK hair) I mean for me, I've always shaved, always always always, but if I were going to grow it, for whatever reason, I'd still like it to be soft and thin, as feminine as it can be, so I agree with every one, wax, bleach, or DYE it! (wedding colors!!!)

  40. It's pretty embarrassing these days, but I had been a cutter for almost ten years when I met my fiancé. I don't shave because I don't trust myself with razors, and even if I was super careful and conscious about it, I don't really want to drag up that pile of emotional muck right before my wedding. So politics and laziness (the excuses I usually use when the topic of my body hair comes up) aside, I won't be shaving anytime soon.

  41. Alternative consideration: If you NEVER shave/wax/pluck, this could be a way to set the day apart. A ritual new beginning. I am NOT promoting shaving as a new pattern, but… You're wearing a new dress, new shoes, probably new underwear… Maybe it's a way to start your wedded life afresh; with new hair!
    Various native american tribes cut the hair off of their heads when mourning a passing OR when celebrating a new beginning. Why should body hair be different?

  42. Actually just spent the weekend with some very earthy/pagan/neohippie feminists, wonderful lovely girls, lots of hair. I am hard to rattle but notice things… I wouldn't be wearing a dress [90% sure, if I did it would be a kilt but not plaid tartan just a plain one but I'm transmasculine] I think a cute little capsleeve would change the whole look, not long sleeves and long gloves or anything, I also think anyone at the wedding would probably know you to be "low maintenance" and I wouldn't want someone at my wedding if they weren't going to respect me or my bride but, I could see both sides of it, I would think it'd be awful to be itchy when there are so many other variables on that big day–but I still think cute little sleeves would fix everything

  43. It is a woman's right to do what she wishes with regard to her appearance on her wedding day. Personally, I love natural unshaven women and I totally support those brave sisters who refuse to bow to the modern convention of shaving their armpits. They should certainly carry on the good work.

  44. Dont know if anyone mentioned yet, but if you want to denude yourself of hair there's also always nair or a similar product where its pain free and you pretty much wipe the hair away. If you are sensitive to chemicals however it can be difficult.

    Whatever you choose to do, if you choose to remove the hair, MAKE SURE THAT YOU TRY IT IN ADVANCE!!! You so totaly do NOT want to shave and end up with razor burn or something the day of your wedding and be scratching at ya pits, or have a rash from nair or from waxing for that matter.

    If you opt to go with staying with the hair, then I would suggest a clear gel deoderant vs a solid, that way you dont bring more attention to the hair that is there (unless of course you WANT more attention).

    If you are like some of those blessed ones up there in the comments who have very light hair, not much hair, ect, then be warned shaving WILL increase the amount that you have. You may get lucky once or twice but it almost always grows in thicker. Good luck. I also totaly agree with amerwitch, try it in advance and see if you like it.

  45. I think another thing that does need to factored in is what sort of people your guests are combined with how confident you feel. I only say this, because while my top answer will always be "stay true to yourself", sometimes that's a package deal that comes with judgement from others, which is crappy but is reality. And as much as it's easy for everyone else to say "who cares what other people think" (and that is the ideal, not caring), everyone else is not the potential recipient of glares/frowns/whatever other reaction, which can be overwhelming and not what you want to feel on your day. You may also regret compromising too and don't want to feel that regret.

    One approach would be to mention it to a few guests you may be worried about, and say in advance you may not shave and you ask them to respect your choice… I find this has been helping me in preparing myself with my unorthodox wedding with a blend of traditional/conservative guests among total opposites. They've digested it by now and when the wedding happens they're already expecting the nontraditional elements.

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