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Exclusive: Real reason Gemma Atkinson is planning 'small' wedding with Strictly’s Gorka Marquez

The TV star discussed her plans with HELLO!

gemma gorka
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
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Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez met on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and got engaged on Valentine's Day in 2021, but they have kept fans eagerly awaiting news of their wedding.

DISCOVER: Gemma Atkinson's £11.9k engagement ring is sparklier than the Strictly glitterball

The Emmerdale actress and the professional dancer have previously opened up about their "chilled" wedding plans, but they have now admitted they like the idea of hosting a "small" celebration followed by a "big party" in 2023. "It could be my last Christmas as a fiancée," Gemma told HELLO! as she promoted the Family Action Make Theirs Magic Campaign supported by the Fisher-Price Play Lab.

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Opening up about the "stress" of wedding planning, she continued: "We have spoken about getting married a few times, talking about what we want to do. Half the time we say should just go to the registry office and do it there, and then it's done, then have a big party. I think that will be the route we will go down.

"Two of my friends are getting married, one at Christmas and one next year and seeing the stress they have gone through planning a big wedding, I’m kind of like, no, I'll do a little small wedding and throw a big party afterwards."

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MORE: Strictly's Helen Skelton makes rare comment about her bond with Gorka's partner Gemma Atkinson

gemma atkinson gorka engaged© Photo: Instagram

Gemma and Gorka got engaged in 2021

The Hollyoaks star had previously joked about why they hadn't already exchanged vows at their local registry office. She said in an Instagram Q&A: "We've twice almost gone to the registry office and just done it but I don't think our families would be happy."

Gemma is originally from Manchester while her fiancé Gorka is from Spain, but they have ruled out having multiple destination weddings after hearing from fellow Strictly pros Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec, who tied the knot in London, Slovenia and Florida in a matter of weeks in 2017.

"You know, Janette and Aljaz had three weddings, we went for lunch with them and she said, 'We had one in Miami, one in Slovenia and one in England.' And I said, 'How was it?' And she went, 'Don't do it!'" she previously told HELLO!, adding that it would be "too much hassle."

The couple share daughter Mia

While both families want "a good party" to celebrate, the couple – who share three-year-old daughter Mia – have said they don't want it to be "massive" or "glitzy." 

"I'm the most chilled bride I think because as long as it's just close family and friends there really we wouldn't want anything big. We know we don't want a massive glitzy occasion, just something nice, with the people there who we want there and chilled really," Gemma continued.

READ: Strictly's Will Mellor's bride Michelle wows in shoulder-baring wedding dress

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