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Mary Berry is a vision in seriously surprising £5 wedding dress

The former Great British Bake Off judge stuck to a budget for her 1996 wedding with Paul Hunnings

Mary Berry in a white dress with a black trim and a pearl necklace© David M. Benett
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
November 1, 2023
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Mary Berry, 88, has an estimated worth of around £20 million, but the cooking legend chose to stick to a very strict budget when it came to her wedding day with her husband Paul Hunnings in 1996.

According to reports, the Great British Bake Off star spent no more than £5 on her bridal gown, which costs less than half the price of The Great British Bake Off: Kitchen Classics, retailing for £11.

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Featuring a bateau neckline, long sleeves, a sparkly waist, a column skirt and a long train, Mary's gown looked much more expensive than its modest price. "My dress was bought in the sale - £5 you know, bargain wasn’t it?" she said to Paul in Mary Berry Everyday, while he sweetly described his bride as "slim and stylish."

Paul Hunnings and Mary Berry standing in between flowers© Nick Harvey/Shutterstock
Mary's brother encouraged her to date Paul

She held a small bunch of lilies and layered pearl necklaces around her neck, styling her blonde cropped hair into glamorous Hollywood waves topped with a veil. Paul, meanwhile, kept it classic in a morning suit with striped trousers, a waistcoat and a tailcoat as he posed in the meadows near Charlcombe Church in Bath.

Unearthed black and white photos also share a look at Mary's wedding cake, which she had unsurprisingly concocted herself. Fitting in with her low-key theme, her confection was a one-tiered, white-iced cake displayed on a large stand with one elaborate decoration on top. 

"I baked my wedding cake myself - I’ve always loved baking for special occasions. On the morning of the wedding, I was decorating the cake with my best friend and I went into the garden and picked up some of the greenery and placed it all the way around the cake’s two layers," she added.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with presenter Mel Giedroyc © Comic Relief
The Great British Bake Off star admitted she made her own wedding cake

Mary previously admitted that she didn't immediately jump into a relationship with Paul, joking she liked to "keep my options open." But it was her brother who ultimately played matchmaker.

"My husband’s a great sportsman and knew my brother, who encouraged me to leave all the people I was involved with," she told the MailOnline.

Mary Berry smiling outside Windsor Castle with her husband Paul Hunnings© Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
Mary and Paul got married in 1996 and welcomed three children

"My brother thought I should have been down at the rugby club. He said, 'Come on, he’s a good chap.' I wasn’t sure to begin with, but after a lot of persuasion... we’ve been married for 46 years and are still great mates. He tolerates me when I say I’ll be home to do supper and I’m not."

She has since made a few gushing remarks about her husband, with whom she shares son Thomas, daughter Annabel and late son William, who sadly passed away in a car crash at the age of 19. 

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Opening up about her family values, Mary said: "I remember my father [Alleyne, a surveyor and Mayor of Bath] saying, 'Marriage is for better or for worse, and you’ve got to work at it.' He was a difficult man but he did love my mother. 

"I went into marriage knowing I wouldn’t dare not be with the same person for all my life – it was forever, whatever happened. I’ve been very lucky."

Speaking to the Daily Mail about her lasting marriage, Mary said: "Marriage does get easier with time, though, and we are of a generation who were brought up to believe that it wasn’t all about the perfect wedding day, it was all about the vows: 'For better or worse, till death do us part'. I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful husband and family."

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