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Holly Willoughby's unseen pre-wedding dress and undone ponytail revealed in unearthed castle photo

The former This Morning host had an emotional wedding with Dan Baldwin in August 2007

Holly Willoughby in a one-shouldered floral dress with her hair up
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
8 April 2024
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Holly Willoughby looked like a vintage fairytale princess in her lavish lace wedding dress, but her pre-wedding frock is much lesser-known.

The Dancing on Ice presenter rummaged through her photo archives to discover a rare snap of her wedding rehearsal in August 2007, which she posted on her website Wylde Moon. Holly and her producer fiancé Dan were standing at the front of St Michael's Church with their backs to the camera as they walked through what would become one of the most memorable days of their lives.

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Holly looked stunning in a floaty bridal white dress with a dainty ditsy print, capped sleeves and an elasticated waist, styling her blonde hair in a loose low ponytail with several strands falling loose. 

An oversized black bag was tucked underneath her arm as she stood beside Dan, who wore casual jeans and a striped shirt.

Holly embracing her husband Dan Baldwin © Getty
The couple wed at Amberley Castle in 2007

While their faces weren't visible in the photo, former This Morning host Holly recalled their "nerves", stating: "I love a little look back through the archives when I’ve got time, and stumbled across this photo the other day. It was taken in the chapel at Amberley Castle during our wedding rehearsal and seeing it again all these years later, sent a rush of memories flooding through my brain. 

"All that excitement and all those nerves. I don’t think either of us could believe the day was almost upon us and we were actually doing it!"

The couple met on ITV children's show Ministry of Mayhem in 2004, and Dan proposed shortly after they moved house two years later. 

Dan Baldwin with arm around Holly Willoughby© Samir Hussein
Holly her husband Dan Baldwin met on Ministry of Mayhem in 2004

Holly recalled she was in the bath when he popped the question, telling  The Mirror: "I know a lot of people almost have to force their boyfriend to propose but with Dan it was such a shock.

"I knew I'd be with him for the rest of my life, if he'd have me, but nothing can ever prepare you for what it's like when someone asks you. I can't think of any other big decision you make in your life that quickly."

They exchanged vows in an emotional ceremony on 4 August 2007 – where Holly spent "the whole day in tears" – at the church next to Amberley Castle. Situated on 12 acres of landscaped gardens, Holly said the venue held a special place in her heart as she used to visit for special occasions as a child.

WATCH: 9 of the most stunning celebrity weddings

Explaining the inspiration behind her custom-made lace wedding dress, Holly told Wylde Moon she wanted a "vintage" look with long sleeves and an open back.

"A friend of mine introduced me to this incredible lady who was a pattern cutter for Alexander McQueen. I sat down with her and we sketched my dress. I had pictures of my mum’s wedding dress which was a similar shape, and that formed the basis of it. Her dress had that 70s Biba style sleeve – not unlike the puffed Vampire’s Wife shape actually. 

"My mum’s sleeve came down to a point with a loop over her middle finger, which I loved so I added that to my design," she said.

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