Former air hostess gave up her career to become housewife after marrying a traveller


A mother who gave up her old life as an air hostess to marry a traveller has said she can no longer work and doesn’t leave the house without him.

Holly Joyce, 27, from Salford, became a housewife when she married her husband Dougie, a bare-knuckle fighter, after the pair first met in September 2019.

Now she is expected to look after her husband and do whatever he asks to make him happy – and says she rarely goes out without him by her side.

‘He wouldn’t want me out at parties without him, we’d always go together,’ she told The Mirror.

Holly Joyce, 27, and her husband Dougie, 35, from Manchester, had their first date in September 2019 after flirting back and forth on Instagram

Holly Joyce, 27, and her husband Dougie, 35, from Manchester, had their first date in September 2019 after flirting back and forth on Instagram

The couple, who wed in July this year, treated their guests to champagne on tap at a ceremony which cost £60,000 - with Holly's custom-made dress costing £12,000 alone

The couple, who wed in July this year, treated their guests to champagne on tap at a ceremony which cost £60,000 – with Holly’s custom-made dress costing £12,000 alone

Holly (pictured) had never dated a traveller before meeting Dougie and said her family initially had reservations about the relationship - but she threw herself into the lifestyle

Holly (pictured) had never dated a traveller before meeting Dougie and said her family initially had reservations about the relationship – but she threw herself into the lifestyle

‘He’s the man, so he can go out if he wants, but I’m the woman so I can only go out with him.’

Mother-of-two Holly, who had never dated a traveller before, said she now follows the community’s tradition that ‘what he says goes’. 

She added she does sometimes go out to the salon or the shops without Dougie, but explained her husband worries for her safety if she’s out and about on her own.

If she wants to go out, she will let Dougie know and he’ll accompany her. 

After flirting with each other on Instagram, Dougie and Holly had their first date at San Carlo’s restaurant in Manchester in September 2019 – and according to Dougie, he knew he’d marry Holly from the first meeting.

And Dougie’s prediction turned out to be correct after he gotdown on one knee at their daughter Oceanna’s gender reveal party in December 2020.

Holly said she rarely leaves the house without her husband Dougie, unless she needs to go to the salon or the shops

Holly said she rarely leaves the house without her husband Dougie, unless she needs to go to the salon or the shops

The mother-of-two explained if she ever wants to go out somewhere, she will tell her husband Dougie and he will accompany her

The mother-of-two explained if she ever wants to go out somewhere, she will tell her husband Dougie and he will accompany her

Holly said her late father Hugo had reservations about Dougie's career as a bare-knuckle fighter when they initially started dating - but her family came around eventually

Holly said her late father Hugo had reservations about Dougie’s career as a bare-knuckle fighter when they initially started dating – but her family came around eventually

In July this year, after three years of dating, they married in a lavish ceremony costing £60,000 – with Holly’s cutsom-made dress alone totalling £12,000.

The extravagant Calla Blanche gown was custom-made for the bride and took over a year to make. 

Guests were treated to champagne on tap and the bride and groom arrived at the ceremony at Gorton Monastery in Manchester in Rolls Royces.

After the pair began dating, it took Holly’s family some time to get used to their daughter’s new lifestyle as the partner of a traveller. 

In particular Holly’s father Hugo, who has sadly passed away, was worried about Dougie’s career as the owner of 3D Fight Club.

A former bare-knuckle fighter himself, Hugo warned his daughter about the risks of the sport – particularly because Dougie’s high profile within the traveller community means other fighters often challenge him.

While Holly shares her late father’s concerns and worries about her husband’s welfare, she is always waiting for hom at home with balloons, a cake and a plate of spuds and cabbage after a fight.

Despite initial reservations Holly’s family has come around to their daughter’s husband and have been won over by his charm.

And although it has been a big change, Holly threw herself into the traveller lifestyle from day one – bonding instantly with her mother-in-law Margaret, 56.

Although she is expected to answer to her husband, Holly said Dougie treats her ‘like a princess’ and puts family first.

She added part of the reason she fell for her husband was because she saw the way he spoilt his mother, buying her flowers and designer items whenever she wants.

Giving a glimpse into what life is like as the wife of a traveller, Holly explained there can be a lot of competition within the community over who has the most expensive designer accessories and clothes.

But she added her ultimate priority is making sure the house is always ‘perfect’ and that Dougie has everything he wants.

She said: ‘If he’s happy, I’m happy.’

Holly and Dougie’s love story will be featured in their new film, The Joyce Family Documentary, on Amazon Prime.



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