A GORJA who married into Britain’s ‘toughest’ traveller family has revealed she can’t leave the house without her Gypsy husband.
In a stark contrast to modern relationships, Travellers stick to old school rules and customs – meaning the majority of marriages survive compared to 33% of non-traveller marriages that end in divorce and broken families.
Holly Joyce has hailed traditional family values and says she “was glad to give up her old Gorja life”.
She revealed that she is no longer able to go out without her husband Dougie Joyce.
Holly, 27 reveals she abides by ‘what he says goes’ when it comes to her traveller hubby Dougie, 34.
The Gypsy-Gorja beauty met Dougie on Instagram in September 2019 and what started out as a few likes soon turned into direct messages before they agreed to meet in March 2020 at San Carlo’s restaurant in Manchester.
After just a few hours, Dougie said he knew he would “marry this woman”, the Mirror reports.
While Dougie has had previous relationships with women outside the traveller community, Holly had never dated a traveller before him.
Now she is unable to work, is expected to look after the family and household, and succumbs to her husband’s every whim – and says she’s had to ‘give up’ her old life, including her career as an air hostess.
Holly, a mum-of-two, from Salford, Manchester, said: “It’s been a whirlwind that’s turned into a fairy-tale. The biggest difference being a traveller’s wife is you must respect your husband – what he says goes.
“He wouldn’t want me out at parties without him, we’d always go together. 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.”
“I can go to the salon or out to the shops on my own, but he’s very protective and worries about my safety if I’m out alone. I don’t feel like I’m missing out because if I want to do something I just ask Dougie and we can do it together.
“I’d rather be with him anyway.”
Holly said that she was instantly attracted to Dougie, and it was his smile that won her over, while Dougie felt that it was ‘love at first sight’.
While Holly’s family were initially hesitant that their daughter would become a traveller’s wife, they were soon won over by Dougie’s charm.
Holly has embraced her new way of life, immersing herself into the traveller community after instantly getting on with Dougie’s mother Margaret Joyce, 56.
Dougie proposed at the gender reveal party for their daughter Oceanna, at their home in Manchester in December 2020, and the pair tied the knot in an extravagant ceremony at the Gorton Monastery, Manchester, in July 2022.
The lavish do cost over £60k, and included four Rolls Royces, £12k dress and champagne on tap.
Dougie had planned to arrive in a helicopter, but sadly the venue wouldn’t allow him to land in the car park.
Holly wore a stunning £12k Calla Blanche dress, which was designed especially for her and took over a year to make.
Sticking to traveller tradition, the evening do was segregated, with the women on one side and men on the other.
They had dated for three years, and throughout that time Holly was introduced to the traveller way of life and learnt what would be expected of her, having never dated a traveller before.
Holly’s dad, Hugo, 72, who has sadly since passed away, was initially hesitant about his daughter dating the bare-knuckle fighter and owner of 3D Fight Club, as he was once a bare-knuckle fighter himself and knew the risks.
Dougie has had a successful career as a bare-knuckle fighter and now owns a bare-knuckle fighting club.
His high profile within the community means he is often challenged to fights.
Holly admitted that she worries about him scrapping and is unable to watch – opting to wait for him at home with balloons, a cake, and his favourite meal of spuds and cabbage.
But despite his violent profession, Holly said that Dougie is really a family man and treats her ”like a princess”.
“Family is so important to travellers,” Holly said.
“I remember being so impressed by how Dougie treats his mum. He never answers back to his mother and has so much respect for her.
“He buys her flowers, designer shoes, and anything she wants.
“The way a man speaks to his mum says a lot, and Dougie has always been so loving and respectful towards her.
“My family were worried at first, but as soon as they saw how well he looks after me and how respectful he is, they soon approved.
“He’s such an amazing dad – family is everything to him.