EASTENDERS' Louisa Lytton looked stunning as she posed in a wedding dress last year and dreamed of tying the knot with her businessman fiancé Ben Bhanvra.
The couple had been together since 2017, enjoying romantic getaways as their relationship grew stronger.
It was on one such holiday that the pair got engaged in 2019.
Louisa, who has played Ruby Allen on EastEnders since 2005, said she was left in floods of tears after Ben popped the question in the Maldives with a beautiful engagement ring.
Speaking about the romantic proposal the 32-year-old actress said at the time: “When I saw him on one knee I started crying like a baby. I was so excited but my brain went into overdrive and I started freaking out. I had no idea he was going to propose.”
Louisa initially planned to marry hunky fiancé Ben last summer though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced them to delay the ceremony.
Perhaps it was just as well, as the couple soon found their first family house and moved into the new home in September.
Within a few months they decided that they didn't want to put their dream of starting a family together on hold.
Ben and Louisa used Mother's Day to reveal they were expecting their first child together, sharing a cute video from their house.
Speaking to Fabulous about their plans being turned upside down, Louisa said: "I know so many people who have decided to hold off, and I guess it's what works best for them. But I felt I was already ready for a baby when I met Ben so putting it off for another year for the sake of a wedding that might not even happen didn't really make sense to us.
"We always said we were going to get married, give it a year and then start trying for a baby, so time-wise we've done what we planned? We just didn't have the wedding."
It happened sooner than we were expecting!
"It definitely happened sooner than we were expecting! I know we're lucky, because you don't realise how difficult that part of your life can be when you're younger. So we were over the moon, but at the same time it was a bit: 'OK, well that happened quickly!'"
In an uneasy twist, Louisa filmed her character Ruby Allen's miscarriage scenes while in the early stages of pregnancy herself.
"It was weird, because naturally that was always at the forefront of my mind, so it was quite hard to take myself away from my story line and be at home and enjoy being pregnant.
"It became difficult to differentiate between work and home in my head. I hadn't had the reassurance of a scan, so at times I was almost trying to protect myself by acting like it wasn't really happening. I think it's natural to have those worries in the first 12 weeks, but the story line heightened how I would have been feeling anyway."
Three years after Louisa returned to Albert Square following a 12-year absence, she has now left for maternity leave.
The actress said she isn't going to pressure herself to return too soon.
And having survived lockdown as a couple, despite it wrecking their wedding plans, Louisa believes she and Ben are stronger than ever.
She said: "During the first lockdown, we were living in a tiny studio flat, moving the wedding and in the process of buying a house, which (initially) fell through because of Covid.
"So we've made some big life decisions during that time and we've been inseparable. We've kind of sailed it, really.
"I know people who have broken up and it's shown us that we can experience really intense, stressful times while living on top of each other, and so hopefully there's not much that we can't get through now. He's been great. I can't wait to see him as a dad – I know he'll be brilliant."
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