A salute to a happy couple

Our Bride of the Year winners Andrew Bazeley and Gemma Kerr with Richard Davison, who will fire a musket salute at their wedding
Our Bride of the Year winners Andrew Bazeley and Gemma Kerr with Richard Davison, who will fire a musket salute at their wedding

SPECTACULAR touches are often the moments that make a wedding.

And our happy Bride of the Year Gemma Kerr, 28, will be hoping a musket salute is one of them when her big day arrives in September.

She will marry her fiance Andrew Bazeley, 25, in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee.

Then, soon after, a musket salute will be fired to mark the couple’s big day.

Wendy Rogan is the senior operations manager for Hartlepool Borough Council which is providing the room hire worth £120 for the wedding reception, and a musket salute worth £85 given by guides in period costume.

She said: “It is a lovely occasion to have a salute. The guides will show them the musket and talk them through it. We are delighted that we can be involved in this.”

Wendy described the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience as “a unique venue for weddings and for any function. We are proud of that.

“You have HMS Trincomalee, the Sir William Gray suite, the Baltic Suite, the added bonus of Cleveland Caterers and the backdrop of Hartlepool Marina.”

She said the council was proud to be involved in the Bride of the Year competition.

The whole package certainly brought admiring glances and remarks from Gemma. She said: “The musket salute is not something that every couple gets and we are very honoured that we are getting it at our wedding.

“It is a great touch and everyone should enjoy it.”

The couple are looking forward to a £13,000 wedding after winning the Bride of the Year competition run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

Gemma, a mum to six-year-old Madeline, will marry husband-to-be Andrew, a Hartlepool refuge collector.

The couple first became engaged after they attended the wedding of Gemma’s brother Graham in May last year at Lake Garda in Italy. The romantic occasion was the spur Andrew needed for him to pop the question himself.

He bought an engagement ring in Italy, got down on one knee and asked the love of his life: “Will you make me the happiest man and marry me?”

The couple are now well into the process of planning their dream day, including taking their wedding vows in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee on Friday, September 6.