Mamma mia! That’s how to propose

Gemma Kerr and Andrew Bazeley with her daughter Madeline
Gemma Kerr and Andrew Bazeley with her daughter Madeline

IT was a family wedding that proved the inspiration for a romantic Hartlepool man to take the plunge himself.

Andrew Bazeley, 25, and Gemma Kerr, 28, were at Lake Garda in Italy for the wedding of Gemma’s brother Graham last May.

The romantic occasion was just the spur Andrew needed for him to pop the question himself – and now he’s hoping to complete his own love story by winning the Bride of the Year competition, run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

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?”

Gemma, a cleaner and barmaid at the Burn Valley Social Club, who lives in Argyll Road, Hartlepool, said: “I couldn’t get any words out. I was so happy.”

But then when she recovered her composure, she said yes and she and Andrew began life as an engaged couple.

Gemma, mum to six-year-old Madeline Kerr who attends St Theresa’s Primary School, admitted: “It was really romantic.

“We had gone for a nice meal overlooking the water and that is when he asked me.

“He’d bought the ring while we were in Italy and he proposed two days after my brother’s wedding.

“Ever since last November, we have been talking about getting married.

“Then Andrew saw the competition in the Hartlepool Mail and asked me what I thought about it. I think it sounds great and it would be lovely to get married on board HMS Trincomalee.”

If the couple do win the competition, it promises to be a memorable occasion. “We both have quite big families,” said Gemma.

“If we could win it, it would be our dreams coming true.”

There is still time for more couples to join the search for the 2013 winners.

Our ultimate wedding package is worth £12,290 and includes all the trimmings for a perfect day.

Couples who have entered before – and whose dream of marrying has still not become reality – are welcome to take part. So too are those who have never entered before and would love to enjoy a day filled with wonderful memories.

Tell us your story and include as much detail as you can about yourself and your partner, how you met and why you should be chosen.

Send all your entries to: Chris Cordner, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, or email

Chris can also be contacted on (01429) 239377.

Please include contact address and telephone numbers when you get in touch.

Normal competition rules apply, for more details see Page 8.

The winning couple will be expected to take part in pre- and post-wedding day publicity.