A smart look for a big day

Groom Andrew Brazeley gets a helping hand from dad Ian as the pair choose their suits at Christabel and Keats on Church Street in Hartlepool.
Groom Andrew Brazeley gets a helping hand from dad Ian as the pair choose their suits at Christabel and Keats on Church Street in Hartlepool.

ANDREW Bazeley was a picture of sartorial elegance as he got fitted out for his biggest day.

The 25-year-old, from Hartlepool, will marry his bride-to-be Gemma Kerr, 28, on Friday, September 6, in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee.

Before then though, he and Gemma are collecting the different parts of their £13,000 wedding package in the Bride of the Year competition, run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

And for Andrew, a refuse collector in town, it meant a visit to suit hire firm Christabel and Keats which is providing suits up to the value of £500. Owner Janice Davison bought the business three years ago although the firm has been in town for nearly 30 years.

But suits are only one part of an excellent business which also covers most other parts of the wedding day, from the bride to the bridesmaids.

Janice said: “We do wedding dresses, mother-of-the-bride outfits, tiaras, shoes and all the accessories.”

Clientele regularly comes from an area covering York to Newcastle and all points in between. But others have been known to come from Dubai and Italy, all because of the renowned excellence of the 

Janice added: “It is lovely to be involved in the couple’s big day.

“I am really pleased to be involved. It is good to be able to supply a service for their big day.”

She said word of mouth was responsible for the success of the firm and wedding dresses made up the bulk of their business.

But suit hire is another important section and Andrew said: “They have a really impressive range. There are some lovely suits here.”

Gemma chips in and says: “Andrew really does love getting dressed up.”

Janice certainly has plenty of experience in the fashion and wardrobe profession. For years, she travelled the world to places such as China, Romania and Turkey setting up production factories and sourcing fabrics.

And she’s added stylish touches to Christabel and Keats which stands in an impressive location on Church Street. The first floor of the building is a fantastic area for brides to browse through dresses and try them on in style.

Downstairs, suit hire is going down a storm and Andrew is joined by his dad Ian, 50, also a refuse collector and who is also being fitted out for his son’s big day.

“It has been exciting and they deserve to win,” he told the Hartlepool Mail.

Andrew’s mum, Christine, a packaging technician at Walkers, in Peterlee, is there to offer support as well.

Meanwhile, Janice explains the process which is involved in fitting out the groom for his big day. After a fitting, the suits’ measurements go off to a sophisticated system to be registered before the groom and his wedding party return around 10 days before the wedding to try on their outfits.

It’s all adding up to an impressively smart day for Andrew – thanks to Christabel and Keats.