Vineyards By The Fountain {Newport News, VA}

Saturday, October 08, 2011 – Saturday, October 08, 2011 ; 3:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.

Vineyards By The Fountain !

City Center at Oyster Point

Celebrate the fruits of the vineyard at the sixth annual Newport News Wine Festival on Saturday, October 8th from 3:00 to 7:00 PM by the fountain stage at City Center in Oyster Point. Vineyards by the Fountain offers an array of wines from around the world including varieties from Australia, France, Italy, Spain, and Americas Pacific Northwest regions. Returning for its fourth year, the Beer Garden will give curious connoisseurs of the worlds oldest beverage a chance to sample craft beers. Live music rounds out the afternoon event with local favorites Lewis McGee and Matt Thomas. Food and wine by the bottle or beer by the glass will also be available for purchase.
Tasters tickets for either wine or beer including a souvenir tasting glass are $25 in advance, $30 day of at the gate. Non-Tasters admission is $15. Cash Only On-Site. Tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-982-2787. Hospitality Chalets are available by calling Jenny LeHew at 757-282-2818.

For more information call 757-282-2822.

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22 Best Honeymoon Destinations

Honeymoon: The prize after a many times stressful wedding-planning season. We think honeymoons should be the opposite of stressful — calm and restful (but not so restful that you grow bored), romantic (but not in a cheesy or contrived way) and enjoyable for each new spouse.
#1

Why go: The Hawaiian island of Kauai offers private villas on secluded beaches, which make for wonderfully restive honeymoons. But couples with an adventuresome bent can hike through the Na Pali Coast or kayak down the Wailua River, among other activities.

#2

Why go: Because some couples enjoy roughing it — or at least sort of — Maui is an ideal honeymoon destination. With jungles to explore, volcanoes to tour, theWaianapanapa State Park to hike, Maui bursts with adventures to take. But if you want to catch up on your rest and relaxation, there are also gorgeous beaches to laze upon, cute towns to explore and luxurious spa resorts to enjoy.

#3

Why go: Set along the banks of the Arno River and nestled in the Tuscan hills, Florence is an intimate city of renowned Renaissance art and architecture, local Italian wines and cooking. Since it’s a small city, the best form of transportation is walking — preferably hand-in-hand (after all, you’re honeymooners!) through the labyrinth of stone streets, the Boboli Gardens, and the attractions — theDuomo, the David, the Uffizi — are magnificent, but there aren’t so many that you feel stressed or rushed to see it all; and Florence offers some sumptuous hotels, so you might want to take advantage of the plush rooms and sleep in.

#4

Why go: The large Greek isle of Crete is broken into four distinct regions that offer very different experiences, from jungle adventures to beach-bum lazing. The beaches are lovely, as are the hotels, spas and Greek cuisine.

#5

Why go: Known for its breathtaking sunsets, calm waters of the Aegean Sea, rich Greek food (think fish, honey, olives, feta), and couples-specific accommodations (on cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea), Santorini is almost tailor-made for those who’ve just said, “I do.” The streets, which wind past white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, are lined with boutique shopping and restaurants; otherwise, honeymooners can enjoy lazing about on beaches or visiting the island’s wineries.

#6

Why go: For many, it’s the ultimate honeymoon destination, and why not? There’s fine French dining, elegant shopping boulevards, renowned museums (Musee d’OrsayLouvre) and swoon-worthy sights (Eiffel TowerSacre-Coeur), entertainment at places like the Opera Garnier, and ultra-chic accommodations. However, you might have to shell out a pretty penny to experience Paris in the lap of luxury, (with five-star hotels creeping into the $1,000-a-night range). But it’s your honeymoon, and you’ll hopefully only do it once, right?

#7

Why go: The city of canals, gondolas, waterside hotels and Italian cooking, Venice has been a long-standing honeymoon destination. Because Venice plays on its status as a romantic destination, prices for nice hotels, fine dining and gondola rides can be pretty high. And outside of traipsing the confusing web of streets, gorging on pasta and wine and maybe doing a bit of shopping, there’s not much else to do — but we think that might be to its benefit.

#8

Why go: Experts say it has all the class of Paris, but Martinique also has a beautiful set of beaches and enjoyable weather year-round. Because the island is a mixture of French and Creole cultures, the island’s chefs have melded the two to create French-Creole Fusion fare, which travel writers say is to die for. There’s also a pretty decent nightlife, and accommodations range from charming inns to luxurious resorts.

#9

Why go: Catering to an upscale clientele, Turks & Caicos are perhaps one of the least developed Caribbean destinations — and make for an intimate and somewhat secluded honeymoon experience. Besides the beaches, the main attractions in Turks & Caicos are snorkeling, scuba diving and spa treatments, all of which can be enjoyed by newly married couples. And these islands are also known for their spectacular (though pricey) dining scene.

#10

Why go: Lots of beaches mixed with culture Dutch, French and Caribbean cultures, as well as some cute towns to explore, local foods to try, (which travel writers mention is some of the best in the Caribbean). And did we mention, beaches to laze on?

#11

Why go: One of Mexico’s most luxurious destinations, Puerto Vallarta is replete with gorgeous beaches, a small town ambience — despite its many resorts, and an authentic “Old Town” with local shops and restaurants. Also, the Sierra Madre Mountains are nearby, which brim with active excursions.

#12
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Why go: Puerto Rico is an easy flight from the U.S., which might be the deciding factor for wedding-weary couples looking for relaxation as soon as possible. The large island offers both quiet, secluded beaches — like the ones found onVieques — and lively ones like Rincón. Resorts, restaurants and couples-friendly activities, such as hiking and scuba diving, abound.

#13

Why go: Set amid the rolling Scottish hills, complete with castles, up-and-coming restaurants, luxurious accommodations (bed and breakfasts, too), and a vibrant theater scene, Edinburgh makes for an interesting yet laid-back honeymoon. If you feel like sightseeing, Edinburgh offers neighborhoods to explore, nearby hills to hike, shopping streets to peruse and attractions likeEdinburgh Castle and the Holyroodhouse Palace to see, but you can also lounge in the Royal Botanic Garden, enjoy a spa treatment or simply sleep in — and not feel guilty about it.

#14

Why go: A laidback ambience pervades this string of islands off the coast of Florida. Complete with upscale hotels and restaurants, Key West is ideal for couples who want to spend their days on the beach or water and their nights in restaurants and bars.

#15

Why go: All-inclusive resorts reign, meaning honeymooners after their brilliant but exhausting weddings can fully relax…without worrying about what to do, where to eat or the weather (it’s Jamaica, and the temperatures average in the 70s to 90s year-round). However, if couples do want to get out and explore, Jamaica offers a host of things to do — from reggae bars in Kingston to the tropical flora and fauna of Ocho Rios.

#16

Why go: It’s not Italy or France, but Charleston is an intriguing city, dripping with Southern charm, not to mention upscale Southern cooking. The downtown fills with galleries, boutiques, restaurants and lovely historic homes to tour by day — and live-music bars, ghost tours and romantic walks to partake in by night. To bed down, honeymooners can book a historic inn downtown or a beachside resort-spa (average temperatures range from the 60s to 70s during May’s wedding season).

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Why go: If you’re among those avid skiers whose ideal honeymoon is spent on the slopes and at the lodge, Banff might be your ideal honeymoon destination. Set in Alberta Canada, Banff Town is a posh village of upscale lodges, tasteful yet hearty restaurants and a pretty active nightlife. By day, snow bunnies can hit the immediate area’s three ski slopes — Banff Mount NorquaySunshine Village andLake Louise Ski Area.

#18

Why go: Yes, Niagara Falls are a somewhat “camp” honeymoon destination, but Jim and Pam from “The Office” had a blast — you might, too. Accommodations range from retro (complete with heart-shaped bathtubs) to high-end resorts, and the views of the falls — whether from high above in a helicopter or at the bottom on a Maid of the Mist boat — are said to be transcendent, especially standing beside a new spouse.

#19

Why go: A large city filled with things to do for the cosmopolitan couple who enjoy touring museums together and exploring interesting neighborhoods. San Francisco also brims with awesome (and health-conscious) restaurants, and a hotel scene that runs the gamut, from upscale chains to sumptuous boutiques. Plus, you can also rent a convertible and spend an afternoon driving through California’s nearby wine country.

#20

Why go: North Carolina’s Outer Banks are a beach destination that won’t break the bank. In the affluent and quiet town of Duck (a northern OBX beach), honeymooners can book accommodations at a nice bed and breakfast, sunbathe on the beaches and participate in some leisurely watersports like fishing or kayaking. And though the cuisine isn’t renowned, the area does offer a handful of fine dining establishments.

#21

Why go: Yes, Spain’s capital is a big and bustling city (people literally stay up all night), but it’s also filled with the Spanish sensibility — the afternoon siesta, delicious tapas, free-flowing wines, flamenco and all-night parties. There are also must-see museums like the Prado and excellent parks for catnaps, though in Madrid, you won’t lack for comfortable places to lay your head — the hotels are world-class.

#22

Why go: You know exactly what you’re going to get when you honeymoon in Vegas, and some couples love that. After checking in at a glitzy hotel like theBellagio or the Wynn, couples can hit the casinos hoping to get lucky. Hotel pools are another way to while the days away. At night, couples can dress to the nines and dine at one of the many fancy restaurants and later catch a Cirque du Soleil show or club hop along the Strip.

Wedding Gown Information Part 2

When Choosing Your Gown

There are thousands of gown fashions to choose from. Brides can choose a gown with traditional embellishments like the bell-shape skirt with lace and a train, or a modern form-fitting gown made of satin and decorated with sequins. Whatever the bride may decide, she will eventually have to visit some type of wedding gown dealer.

Selecting Your Gown

When you visit the salon of your choice, make sure that you have a clear vision of your wedding’s theme. Do not hesitate to let the salon know what you have planned for a budget. Bring magazine clippings of gowns you like, and see if they have those styles or something similar. Keep in mind that with most bridal salons, you get some consultation for free. Take advantage of the advice you receive. The consultant will be able to offer suggestions on fit and style based on your age and body type. A gown may look wonderful in a magazine (and most do), but it may not look good on you. Your consultant will help you find the right gown at the right price. You should visit a bridal salon even if you do not plan on purchasing your gown through one. The advice you receive will more than pay for your time.

The Costs

Don’t purchase a gown that is out of your price range. Bridal gowns can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Take some time to think about your selection. It may help to sleep on the idea and make a commitment on a different day. Remember that bridal gowns come with many unforeseen expenses. Don’t spend all of your allotted money on the gown itself. Save a little for alterations and accessories.

Get Fitted For Your Gown

When you go to get fitted for your gown, make sure that you bring your mother or maid of honor with you. If neither of these people can be there, take a friend whose opinion you trust. If nothing else, this friend can give some moral support if you are in doubt. You should plan on at least six months to decide on and fit your gown. It will take at least three months for your order to be placed and your gown to be made by the manufacturer. Then you can plan on three fittings. The first when your gown arrives. The second to correct any mistakes, and the third to verify that everything is perfect. You should expect your gown to be perfect. After all, you will only wear this gown once. If you do not have six months, relax. You can still get everything done in time. It will just cost a little more to rush your order.

Your final fitting should take place a few weeks before your wedding. The last thing you should worry about on your wedding day is whether or not your gown fits. So make sure your gown is ready early. Your salon should hold your gown until the week before your wedding. They are better equipped to store your gown than you will be, and proper storage is essential to prevent your gown from wrinkling.

It would be a good idea to bring your maid of honor to your fittings. She will be able to learn her responsibilities for the wedding day. Sometimes, small emergencies come up right before the wedding is about to begin. Your maid of honor should know your gown, and she should also know how to perform small alterations in a pinch. If your mother would handle this situation better than your maid of honor, you might want her at the fittings as well.

On Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day is going to be very hectic. Allow yourself at least two hours to get ready before your wedding is scheduled to begin. If you are planning to have photographs taken before your ceremony, start getting ready two hours before your session is scheduled to begin. These last few hours are stressful enough, don’t add to the stress by running late. Take your time when getting ready, and enjoy the company of those around you. Bring an emergency kit. This kit should have sewing supplies, extra makeup, extra hose, and tissues. You should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes such as flats with you. During the wait before the wedding, you will not want to be running around in heels. Your feet may never forgive you.

Wedding Gown Information Part 1

Bridal Gown Information 

You have thought about this day for your entire life, and it’s finally about to happen. Finding the perfect wedding gown can be both challenging and pleasurable. Wedding gowns come in many styles, fabrics and price ranges. Gowns vary from simple, informal types to elaborate puffy productions with intricate beading and long trains. Below are a few thoughts to keep in mind while searching for your perfect gown.

Shopping

Searching out the ideal wedding gown can be a demanding task, because there is so much to choose from. It’s best to have some idea what you are looking for before you begin to shop. Wedding magazines are a good source of ideas

Preference

Wedding gowns are very personal and should be chosen based on your individual style preference, the type of wedding you plan to have, the place you are being married and your budget. Almost anything is acceptable – – – so remember, this is YOUR day. Do it YOUR way.

Where To Look?

There are many sources available for bridal gowns: bridal salons, discount warehouses and outlets, resale or consignment shops, and custom designers. Call these merchants in your area and find out what they have to offer. Many of the boutique bridal shops require an appointment or have limited hours. Many, but not all, bridal stores have knowledgeable sales people, who can assist in selecting the right gown for you. If your choice is a new gown, allow at least four months for fittings, manufacture and delivery. Allow extra time to guard against the possibility of something going wrong – – – for example, delay in delivery of the gown, delivery of the wrong gown, or delivery of a damaged gown, which will require repair.

Reputable Source

It is not difficult to imagine the chaos that can result if, on the appointed day for delivery of your gown, you discover that the person or firm with whom you are dealing is no longer in business. The best protection is afforded by dealing with a firm which has long been established in the community, a store with national affiliation, or a shop which has qualified as an “authorized dealer” or representative for a nationally recognized product line. The reliability of the merchant with whom you are dealing is particularly important in the field of specially manufactured wedding gowns, because a non refundable deposit is almost always required at the time the gown is ordered. A quality firm will also be able to assist you if problems are encountered in the manufacture or delivery process.

Ask Questions

Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the salesperson who is assisting you. Feel free to ask questions about anything you are unsure of. Be sure to satisfy yourself that there are no additional or hidden costs, such as for steaming or final alterations.

Put It In Writing

Insist that all of the essential terms of your agreement with the salesperson be in writing. Do not proceed on the basis of an oral agreement or understanding. Unfortunately, should you and the salesperson later disagree on the terms of your agreement, the salesperson will have a distinct advantage in the negotiation process, since he or she holds your gown and, in all likelihood, you will not have sufficient time to make alternative arrangements, such as purchasing a gown from another shop.

Wedding Ceremony: How Does the Wedding Recessional Work? Here is how it goes..

You two should be the first to exit the church after the ceremony, followed by your wedding party and parents. Then, it depends on your ceremony schedule. If you plan to take photos at the venue, you could just walk out the front door  and then circle back around through a back door to get back in and take pictures. That should give guests enough time to file out of the church. Or, if you plan to have a receiving line, you would want to exit and wait just outside the door to greet guests as they make their way out. Once all the guests have gone through the receiving line, that will be your que to go ahead and make your grande exit.

2011 Engagement & Jewelry Statistics from THEKNOT.COM

Second Engagement & Jewelry Survey of its Kind Provides New Engagement Ring Statistics and In-Depth Insight into Purchasing Behavior and the Luxury Engagement Ring Market –

XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO; xogroupinc.com), formerly The Knot Inc., a global media and technology leader with the top two wedding websites, TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, today released the results of its Engagement & Jewelry Study, which surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. brides and 1,000 U.S. grooms engaged or married in the past year. The most definitive report on engagement and jewelry statistics, the 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study from The Knot Market Intelligence, a research division of XO Group Inc., tracks the $11 billion engagement ring and wedding jewelry market by capturing detailed feedback on engagement ring details and spending, the search and purchasing process and the wedding ring market.

“Jewelry is a significant part of the wedding experience and the 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study provides unparalleled insight into the multibillion-dollar industry,” said Kristyn Clement, Senior Director of The Knot Market Intelligence at XO Group Inc. “TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com are the leading resources reaching the overwhelming majority of brides in the U.S. today, making us the only source able to provide this level of detailed information to retailers hoping to better understand the decision-making process of today’s brides and grooms when it comes to the engagement ring.”

2011 AVERAGE ENGAGEMENT RING & WEDDING RING STATISTICS

1. Engagement Ring Cost: $5,200
2. Carat Size: 1 carat for center stone; 1.4 carats total stones
3. Most Popular Engagement Ring Shapes: Round (53%) and Princess (30%)
4. Most Popular Engagement Ring Metal: 73% of rings are made of white gold
5. Time It Takes for Groom to Find Engagement Ring: 3 months
6. Wedding Band Cost: $1,126 for brides; $491 for grooms
7. Most Popular Wedding Band Metal: For brides, 70% are white gold; for grooms, 34% are white gold
8. The Luxury Ring Segment: About 12% of couples spend more than $8,000 on the engagement ring
9. Luxury Engagement Ring Cost: $13,500
10. Luxury Engagement Ring Carat Size: 1.5 carats for center stone; more than 2 carats total stones
11.  Luxury Wedding Ring Cost: $1,560 for brides; $731 for grooms

KEY 2011 JEWELRY & PROPOSAL TRENDS

Majority of Grooms’ Ring Selection Not Affected by the Economy. Only 14% of grooms claimed to have downsized the engagement ring due to the economic climate. In fact, one in four grooms spent more than he originally budgeted. However, they are spending less than couples did a few years ago. On average, couples are spending just under $5,200 on the ring (compared with $5,800 for couples engaged in 2008).

Luxury Ring Segment Spends an Average of $13,500. Although round diamonds are the most popular cut for brides overall, they’re even more popular with luxury ring brides (57% versus 53% of the non luxury segment). However, cushion-cut diamonds are a trending favorite among luxury ring brides (8% versus 3% for non luxury segment). Nationwide, the luxury segment tends to be older, lives in the Northeast and is more traditional — nearly 80% of grooms asked the bride’s parents for permission before proposing.

Customization Is Key, Especially for Luxury Ring Couples. Whether they completely designed the ring on their own with a jeweler or made custom changes to an existing design, approximately two out of five grooms (41%) are choosing to add personal elements to the engagement ring. Customization is even more popular with the Luxury Ring segment as more than half (59%) choose to incorporate custom design elements.

Alternative Metals Increasingly Popular for Grooms. Although white gold is still the most popular wedding band metal, with approximately one in three grooms (34%) choosing it, alternative metals are becoming increasingly popular. In 2011, 27% of grooms chose tungsten (up from 19% for grooms married in 2008) and 16% chose titanium (up from 13% for grooms married in 2008).

Where Are Grooms Buying? Approximately two in five grooms (39%) purchased at least part of the ring from a local or independent jeweler, while one in three (35%) purchased at least part of the ring from a national jewelry chain. And nearly 1 out of 10 grooms (9%) purchased from an online retailer. No matter where it’s purchased, are brides helping pick their own ring? Yes. The majority of brides are at least somewhat involved in the ring selection (65%), with nearly a third (31%) ‘very involved’ — that is, they shopped for and/or purchased the ring with their groom. Additionally, 21% of brides will actually visit a retailer in-person without her fiancé, a decrease from 30% for brides engaged in 2008.

Tradition Is Making a Comeback. The majority of grooms are taking tradition to heart when they propose. In fact, 77% of grooms proposed on bended knee (compared with 70% in 2009) and 71% asked the bride’s parents for permission (compared with 62% of grooms engaged in 2008) before popping the question.

Proposals are Becoming More Public. While a proposal’s always a private moment, they’re increasingly becoming more public affairs. In 2009, 68% of grooms proposed privately, while that number dropped to just over half (57%) in 2011. Perhaps that’s why 43% of grooms meticulously planned the proposal down to the last detail and only 10% of grooms “winged” it.

Man-gagement Rings Are the New Trend. Brides aren’t the only ones with engagement rings these days. Grooms are now opting to wear “man-gagement” rings; 5% of grooms wear an engagement ring along with the bride.

About The Knot Market Intelligence 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study

More than 10,000 qualified brides and 1,000 qualified grooms — of mixed ethnicities, education and income levels — were polled across 50 states. Proposal and engagement ring questions were asked of both brides and grooms in the recently engaged group while wedding band and jewelry questions were asked of brides in the recently married group. All qualified respondents:

* Were 18 or older
* U.S. Brides

1. Engaged Segment — engaged in between March 2010 and February 2011
2. Married Segment —married between March 2010 and February 2011
* U.S. Grooms —engaged in between March 2010 and February 2011

The survey was fielded in February 2011 and was administered by Digital Research Inc. on behalf of The Knot Market Intelligence Group.

Topline data highlights from The Knot Market Intelligence 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study are available at xogroupinc.com/tkmi, while complete custom analyses and reports are available for purchase by contacting insights@xogrp.com.

About XO Group Inc.

XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO; xogroupinc.com), formerly The Knot Inc., is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the number one wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include WeddingChannel.com, The Nest, The Bump and Ijie.com. XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media — from the web to social media and mobile apps, magazines and books, and video — and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing. The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is headquartered in New York City.

XO Group Inc.
Stephanie Fraiman, 212-219-8555 x1228
Associate Public Relations Manager
sfraiman@xogrp.com

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/30/idUS198935+30-Aug-2011+BW20110830

Gold Wedding Bands Get Dumped for Tungsten

by CHRIS JAEGER on SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

in NEWS

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Forget about sentimentality and tradition.

Skyrocketing gold prices have jewelers and cash-strapped couples clamoring for wedding bands made of less expensive metals like tungsten, cobalt and even stainless steel.

Over the past three months, tungsten, a steel-gray hard metal, has become an increasingly popular choice over gold with wedding band shoppers at Blue Nile (NILE), said John Baird, public relations director with the online jewelry seller.

“The response to our recent men’s tungsten collection was immediate,” said Baird, adding that the company subsequently debuted a men’s Titanium wedding band collection in July.

“In 30 days, one in every 10 men’s wedding bands we sold that month was titanium,” he said.

As the economic downturn forces Americans to tighten their belts, consumers shopping for jewelry have become more willing to consider cheaper alternatives, Baird said.