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Sun., Aug. 30
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Fiance competition part of ‘Bridal Idol’ showcase June 1 at Bella-Brooke Winery


HAMMOND — A competition here will marry a “fiance competition” with information on wedding destination options and bridal services available in St. Lawrence County.

The June 1 “Bridol Idol Events Showcase” at Bella-Brooke Vineyard, County Route 6, will feature the fiance competition, resembling “The Newlywed Game,” where the first 20 couples who register at the door will be eligible to compete for two prize packages valued at approximately $1,000 each.

The event is the brainchild of Teryl M. Norris, owner of Happily Ever After Florist & Bridal, 131 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammond.

Mrs. Norris calls her business a headquarters for “destination weddings.”

“Brides come in here and we help them get all the services they need to do a destination wedding,” Mrs. Norris said. “I represent a lot of service providers like caterers, musicians and photographers. It’s a one-stop shopping thing here.”

Many of those destinations for weddings, she said, are south of St. Lawrence County, such as in Clayton and Alexandria Bay.

“The majority of my venues are in the other direction,” she said.

But Mrs. Norris said St. Lawrence County has a growing number of “destinations” for weddings, including Bella-Brooke Vineyard, which opened last spring.

The winery, overlooking Black Lake, is co-owned by Larry and Jodi Hollister and Gary and Carol Davis. They started the vineyard on the property in 2008 and began refurbishing the property’s barn in 2009. The barn, built in the 1850s, serves as the wine producing facility and tasting room.

Three of the four wines produced at the winery took home medals in March at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester. Within the next month, the winery will begin producing an additional four wines, Mr. Hollister said.

Mrs. Norris said the space and the setting of Bella-Brooke makes it an attractive destination for weddings.

“We have a big deck and lots of lawn space,” Mr. Hollister said.

He said last week that Bella-Brooke has booked three weddings for this summer and two for 2015.

Mrs. Norris said Bridal Idol also will highlight Singer Castle as a wedding destination. The 28-room, 30,000-square-foot castle on Dark Island across from Chippewa Bay is open to the public. Frederick G. Bourne, the fourth president of Singer Sewing Machine Co., built Singer Castle in 1905.

“The people along the river up here aren’t aware of what they can get right here in this area,” Mrs. Norris said.

getting to know you

The fiance competition, Mrs. Norris said, will feature questions on “how well do you know your fiance?” Some will be multiple choice.

The two main prizes for winners:

n The Royalty Package features a one-night stay for two in the royal suite at Singer Castle. The package includes a cooler with barbecue fixings, a bouquet of roses and a bottle of wine from Bella-Brooke. Transportation to the island is included.

n The Merlot Package consists of a four-hour event pass for Bella-Brooke Vineyards & Winery including a reception and rehearsal dinner. It also includes consulting services by Mrs. Norris, a $50 gift certificate toward flowers, free tuxedo rental and a photo package.

The first place winner in the contest, Mrs. Norris said, will be able to decide which package to select.

Vendors at Bridal Idol, from St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties, will showcase products and services ranging from a horse and carriage rides to desserts.

“Every cent that these vendors are renting a table for are going back into the event,” Mrs. Norris said. “It’s not going into my pocket or Bella-Brookes. It’s going into advertising to promote it.”

The event is open to those ages 16 and older. Doors open at 11 a.m. Organizers will look for engagement rings on the hands of future brides before they register to enter the contest.

“You don’t have to be engaged to come, but you have to be engaged to enter the competition,” Mrs. Norris said.

the details
WHAT: “Bridol Idol Events Showcase,” featuring a “how well do you know your fiance? competition.”
WHEN/WHERE: Doors open at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 1, at Bella-Brooke Winery, 2989 County Route 6, Hammond. The fiance competition begins when 20 couples register at the door.
The event also will highlight wedding-related vendors showcasing products and services.
COST: Free admission. The event is for those age 16 and older.
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