A blog with planning tips, fun new trends, and info related to Ethereal Events.
Photo by Barbie Hull
"Today I am marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love."
~ Erin & Forrest Pangborn

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and I can't wait!  I LOVE this holiday 2nd to Christmas.  I think the reason I love/continue to love Thanksgiving so much is because I have NEVER been required to host the big event.  For my family, our tradition is to go to either mine or my husband's parent's house and enjoy the meal we've loved since childhood.  (Very little responsibility required).  I get to enjoy the appetizers, drink the pre-meal cocktails, and enjoy time with family; not scramble around making the perfect meal or setting a gorgeous table.  One day, I think I would really enjoy the challenges and stress of hosting such an important holiday tradition, but until then, I will continue to enjoy making my side and dessert at home to bring!

What do Thanksgiving plans have to do with wedding planning you ask?  Hosting Thanksgiving is very much like trying to host your own or child's wedding!  The pressures, decisions, and work need to be handled for such a large event, but BY WHO?  If you are the couple getting married, you are busy with getting ready, taking photos, and (HOPEFULLY) enjoying the day!  If you are thinking about trying to coordinate and execute your wedding on your own, PLEASE take notice this Thanksgiving to the host (if not you) to see how much they are enjoying themselves and ask yourself honestly: "Is this what I want to be doing on my wedding day?"  "Can I really be in two places at once?"

I have heard too many couples not love or even enjoy their wedding because they were tied up in the details and decisions and not able to relax, enjoy, and be present in the celebration! This Thanksgiving holiday take notice and decide what you want!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bridal Fashion Week Wrap Up

Fashion week is one of my favorite weeks.  Not that I'm wearing all the designer duds yet!  I do love to
Bridal Fashion Week is like a girly, beautiful Christmas! PINK, Vintage, and modern shapes OH MY!!!  I hope you love the discussion and fashion as much as I do!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hot Winter Wedding Date!

I found this fun article on Yahoo news yesterday and thought I would share it!  Is there a coveted day in 2014 you want?  

Forget June. Why Brides Suddenly Want to Get Married on a Tuesday in November

Brides aren't usually clamoring to get married on a Tuesday in November. But with November 12 of this year translating to 11/12/13, thousands of soon-to-be-wed couples are choosing that very date to say “I do.”

More on Yahoo Shine: Be the DIY Bride Pippa Wants to Be (Someday)

Brian Beitler, executive vice president of David’s Bridal, tells Yahoo Shine that while Saturday is still the most popular day of the week to wed in America, many couples are putting the date ahead of the day.  “It does not matter if the date falls in the middle of the week or on the weekend.”  

Beitler says his company began tracking wedding date trends after approximately 66,000 couples decided to get married on 07/07/07. “We think brides look for special dates because that’s how they want their weddings to be remembered,” he explains. “For 11/12/13, we are projecting about 2,300 weddings that day compared to a little over 350 that took place last year.”

More on Yahoo: Cancelled Wedding Business Creates Chance For Cheap 'I Do'

Although it’s one thing to choose a date that sounds catchy, numerologist Julian Michael says that there can sometimes be a deeper meaning behind these dates. 

“It’s really more about the numbers than the dates themselves,” according to Michael. “There are a lot of philosophies about certain numbers. If you look at 11/12/13, the number 11 is really significant. You see it everywhere and some people who believe its connection to angels make a wish whenever they see it.”

But for those of us who aren’t fluent in the language of numerology, Michael explains that just seeing a special pattern of numbers will prompt people to choose a date because it appears to be symbolic. “If you look at 11/12/13 or 11/11/11, people may not know the meaning behind each number but they will think, ‘Wow, this must mean something.’”

For 40-year-old Angela Walton of San Diego, her upcoming wedding on November 12, 2013 was carefully selected. “My fiancé and I are both veterans of the Marine Corps,” she tells Shine. “We knew we were getting married this year so we thought, the Marine Corps anniversary is on November 10th, Veterans Day is on November 11th, our wedding should be on November 12th.  It’s the perfect trilogy.”

The final shot brides and grooms will have at marrying on a consecutive date will be 12/13/14 and Beitler is projecting an increase in weddings, despite the fact that December is usually a slow month for nuptials. (After that, your next shot at a true consecutive date won't be until January 2, 2103) 

 "Numbers like this ignite our superstitions and our search for meaning,” Wendy Walsh, psychologist and author of "The 30-Day Love Detox," tells Yahoo Shine via email. “People think we must be special if we're the only generation to ever see this sequential date, right?”

Whether or not brides choose their wedding dates with more meaning than others, there is an inadvertent perk to iconic dates, according to Walsh. "It will make it easier for husbands to remember anniversaries!" She’s got a point.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government shutdown...shutting down weddings?

With day 3 of the Government shut down in effect, it is causing more casualties then one might expect.  Effecting the wedding industry?  How, you crazy wedding planner?  Well, I received a call Tuesday morning from a panicked sister of the bride, trying the save her sister's wedding scheduled for THIS Sunday at Lake Crescent Lodge in the Olympic National Park!  The location of the wedding is in a state park, which due to the government shut down is CLOSED!  Here is part of an article portraying more ways around the country the shutdown is effecting everything, even weddings!

Associated Press NANCY BENAC 11 hours ago 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking out a mortgage. Getting married in a park. Going for a fall foliage drive. Cashing a check.
Who knew that so many random activities of daily life could be imperiled by a shutdown of the federal government?
Americans are finding that "the government" entails a lot more than the stereotype of faceless D.C. bureaucrats cranking out red tape.
And so it is that two dozen October weddings, including nine this week, are in jeopardy because they're scheduled for monument sites on the National Mall. Ditto for a New Jersey couple planning to marry at the Grand Canyon.
Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le's permit to get married Saturday on the lawn near the Jefferson Memorial looks to be among the casualties, giving rise to a new Twitter hashtag for their #shutdownwedding. They're looking at alternate sites, including the restaurant booked for their reception.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Show It Off! Display Worthy Guest Books!

Stuck trying to decide what kind of guest book you want? What’s the point? You’ll never look at it again anyway! Wrong!  Here are ten look at over and over, actually display year round ideas!                                                                          

1. Coffee Table Photo book: Make good use of your engagement or favorite photos of you as a couple! Use a picture of you on one side of the page and the other side blank for guest to leave you a personal message. This is a guest book you won’t want to wait until after the Honeymoon to read!

 2. Calendar: Set out a calendar, and ask your guests to find their birthday and sign their name. Now you’ll have a reminder for everyone’s birthday along with a wedding guest book.

 3. Puzzle: Ask your guests to leave a message for the happy couple on a puzzle piece. One night, you and your husband can read the messages together while putting the puzzle together. You can even add a personal touch by using a website to create a puzzle using a picture of you and your fiancée.

 4. Wishing Stones: You can purchase some stones from any hobby/craft store and display them either in a nice vase or bowl. Each guest can then write a ‘wish’ for the happy couple. The bride and groom can then display the vase or bowl of stones in their home.

 5. Postcards: Provide various post cards and ask your guests to write a message of happiness to you and your husband. Then after the wedding, ask either a good friend, or family member to send you the postcards through out your first year of marriage. It will add a special moment since you won’t know when you’ll be receiving the next postcard.

 6. Quilt: If you have a family member or friend who knows who to sew, they may be willing to help you create a quilt for your wedding day. You can set the quilt out and ask guests to sign the guilt, which you and your husband can use later. If you can’t get the quilt sewn prior to the wedding, you can just ask guests to sign the quilt squares and then sew the quilt together after the wedding.

 7. Jenga: Every marriage has building blocks; why not build blocks together? Ask guests to sign wooden pieces from the game Jenga. Then on your anniversary, you and your husband, can play the game together, sharing the advice, or well wishes on each block as you earn them throughout the game.

 8. Wood Initial: Big letters are common at arts and crafts stores. Why not purchase the initial of your new last name. You can paint the letter, and add any special embellishment you like to the letter, and then ask your guests to sign the letter. After the wedding, the initial can become wall decoration.

 9. Time Capsule: Ask guests to leave messages to the bride and groom, photos, or memories you may share with the couple in a time capsule. Then open the time capsule on your first wedding anniversary or even your fifth anniversary, and take a stroll down memory lane.

 10. Wood Chair/ Bench: Purchase a wood bench or porch chair from any home improvement store and ask your wedding guests to sign the furniture. You can then seal over the wood so the messages don’t get ruined and place the bench or chair out in the backyard or patio. Every time you sit in the chair you can read the messages and names and remember your wedding day. This is a bigger guest book, to move, but the memories are worth it.

Picture Links:
2. Bench: http://1elegantevent.blogspot.com/2012/10/alternative-guest-book-ideas.html

Friday, August 16, 2013

Keelin & Keith

I started working with Keelin in January while she was living in Scottsdale AZ, to plan help plan her July 20th Seattle bash!  A few trips to Seattle, and a move to Florida later, it was wedding day!  Talk about cramming A LOT into a short period of time!  With all of that going on, she was still the sweetest, most genuine, and gorgeous girl around.  Thank you Keelin & Keith for letting me be a part of your most important of days!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sign, Sealed, and Delivered!

Your wedding invitation is the first impression made on your guests.  It sets the stage for your big day.  It let’s guests have a sneak peak into all you have in store for them once the wedding day arrives.  How about using a custom postage stamp on the outside of the envelope to make a big impact first thing!  You’ve put so much thought into customizing your wedding from the flowers to the favors. Don’t miss this great little detail that most people don’t think of. The website, Zazzle sells postage stamps that can be customized just for you. You can upload your own photo or use a pre-made design and use them for the Save the Dates, Invitations, and Thank You Cards. It’s a fun touch that most people won’t be expecting.

To go along with the postage stamps you can also order a Return Address stamp, it can save your hand from cramping writing the same information over and over again on all the envelopes. Etsy has different designs you can chose from for the return address and it’s something you can use long after the wedding.  Let’s be honest, you’ve been eyeing one for a long time now!  Go for it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cupcake Fever!

Everyone loves a good deal!  Especially this girl!  When I came across this in my inbox, I knew I had to share it!   15% isn't a ton, but it can really add up when the order does!  Use it to make your wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, etc. that much sweeter!

Now you can order Trophy online.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Memory Lane!

I was feeling nostalgic today looking back on the wonderful couples I've had the pleasure of working with over the last 8yrs.  Here is Jenn & Thuy's same day edit done by the AMAZING Edit 1 Media!  You can really see and feel how magical their wedding day was!
Waterfront Wedding at Bell Harbor in Seattle from Edit 1 Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blended! Not talking Cocktails Part II

Here is a really sweet wedding proposal that includes a Mother and her Daughter! It is a family proposal, if you will! It reminded me of our recent blended family blog post, you can find it here.  I love the thought that went into his proposal.  It is obvious how much the Groom to be put into making asking Olga & Eva to be his family!  I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Marry Me! Proposal Inspiration!

If any Men out there are getting ready to Pop the Question check this video out for inspiration. It is really sweet and well thought out!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thank you, Gracias, Merci!

20 Ways to Thank People Involved in Your Wedding 
So your wedding day is approaching and all the final touches are coming along, but what about thanking everyone who helped make your day so special. Here are 20 ideas of gifts you can give, from your groom, to your wedding party, of course your parents, and even your vendors. 

1. Cigars: If your groom enjoys a nice cigar on a special occasion or holiday why not give him a box of rare cigars. You can include a note that he can save some cigars for life changing moments. Your wedding day, the day you buy your first house, your first wedding anniversary, and even the birth of your first child.
2. A watch: Now-a-days a watch is not as common an accessory for most people, but it is a nice timeless staple, so why not get your groom a nice new watch. You can even take a step further and have the watch engraved to add a personal touch.

3. Cufflinks: Personalized cufflinks can add a special touch to your grooms suit on the Wedding Day; you can include your wedding date, your initials together, or a small message only your groom would know. He can then wear them to a special work meeting and think of you.

Bride’s maids 
You chose your Bridesmaids to be a part of the most important day of your life. They’re a family member (or about to become one), a best friend, or a college sorority sister. They have helped you throughout the wedding planning process, whether it was going to a dress fitting, cake tasting, or the all-important Bachelorette Party. Why not thank them with a great gift along with the special memories?

4. Personalized Bag: This website is filled with different bag designs which would fit each girl’s personality. You can fill the bag with ‘Day-Of’ Essentials from lipstick, to a personalized hanger for their dress, to even a pair of Reception Dancing Shoes. You could even include something personal representing the relationship you share with each girl.

5. Jewelry: A very popular gift idea is always jewelry. It’s the perfect gift to give and your wedding is a great place for all the ladies to debut their new accessory. However a good idea is to add some personalization to the jewelry and to make sure the design can be something worn outside of the wedding festivities. You can even include a personalized jewelry box or travel case to go with the piece of jewelry you give.

6. Spa Day: A gift card to a near by spa is very special treat. Most bridesmaids will probably be getting a mani/pedi prior to the wedding day so receiving a spa gift certificate can help with that. You can even include a massage or facial in the gift certificate and the bridesmaids can use it after the wedding as well for a nice day of relaxation from all of the wedding festivities.

Your Parents have been the most important people in your life second to your Fiancé, and may have played a huge role in planning the wedding. Whether they are footing the bill or giving great input, thanking them is just as important!

7. A Weekend Getaway: Why not give each set of parents a weekend getaway trip. I mean, you’re going to be going on your honeymoon after all the planning, why not give your parents a chance to relax as well. It could be a trip to a local Bed & Breakfast, the coast (if there’s one nearby) or a weekend at a nearby winery. A retreat where they will be able to relax and enjoy!

8. Photography: It is becoming more and more popular to replicate past photos of your parents with you & your groom. There are a number of ways to create these special moments in your photography with your parents; this particular photo has been widely spread around the internet. Talk to your family about the special heirloom photos that might be great to recreate on your wedding day! *Be sure to ask your photographer for some additional ideas. After you get the photos from your photographer you can pick your favorite one and have it framed for your parents.

9. Personalized Handkerchief: A great keepsake for both sets of parents to show them how thankful you are. You can personalize each one to have a special saying or message for each parent. Plus they can then use the handkerchief to wipe away the tears during the wedding ceremony.

This is your fiancé’s chance to thank his groomsmen one last time. He made need some help on what to give, but make sure it’s more about the guys and less about the girly touch you may have added.

10. Favorite Liquor: While getting ready why not celebrate with a drink. You can gift each groomsmen with their favorite liquor and include a nice cigar to enjoy together at the reception.

11. Engraved Flask: One of the most popular gifts to give the groomsmen and can even be combined with liquor and cigar. You can personalize the flask with getting the groomsmen initials or names engraved on the front and then the men can enjoy their favorite liquor in their new personal flasks.

12. Vintage Shaving Kits: Most men enjoy a nice, clean shave. Why not treat the groomsmen to their own vintage personal shave kit. You can even get monogrammed bags for the shave kits to add some personalization. Or if a kit is not their style, a gift certificate to a professional barber for a shave is a nice treat! It is the manly equivalent to a spa day!

Lil’ Ones 
You don’t want to forget about the Flower Girl and/or Ring Bearer. They aren’t as involved in the wedding, but you still asked them to be a part of it, so don’t forget to give them a gift to make them feel just as special. Some great ideas for your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer can be things to keep them busy during the ceremony and/ or reception. It doesn’t necessarily need to be as detailed as a gift for your bridesmaid/groomsmen.

13. Gift Bag: You can get any sort of gift bag, and personalize it with each child’s name on it to give that personal touch and just include things that can help keep the kid happy during the ceremony and reception if necessary. Some great ideas could be including a coloring book with crayons, bubbles, play dough, and maybe their favorite snack.

14. Personalized Shirt: A great gift that they can wear both before and after the wedding to show off how they were involved. You can even get some with a cute saying to add some fun to the shirt.

15. Personalized Piggy Bank: Why not give them something to help start saving for that new toy that they may want. You can even get them personalized with their names to add a special touch.

Kiddos Parents 
You may consider giving a thank you gift to parents of the flower girl and/or ring bearer. I mean after all they did buy a dress/ suit for their kids to wear along with making sure they are at any rehearsals. It is not a “required” gift, but definitely a thoughtful token of appreciation! Many parents of the FG or RB are doing double duty as a family member or in the Wedding Party. It can get tricky!

16. Gift Card for a Date Night: Why not treat the parents of the flower girl/ ring bearer to a nice dinner once all the wedding festivities are over. It will show the parents you appreciate all the work they put in to having their kids involved in your wedding along with giving them the chance to have a night to be adults.

17. Babysitting. Offer up your services to watch their pride and joy while they have a date night! It will be good practice for you if you’re planning a family in the future!

Your vendors have put in time and energy to help bring your ideas and visions to life for your ‘BIG’ day. Tipping can get costly and confusing! Who do you tip? How much? An alternative is giving them a meaningful gift. You don’t have to get them all gifts but, a nice thank-you is a great way to show your vendors how much you appreciate all their help.

18. Thank You Photo: Include a Thank You picture of you and your groom in your wedding photos to send out to vendors and wedding guests after the wedding.

19. Tip: For catering, bartending, and transportation services, a tip is commonly included in the overall price of the service or a percentage is added to your final bill. With most other vendors it is not. If you are extremely pleased with the way everything turned out, it’s thoughtful to include a tip.

20. Shout out in your toasts: It is common for the bride and groom to give a toast welcoming everyone to their wedding. A nice touch you can add is thanking your vendors in the toast for everything they’ve done to make your dream wedding come true.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Give Big!

Giving back is a huge part of my business philosophy.  It is really important to me for many different reasons.  One of which is, I work in weddings, which is really fun and rewarding, but can occasionally feel materialistic and over indulgent.  I have many clients who are looking to give back through their weddings.  They also share my feelings of sadness seeing all of the beautiful flowers going into the garbage at the end of the night.  FloranthropyFloranthropy, is a Seattle non-profit company that helps people give flowers from their big event to local charities.  Started by a bride in June 2011 when she donated the flowers from her wedding the the hospital her Mother was a patient at.  She realized that there was a need for this service and began Floranthropy!
The flower arrangements would last a week, if not longer after the wedding if given the chance.  While doing some research for me this week, my assistant Charlotte found this amazing website.  I have not yet used it, but am really excited about it! 
Here is some information from their website:

"Floranthropy brings social responsibility to your celebration or event. We pickup and deliver event floral arrangements to re-purpose them in local hospitals, shelters, nursing homes, schools and other facilities. Many hospitals and social service centers do not have donation sites and do not provide pickups. Our donation pickup and delivery service provides you with a one-stop solution for giving green. Recycle and re-purposed your floral arrangements today.  If good karma isn't enough, it’s tax deductible too!

• Donate Wedding & Event Floral Arrangements
• Donate Corporate Event Floral Arrangements
• Donate Bar & Bah-Mitzvah Floral Arrangements
• Fundraisers: Online Donation Drive & Registry (Coming Soon!!)
• Provide Tax Deductible Receipt" 
If you've used it, I would love to hear about your experience, good or bad.  I'm excited about finding a this resource I can share with all of your and my clients.  I look forward to using it and giving back!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Want Your Wedding On TV?

TLC's Four Weddings is Casting Brides in Seattle.  Are you planning a Honeymoon winning worthy event?  Apply online here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blended... I'm not talking about cocktails!

Are you getting married, and have children? Why not include your children (or child) in the celebration that will join your blended family together.   Weddings offer a number of ways to include the whole family.  There is the ceremony itself, adding special reception moments, and during the planning process as a whole.  

Here are 5 ways you can include everyone in the wedding:

  1. Your (or your partner’s) kid(s) can help with many of the planning pieces: from picking the wedding colors and theme, to tasting cake and the wedding meal.  The wedding vendor meetings can be a great bonding activity for everyone involved. Bring the kiddos to the fun and appropriate meetings.  I would avoid bringing children to any meeting that is just talking and likely to be boring for them.  The photographer or wedding planner meetings might be prime examples.   Keep the children involved in the parts they care about and are fun.  The wedding becomes a shared event that is important to all when children’s’ opinions are included. 
  2. A great unifying piece is sending a ‘Family Wedding Invitation’.  There are many options on wording to include both the couple and children’s names.  Check with your invitation company for options and examples.
  1.  If a family ceremony is less traditional or more then you are looking for, you can include one or two of the elements.  Choose from any of these: Walk down the aisle together, include the children in your wedding party, have them read a poem, recite their own vows, or be included in yours, family unity ceremony with a candle or sand, etc.  
  2. Family ceremony: This wedding is about more than joining the two of you.  It is now about joining a family.  You can talk to your Officiant and opt to have a family oriented ceremony.  They can provide suggestions on how to best do this in your situation.  These ceremonies are centered on not just the joining of a couple, but instead the creation of a new family.   All of the traditional aspects of the wedding are transformed to include all members of the new union. Note: Depending on the age of the children, they may not be able to stand at the altar during the entire ceremony with you, or be able to recite a poem, so finding the right fit for your participants is important.
  1. The reception is generally more than 60% of the wedding day.  If you want to continue to share the spotlight here are a few ideas: create a ‘Family Table’ in your seating arrangements, where the entire family can sit together during dinner, and guests can come by and congratulate everyone, not just the bride and groom. Special Dances: Include your children (or child) in a special family dance, in additional to any traditional dances you may be doing, ie. father/daughter dance, or mother/son dance. There are a number of songs, out there that can really capture the relationship between Father/Daughter and of course Mother/Son songs.
If you are about to blend your family; including your children (or child) is a great way to allow them to be a part of the commitment that you are about to make to your new husband or wife. Because in the end they are joining the commitment as well.

Websites used:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Behind the Veil! Finding your Perfect Look!

You have your dress ordered and on it's way! Your shoes, undergarments are maybe even accessories are selected.  As your final fitting approaches, it is now time to select your veil.  There are so many different options for veil style and length (if you are choosing to do one at all).  Here's a cheat sheet to help you have the verbiage that goes with picking your perfect style!

Picture courtesy of Soolip Wedding Planning Hollywood, CA.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Better Homes and Garden's Invitation Advice!

I love Better Homes & Garden's Magazine!  I subscribe to the monthly magazine as well as get the daily emails.  Today's email caught my eye! With wedding season quickly approaching; the start of Spring is just a day away, I thought I would share it with all of you!  There is some wonderful information that I totally agree with in this article, and my comments are included in purple!  Enjoy!

Cordially Invited: Wedding Invitation Tips

Expert tips on choosing, ordering, addressing, and mailing wedding invitations.
With satin ribbons tied gently, elegant papers matched perfectly, and graceful swirls of letters cascading across the page, a wedding invitation is the announcement of a dream-fulfilling day. It speaks of promises to be made and the gathering of family and friends. It is a guest's first glimpse into a milestone event.
The wording of a formal wedding invitation follows a specific style that celebrates all parties involved while stating the details of the day.

The first line announces the hosts. Traditionally, these are the bride's parents, but now it is fairly common for the bride and groom or others to serve as hosts. A conventional line stating "request the honour of your presence" is appropriate for formal weddings, and "request the pleasure of your company" is acceptable for more casual ceremonies.
 The next few lines vary, depending upon who is hosting the event. Often these lines indicate the hosts' relationship to the bride, followed by the bride's full name. The word "to" has a line of its own and precedes the groom's full name.
On the next lines, the day, month, and year are spelled out: "May 5, 2007" becomes "Saturday, the fifth of May, Two thousand seven." The time, on a separate line, also is written out (e.g., "five o'clock in the afternoon").
The wedding location gets its own line, and the city and state are next. Finally, if all wedding guests are invited to the reception, the last line gives information about the location and time; for example, "Reception begins at six o'clock at the Westover Golf and Country Club."
 There are so many acceptable and different ways to word invitations now days.  It is such a personal choice where you can really express your personality and give guests a glimpse into your wedding day plans!  Have fun with this.  Be playful if your wedding is so, Be goofy if you two are!  Use your invitation as a sneak peak into your world as a couple!
Check a wedding planning book or stationery store for resources for the wording of an invitation to match your needs.

What to Send

Enclosures in the invitation, though not necessary, are a considerate touch and help clarify details. A reception card is useful, especially if the reception will be held at a place other than the wedding site. Using a separate card for this information keeps the wedding invitation clearer.

Another practical reason for a separate reception card: Some guests may be invited only to the wedding, and it's easy to insert reception cards into the envelopes of those who are invited to the reception. The card should indicate the time the reception begins (or say "Reception immediately following the ceremony"), followed by the name and address of the location. Other ideas: Dinner and Dancing to follow, Cocktails and Merriment to follow, Etc. Make it personal! 

Other enclosures to consider are a menu-choice card, a map with directions to the wedding and reception, and a rain-location card if needed.

An RSVP card is customary; with the obligatory self-addressed, stamped envelope, it allows guests to reply quickly and easily and provides the hosts with a head count to determine the amount of food needed. Set the RSVP card return date two to three weeks prior to the wedding. All cards should match the style of the invitation. As a general rule I like my clients to have a RSVP date 4 weeks prior to the wedding day.  This allows plenty of time to connect with guests that have not RSVP'd and find out their response before having to give final head counts to caterers and florist.  Also, if you and your crowd are tech savvy online RSVPing is a new trend.  I'm old fashion and prefer paper, but the choice is yours!

A new trend in wedding invitations is to send a save-the-date card. This announcement goes out three to four months prior to the wedding. The save-the-date card represents the first news of the occasion many guests receive. It allows them to make arrangements as needed well ahead of time. Typically, the card includes general information about the wedding as well as any special accommodations the couple has made for guests (such as meals or reserved blocks at hotels). It is typical now to include your wedding website for guest to find out all information about your wedding.  Also, I personally like when clients send out Save the Dates 6 to 8 months in advance if there is time, especially if a large portion of the guest will be traveling to the destination or if it is a popular summer date.

How to Address
  1. Because a wedding is so personal, the envelopes should be handwritten.
  2. If time is an issue, enlist others to help address, or consider hiring a calligrapher.
  3. Always spell out street names and write out street numbers from one to twelve (e.g., "8th Ave." becomes "Eighth Avenue").
  4. Use guests' complete names; nicknames are inappropriate.
  5. Children over the age of 18 each should receive a separate invitation, even if they live with their parents.
  6. Check the postage. When you have a full invitation assembled with inserts, take it to the post office to confirm the required postage; before purchasing stamps. Remember to ask about postage for invitations going to other countries.
  7. Mail the invitations six to eight weeks ahead of the wedding date. For faraway friends and family, even more time is necessary: eight to 10 weeks. If your wedding is during a holiday weekend or you're planning a destination wedding, consider sending all your invitations eight to 10 weeks ahead.
Cost Savers

Careful selection of invitations is one way to cut wedding costs. The amount of postage required can vary substantially, depending on size and weight; nonstandard shapes can be costly to mail. Squares are more expensive then rectangles to mail.  I don't know why I just know it to be so.  Take these types of things into consideration when selecting your invite if budget is a concern!  If you love a square invitation consider using a larger rectangular envelope when mailing to avoid the up charge. 
Stunning invitations, from engraved to those made using less-expensive printing processes, are available from vendors who cater to every taste.  Also, ordering online may save you big bucks.  Check out online invitation retailers to get the best deal!  Wisdom: ALWAYS order a sample first so you know what you are getting.  It is hard to tell the quality from a website without holding it in your hands.
Crafts and scrapbooking stores also carry a vast array of papers, vellums, ribbons, and other supplies for couples wanting to customize their announcements.
The number of invitations ordered will influence the cost. It is usually cost-effective to order 10 to 20 percent more invitations and components than needed. Reordering is costly, and having leftovers is better than running out. Purchasing extras also allows for inevitable "afterthought" guests and errors made in addressing.
The process of creating wedding invitations is an opportunity for a couple to put their own signature on the occasion. This is the first announcement of a moment to be remembered forever.

Have fun!  Make it personal!  Send with plenty of time!