Mailing Your Wedding Invitations

April 11, 2018

 

Mailing out your wedding invitations may seem like a simple task, but for a generation of young couples who go to the post office about once every five years it can be a bit tricky. Here are a few helpful tips for sending out your special delivery...


Acquiring  Addresses.

Most couples only have a small handful of their guests' actual mailing addresses at the time of their engagement. We recommend using Postable.com. It is really the easiest way to collect your guests' information because it's very easy to you and best of all, it's free! Just sign up for an account and create your custom link ("postable.com/yournames"). From there all you have to do is  email that link to your friends and family. Once they click and fill in their info your Postable address book will be automatically populated. From here, you can export your list at any time.  

 

Addressing Your Envelopes.
To send out your invitations you should have your guests' addresses on the front of the main envelope, with your return address on the back flap. If you're using physical reply cards for them to mail back, make sure to include your mailing address on the front of the reply card envelope as well.


Preparing Your Invitation Suite.

Assemble the invitation and enclosure cards facing out toward the envelope flap so your guests will see the pretty design right away. This is the first impression that they will have of the color palate and tone of your wedding. You want it to truly make an impression! The quickest and cleanest sealing method for your envelopes if if you use a wrinkle-free permanent glue stick. Assembling invitations is a service we offer complimentary with our full plan package, or as an ala carte option whether we are planning for you or not. 

 

 

 

 

Postage
This is the most important step as it will ensure your invitations get to all your guests. Since wedding invitations are often uniquely sized or heavier than standard mail, they can require extra postage. Here's a quick guide to the USPS 2018 postage requirements...

  • Standard rectangular envelope, 1 oz or less — requires 50¢ postage or a forever stamp

  • Square envelope — requires an additional 21¢ of postage

  • Each additional ounce — requires an additional 21¢ of postage

We love when couples opt to mix current stamp designs with vintage designs. You can find out-of-circulation stamps on Etsy or the USPS Amazon Store.

 

There are so many options and different  styles of postage you can go with when determining what you want for your wedding invitations, USPS, Custom, or Vintage. There are a few things that can go into choosing the right one for your envelopes: cost, style and time. Coordinating stamps are a great way to elevate the look and feel of a wedding day invite. Did you also know you could get dozens of stamp designs online? It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options. Therefore, we want to provide a simple breakdown of the financial costs and time it takes for each type of stamps. 

 

Why would we have an assortment of stamps other than just going to the Post Office for some standard Forever stamps? Well, some couples prefer to incorporate vintage postage that combined aspects of their love story. For example, they might find stamps that including a Brooklyn Bridge stamp where we got engaged, a Statehood stamp where the bride or groom is from, and a landscape stamp with mountains to give a taste of what the venue will be like. 

 

It can be such a fun process but as with anything, there are always some downsides. Hopefully this will help you more easily weigh your options and choose the route that is best for you. Going from the least expensive to most expensive, although sometimes the expense line can get a little blurred, here we go...

1. Purchase Stamps from USPS

  • Least expensive and time-consuming

  • I'm often surprised at the beautiful options

Details about Forever Stamps from the Post Office:

- Don't forget to look online!

USPS.com often carries stamps you wouldn't find in your local post office. Some are very quirky (like the current Wonder Woman stamps they are carrying!) and some are classy and refined. They almost always have a love-themed stamp, which is great for invitations.

- They are simply priced

These are your run of the mill stamps. These are “normal” go to ones for a few different reasons. One, you pay face value for them. If it costs $.70 to mail your envelope, you’ll only pay $.70 per envelope. These are also more readily accessible. A few set backs to USPS stamps, though are that you are pretty limited on what designs you can use. USPS, well, let’s just say that they have an interesting sense of humor when it comes to what designs they release for their stamps. There really aren’t too many options, especially when it comes to weddings. I will say, however, one year USPS released a new set of “classic” stamps that were gorgeous. They mimic the vintage look, don’t have crazy colors in them and go with a lot of styles.If you do find your stamps online you sometimes have to pay a $2.00 shipping fee which is very inexpensive compared to your other options.

2. Vintage Postage for Wedding Invitations

  • Best for incorporating a variety of details

  • Can color coordinate to match your invitation suite

  • Can be expensive (some stamps are very rare or are in high demand) or inexpensive, depending on how you go about it.

These are our personal favorite! They are just so pretty and there are so many options. Vintage stamps are simply that, older stamps that have been around since they were released by the post office years and and years ago. These are stamps that have varying currencies for each one, so you have to put together a combination of vintage stamps to equal what it would cost to mail your invitations. For instance, if you needed $.70 to mail your envelope, you could have a $.28, $.07, $.15, $.17, and $.03 stamp all on your envelope to get you to the $.70 you need. The post office doesn’t care how many stamps you have, as long as they equal up to the correct cost to mail. Vintage stamps are also only worth their face value to the post office. So even if you paid $10 for a $.20 stamp, it is still only going to be good for $.20 to the post office.

 

There are several ways to get vintage stamps. Many times you can work with a stamp collector or can also find them online. Some collectors will even work with you to come up with the perfect “set” to match you wedding colors/theme and postage price you need. Many stationery designers also offer this as a service so you don’t have to work with another vendor.

How to find Vintage Stamps for your wedding invitations:

Curate the vintage stamps yourself ($)

This requires a lot of time. You can easily spend hours looking online, deciding between different stamps and looking for a better price. Personally, we have found that curating vintage postage is slightly more expensive than purchasing stamps at the post office. The average we have found is about .70 cents per envelope rather than the .49 cents standard cost for Forever stamps. For 150 envelopes that's only $31.50 extra total - and it really sets your invitations apart!

 

- Purchase pre-curated vintage stamps ($$$)

Little Postage HouseThis option is becoming easier and easier as more postage shops are joining Etsy and curating beautiful combinations of postage! One of our favorites is . They have really gorgeous combinations of stamps. Curated sets of stamps range from $1.50-$1.90 per envelope rather than the .49 cents, the standard cost for Forever stamps. You don't have to spend a ton of time scouring the internet for stamps. You can order the exact amount that you need and not end up with extra stamps. Plus, when you pay out a little more for the convenience of having  them all in one place is worth the time you will save looking for them yourself.  

 

- Ask your stationer if they offer vintage postage curation ($$)

This isn't something all stationers offer but is definitely something worth asking about. This lifts the time burden off of you and leaves you not having to keep any extra stamps that are leftover. Plus it gives you a variety of options.

3. Custom Stamp Design

  •  Best if you'd like to include a photo, monogram, or a portion of your invitation design.

  • Available in multiple sizes

  • Most expensive and always has a barcode on the side.

There are websites out there that let you design your own stamps, upload the design, select the postage amount you need, and they print and mail them to you. This is pretty awesome when you want your whole suite to be cohesive from front to back. The sky really is the limit for these. If you are working with a custom designer on your invitations, you can have them create a coordinating design to use. The slight downside to this is that the cost of these is more than face value. Usually it is almost double the face value. So let’s say you need $.70 worth of postage, it will almost cost you $1.40 per stamp. It really all depends on how much you want to spend on special details. Another downside is that the custom stamps do come with a barcode on them as well as the URL of the website they were purchased from. There really isn’t a way around this, but most people don’t seem to mind it.

Details about Custom Stamps for Wedding Invitations

- Order them yourself!

Sites like Zazzle, Minted, and TinyPrints offer custom stamps. You can include a photo of you and your fiance, an image of the wedding venue...really anything you can dream of! They even come in different sizes - small being 1.8"x1.3", large being 2.5"x1.5". These stamps range in price from $1.11-$1.21 (depending on size) for the regular .49 cent postage rate. For the .70 cent postage rate you can expect to pay around $1.40 per stamp.

- Ask your stationer to design them for you!

Often, stationers can create a custom monogram that matches your invitation suite or even put a written design over the photo you'd like to have printed on your stamp. This gives a beautiful, cohesive look to your invitations and something I am sure will impress your guests.

 

Both USPS postage and vintage postage. They just help make any envelope SO pretty!

 

One of the most frequent questions we get as we are finalizing the wedding invitation process is “how much will it cost to mail my invitations”. Let's sum up all of the different items and factors that go into calculating your correct postage for your wedding invitations.

 

Some items that need to be taken into consideration for postage are non-machinable items. If you have wax seals, ribbon, or a super thick suite, the post office is not able to run it through their standard machines to process it. Therefore, they have to process it by hand, which costs an additional $.21 on top of what it would cost based on weight. Keep in mind, even if your wax seal is on the inside of your mailing envelope, it is still non-machinable. USPS is basically looking for anything that makes your envelope “bulge” and preventing it from running through the machine. Another factor that can cause the rate to go up is if your envelope is square or over 7” in height. The post office machine runs envelopes that are rectangular in nature, so if it is square or over 7” in height, it will require an additional ounce rate ($.21). 

 

Mailing envelopes for the wedding invitation suite. Standard USPS postage is currently $.49 to mail a 1 ounce or less envelope. From there, each ounce added to the envelope will cost an additional $.21, up to 3.5 ounces. On average, wedding invitation suites weigh between 1 and 2 ounces, causing postage to be at least $.70. This, of course, all depends on how many pieces are in your suite, the weight of your paper, etc. If you have an enclosure holding all of your pieces together, then it usually pushes the weight up over 3 ounces, costing $.91 to mail.

 So let’s say you have an invitation that weighs 2.1 ounces and you have a wax seal in your suite, it would cost $.70 (your 1 ounce rate of $.49 + an additional ounce for $.21) + $.21 (non-machinable rate) to equal $.91 to mail the entire suite.

 

My best advice when trying to determine what it will cost to mail your suite is to take a completed suite to the post office that you intend to mail them from, and have them check it.

 

So now that we’ve covered the main mailing envelope, there are a few other pieces you will need stamps for. The response envelope, which is general 3.5×5 or 4×5, and a single card, will only cost 1 ounce ($.49) to mail. Don’t forget to pre-stamp these for your guest! Another item could possibly be a save the date. Depending on the style you’ve chosen, more than likely it will only cost the 1 ounce rate to mail, this is assuming you haven’t added any non-machineable items to your save the date. If you are doing a save the date postcard, or even an RSVP postcard for that matter, the postage rate for postcards is $.34, and USPS makes a special stamp just for that.

I hope this helps explain everything that goes into mailing your beautiful wedding invitations. Happy mailing!

 

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