Throughout the whole wedding invitation process there are a number of factors you need to take into account; envelopes, postage, and mailing. Before you head to your local post office, read these 10 tips on getting your wedding invitations sent off. They will save you time, money and a hassle, as well as making sure they reach your guests on time and in fashion.
1. Postage Is All About The Envelope – So Choose Your Envelopes First!
Make sure that you choose your envelopes before you get down to designing your invitations. We know this may sound like an obvious step, but it’s actually one that is easy to overlook.
Invitations can be created in all sorts of shapes and sizes but envelopes come in standard sizes. Certainly, you can alter an invitation so that it will fit into an envelope, but you cannot alter an envelope to custom fit it to your invitation. The last thing you want to do is finish your invites only to find that you can’t get an envelope to suit them – and if you are thinking of going down the route of getting custom envelopes made, we seriously advise you to reconsider! Unless you plan to have thousands of invitations you would struggle to find someone willing to create them for you.
2. Understand That ‘Odd Sized’ Envelopes Require More Postage
If you are worried about the cost of wedding postage, it’s important to understand that unusual sizes and shapes of envelopes (most commonly seen being square envelopes) mean that you pay extra postage.
For an envelope to be considered ‘normal’ and hence acceptable for standard postage, it has to fall into specific shape and size parameters as set by the United States Postal Service. If an envelope falls outside these specific parameters it can’t be processed by the automated sorting machinery and hence requires a 21 cent surcharge for each piece.
So that you are not hit with the surcharge, use ‘normal’ rectangle enveloped. For instance, postage for an A7 (5×7) is standard (barring the weight of course).
3. If The Envelope Weighs Over 1 Ounce You Need To Pay More
It doesn’t matter what size or shape the envelope is, if it weighs over one ounce you will need to pay extra postage. In general, once you put in the invitation, response items and any other information cards needed, the invite will weigh over one ounce.
If you are worried about postage costs there are a few steps you can take. Take a look at them in this video:
How Can I Save Money On Postage By Choosing The Right Size Of Wedding Invitation?
4. Use 2oz. Wedding Stamps – You Save Yourself Money And They Look Great
You can keep the postage costs down by opting for wedding stamps. These stamps were designed with heavier invitations in mind, and the best part is that they look much nicer than a normal stamp – think cakes, flower, and bells – so make the most of them!
* Current USPS postage costs
5. Seal Carefully – Double Check It’s All Safe
Before you send off your invitations make sure that they are all correctly sealed – of course, that includes the stamp, but don’t forget about the envelope too.
The more items you have inside the envelope, the more careful you need to be. Check that the gum seal is closed all the way around, otherwise, the envelope may start to open as it travels.
6. Have Your Invitations Good To Go At Least 6 Weeks In Advance
We know you have likely heard this one many times, but a reminder can’t do any harm. At least 6-8 weeks in advance of your wedding have your invites ready to mail. This will mean that your invitations have enough time to arrive and your guests will have enough time to reply.
7. Bring One Ready-To-Go Invitation To The Post Office To Find Out The Postage Cost
Once your invitations have flown the nest you want your reply cards to come back, but not the whole invite! Take one ready-to-go invite to the post office to find out the correct mailing cost, you don’t want them to be returned due to inadequate postage! If you want to see all the places around you that sell postage stamps, then look at USAStampGuide.com.
8. Send Yourself A Test Invite
While you are at the post office, send out a test invite to yourself. This will ensure that your invites really do have the right postage. It will also let you see how their final arrival looks and any changes you may want to make. For instance, maybe you need to tie the ribbon a little tighter or put a piece of wedding tissue in so that there are no smudging issues.
9. Check All Addresses, Twice!
Make sure that you have the full and accurate address on each envelope. Here are a few tips that won’t hurt to follow:
- Correct street and city spelling
- Correct zip codes and abbreviations if used
- Use directionals – South Cherryville, East Main Street and so on
- Include apartment or unit number if necessary.
10. Tell The Post Office You Want Hand Cancellation
You have put a lot of time and effort into your invitations so you want them arriving pristine – not bent, torn or marked by the high-speed sorting equipment used.
Requesting your invites to be hand canceled is the best way to protect them. This means that they won’t be roughly run through and stamped (canceled) by a machine, instead, it will be done by hand.
In general, hand canceling is normal for formal invitations. Your local post office should not only be familiar with it but also be happy to do it for you; however you may be asked to carry this out yourself, if you are, it is certainly worth the extra few minutes.