It’s the last day of Stationery Week, and boy do I have some fun things to close out this great week! Right now, we’re continuing on with the final step for wedding invitations- mailing them to your guests! Denise of Dogwood Blossom Stationery is sharing her expertise on how to mail wedding invitations with us today so you can get your gorgeous invitations to your guests successfully. Take it away Denise!
You’re almost there… your invitations have been designed and printed; the envelopes have been addressed, stuffed, and sealed; now they need only to be mailed!
There is no thrill greater than delivering your sublime wedding invitations to the post office. It’s the moment you realize “This is actually happening”. In just a few days’ time, your guests will know all the big details and have their very first tempting and tantalizing glance at your big day.
Mailing something as important as a wedding invitation is so different than mailing, say, a bill or a friendly letter. Wedding invitations are an investment in emotion, time, money, and memories, so you’ll want to take the proper steps to ensure these keepsakes arrive to your guests’ mailboxes safely and in good condition.
Many stationers offer a wonderfully time-saving Posting Service, in which they handle some or all aspects of addressing, assembling (stuffing), and mailing your invitations. They’ll manage all the details and take proper steps to ensure your invitations arrive to guests quickly and beautifully. Ask your stationer whether they offer this service and what options are available. If your stationer doesn’t offer this service, or if you feel you must personally see your invitations off, here are some important things to know:
Planning for Postage
The costs of mailing and response postage should be considered both while determining your invitation budget and when choosing your specific wedding invitation style.
Weight, size, shape, and thickness play a role in postage costs. In addition to the First-Class rate, postage surcharges for invitations mailed in envelopes are applied to:
• Overweight envelopes (over 1 oz) – add 20 cents per additional ounce up to 3 oz
• Oversized envelopes (more than 6.25” tall) – add 20 cents
• Square envelopes – add 20 cents
• Thickness (more than 1/4” thick; think knotted ribbons or a high stack of enclosures) – add 20 cents
Remember, surcharges stack. For example, if you’re using a 7” square envelope, the additional postage incurred will be 40 cents (20 cents each for both squareness and size).
Boxed invitations are considered packages, so a different set of postage rules applies to them. Consult with your stationer and/or your local post office for accurate postage costs.
Handstamped Cancellation vs. Machine Cancellation
All letters receive a postmark when mailed. The process is called “cancellation” and it ensures that a stamp cannot be reused. Most mail is canceled by a high-speed machine that postmarks literally thousands of letters per minute using a metal stamp. The speed of this process, the shuffling of so many letters, and impact of the metal postmark could crush or rip envelopes containing highly dimensional embellishments or smudge delicate calligraphy.
Therefore, hand-cancellation is often recommended instead. Handstamped cancellation is the application of a postmark by hand, and this service must be specially requested. Not only is it safer for embellished invitations and inked addresses, but it gives your envelope a more attractive, timeless appearance.
While hand-cancellation is required for envelopes over a certain thickness, it is otherwise simply a preference. Keep in mind that hand-cancellation does not guarantee that your invitations will not be cancelled a second time by machine, so you should still take care to ensure your invitation and all embellishments will withstand that process.
Mailing International Invitations
When mailing invitations internationally, there are a few important differences to keep in mind. Primarily, do not apply response postage to response envelopes for international guests; they must apply their own country’s postage. Double-check the accuracy of their mailing address and be sure to include their country on the last line. And consult with your post office to obtain proper postage (airmail postage plus applicable surcharges (see above)).
Consider mailing invitations to your international guests a week or two earlier than other guests, as their invitations will take longer to arrive. Likewise, it will take longer for you to receive their mailed reply. And don’t rely completely on the system; postal services of other countries aren’t always as quick or reliable as the USPS, so you may want to touch base with international guests a few weeks after you’ve mailed their invitation to ensure it was received.
The day you mail your invitations is truly a day to celebrate. Plan ahead and prepare accordingly to ensure a smooth and safe journey for your joyful paper beauties. Happy mailing!
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know all of this information- did you? Thank you for providing us with all of this information Denise! If you would like to learn more about Denise and Dogwood Blossom Stationery, be sure to check them out in ELV! And don’t forget to come back for the rest of the fun today! :)