What you will learn from this blog: How to prep your wedding invitations to go into the mailing system and what type of postage is needed.
So you have your beautiful wedding invitations ready to be mailed, hooray! You are giddy that you figured out how to assemble, tie that perfect bow and stick on the RSVP stamp perfectly straight... now it's time to seal the invitations and send them on their way to your guests.
But wait. You ask yourself "what type of stamp do I need for the outside of my invitations?" and "do I just drop my invitations off in the big blue tin thingy?"
Let's start with what type of stamp you may be needing and NO, do NOT drop your wedding invitations into the big blue tin thingy outside the post office!
These are two very common postage stamps above that you can use on your outer wedding invitation envelope.
Two Ounce Stamp (.70 cent): This is perfect for invitations that may weigh a little more due to extra cards in your suite, thickness of paper used, pocketfold style invitations and bulkiness. And well... weighs 2 ounces or more.
Rose Boutonnière Forever Stamp (.55 cent): Great for flat, single cards that may only have a ceremony card + RSVP card with envelope and weighs less than 2 ounces. This is your typical postage seen on regular mail, but more pretty with a wedding motif!
If you purchase (2) Forever Stamps for the outside of your wedding envelope, this will most likely cover your mailing costs. You may need even extra postage above and beyond this IF you use a thick pocketfold style wedding invitation with quite a few detail cards, using a box wedding invitation or an acrylic wedding invitation suite.
If you do not know how much postage you need, I highly recommend bringing in a sample of your wedding invitation to weigh directly at the post office and buy the appropriate amount needed. If you are purchasing online, I would find a way to weigh your suite at home (if you happen to have a package scale... hey, you never know!)
Most of the brides I work with end up using (2) Forever Stamps due to having to hand-cancel their wedding invitations. Whoa now, what is hand-cancelling?
HAND CANCELLING YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS:
In short, this is added postage purchased used to mail your wedding invitations with a little extra love and care in the mailing system. You pay extra for either yourself, or a post office rep, to literally hand stamp each wedding envelope you are sending rather than be thrown in with other mail and into a machine to process. This is extremely beneficial when using a wax seal, or if your wedding invitation is bulky due to embellishments inside. Otherwise, your outer envelope could catch on the machine, causing it to tear and damage your invitations.
WARNING: This does NOT guarantee that your wedding invitations will arrive perfectly to your destination, especially if your envelope is bulky or uses a wax seal!! There are no guarantees with the post office because... it's the post office. BUT, you can certainly try to do your part before sending your wedding invitations and I HIGHLY recommend requesting each one to be hand-canceled to help this process!
I, unfortunately, have had a handful of instances over the years when the bride paid for hand-cancelling but still had invitations thrown into a machine to process, ripping the envelope and contents inside. I have a love/hate relationship with the post office.
So, what do I have to do to hand-cancel my wedding invitations?
Go in to the post office with your box of invitations sealed, pre-stamped and ready to go.
Wait in line to chat with a rep (smile pretty!). Once up, inform them that you would like your wedding invitations to be hand-canceled. They will know what you mean!
They may ask you to transfer your box of invitations into one of their plastic tubs (or, they may not!)
They may ask if you would like to hand cancel them yourself and give you a cool round red stamp that makes you feel powerful to stamp over your postage on your wedding invitation.
Sometimes, for me, it's like "okay wait, I am paying extra for this and I HAVE to do it?!" But, at the same time, the OCD side of me loves feeling in control and giving invitations the extra love they deserve! Most of the time though, the post office will do it themselves after they take your Invitations and you don't have to stick around for them to do it either.
WRAP UP AND BREAK DOWN:
"Standard" Invitation Suite (Ceremony Card + Detail Card + RSVP with envelope + Outer Mailing Envelope) = 1 ounce roughly = .55 Forever Stamp
*Use of wax seal on inside or outside + hand-cancel service fee= .21 cents
Total postage needed = .76 cents
(2) Forever Stamps comes to $1.05, but, the post offices "extra" stamp on top of the Forever is rather ugly. Don't do it to your gorgeous wedding invitations! I know it's forking over extra cost for additional postage, but it'll be worth it!
I hope this is helpful for you to conquer assembling your invitations or, to understand when you hire your stationer to do this service for you. Most custom wedding stationers will add a service fee to assemble and mail your wedding invitations. This rate will differ with each stationer, but it helps gives you the know as to what the fee is going towards regarding the postage portion!