Wedding Postage Basics: Tips for Avoiding Mail Mishaps
I'm going to be honest, the post office and I on occasion have a very trying relationship. They are the carriers of our creations and from time to time they can fail to take that responsibility as seriously as we'd like, damaging or losing items in transit. As with any relationship conflict, both sides are somewhat to blame. So I set out to ensure I was playing by their rules and doing everything I could on my end to avoid future contention. Below are a few simple steps to best prepare your save the dates, invitations, and thank you cards for a safe journey to their destination:
Be Sure to Use the Correct Postage
Save the dates, rehearsal dinner invitations, bridal shower invitations, and single card wedding invitations can likely all be sent using a single Forever Stamp! Just make sure they are rectangular in shape, fit within the USPS allowed dimensions, and weigh under 1 ounce once stuffed and sealed.
If your invitations weigh more than an ounce, you are going to need more than a Forever Stamp. USPS has several options for two-ounce wedding stamps that are great for suites with multiple enclosures and embellishments. To be extra sure, you can always bring one finished invitation set to your local post office and ask them how much postage is necessary considering it's weight, size, and shape. Certain invitation suites (such as squares) can cost a bit extra to mail, so you'll want to be sure to take that into account.
Seal Your Envelopes Well
I once received an open envelope in my mail box that was clearly missing some of its original contents. While my first instinct was frustration with the post office, after realizing the envelope seal came loose due to the heat or poor initial bonding, I realized they weren't to blame. What were they supposed to do? The envelope probably opened in transit, or in the automated sorting machine, and they did the best they could to deliver what was left.
To keep everything safe and together, be sure your envelopes are completely sealed before sending them off. As much as I love the idea of the sponge and water trick to save time when sealing hundreds of envelopes at once, I find it works best if you are able to do it the old fashioned way...so I always try to assemble invitations in batches. If the adhesive on your envelopes doesn’t seem up to the task, you may also consider using a heavy duty glue stick to seal everything properly.
Give them a Proper Send-off
While it's so easy to drop your invites in an outgoing mail slot after hours, it is so worth bringing your invitations inside to be mailed to reduce the chance of them being damaged by the elements. Take the extra time to wait in line and hand them directly to a USPS employee, maybe even requesting they be hand cancelled. When you make this request, they will set your invitations aside and add a barcode sticker to each one by hand, rather than sending it through the automated sorting machine. If your post office isn’t willing to hand cancel your invitations, don’t stress too much! Just by bringing them inside the post office to begin their journey, you’ve given your invitations a much better chance of arriving safely to their destination.
Before you send your envelopes on their way, be sure you've used the correct postage, sealed everything well, and delivered them to your local post office directly. These simple steps will help prevent frustration and possible mishaps when mailing your wedding invitations!
Is there anything else you'd add to the list? Share your mailing tips in the comments below!