So you have your wedding invitations in hand. First of all, congrats! Whether we worked together on them or not, invitations are one of my favorite parts of a wedding (obviously). But OMG when was the last time you physically sent a piece of mail through USPS and how does that even work these days? Let me walk you through step-by-step of what to do once you get those beautiful babies in hand.
Make sure you have everything you need and everything is correct!
The minute you get your invitations, no matter where they’re from, make sure you got what you ordered and all your guests addresses are correct and in-hand. If a human made them, humans make mistakes occasionally. If you ordered them online, robots also make mistakes. Better to find these errors sooner rather than later so you don’t have a time-sensitive crisis on your hands! Any good company will swiftly solve whatever problem (if any.. hopefully none) you have but I always recommend double-checking.
Head to the post office (the first time).
Frequently, wedding invitations cost a bit more to send than regular mail, especially when there are multiple pieces present. I’m not a postmaster but typically invitations suites of standard sizes range from 70¢ to 85¢ each to mail. Anything oversized (over 6.25” on one dimension) or rigid (acrylic, boxes, etc.) will be over that.
Take your whole suite in and ask them to weigh it and give an accurate postage amount before you purchase your stamps. They should have a binder or book to look through and choose a stamp that complements your suite. If you’re ordering vintage stamps, you can piece together what you’ll need based on that same amount!
Keep in mind that any international mail will need specific postage so plan to handle those on a case-by-case basis.
If they’re not already, address your envelopes!
If you didn’t have this service handled for you, you’ll need to address envelopes yourself. Get yourself an ice pack and get to writing! Make sure that your pen doesn’t smear and if it does, test one to make sure it’ll dry before you stack any envelopes on top of each other.
Assemble each invitation.
This is a great time to get your fiancé and/or whole family and friends over to help. Give them wine and set that production line in action. I like to stack largest to smallest piece, tucking the RSVP card inside the flap of the RSVP envelope. You can always play around with how that works when your guests take them out of the envelopes. Stack, stuff, seal, and stamp (with the correct postage). Don’t forget to set any international ones aside!
Head to the post office (the second time).
Now everything is ready to go and all you need to do is drop them off. Because they are precious cargo, I recommend confirming the postage amount a second time before you send. Then, you’ll want to get accurate postage for any international invitations as well. These are typically based on weight, size, and location. Finally, before you kiss those babies goodbye, you have one last decision to make: hand cancelling or machine cancelling. Hand cancelling means that instead of running them through a machine with the squiggly lines over the top right of the envelope and stamp, your stamps will be cancelled with a circular hand-stamp. In my opinion, it depends on the vibe you’re going for. Hand cancelled definitely gives off a more vintage look so it’s up to you!