Let's Talk Wedding Invitation Postage
How much postage do I need for my wedding invitations?
Postage for wedding invitations has changed a lot in the 11 years since I opened the doors of Stone Hill Paperie. The U.S. Postal Service has offered postage designed specifically for wedding invitations, but the designs have been very "vanilla". There wasn't much selection; it has always been a bridal bouquet for the larger postage needed for the invitation envelope and a coordinating boutonniere for the response envelope. If you decide to do a response postcard, the colors and themes haven't worked for most of my clients design needs. Then, the post office did a wonderful thing and allowed designers to create custom designed postage. That was so exciting and allowed for so many different ideas. They have since discontinued that program (insert Debbie-Downer "wah-wah" sound effect here). Now stationery designers are left with what's available through the post office. Never fear, as always we have some fun ideas!
Before we talk about postage ideas, let's talk postage needs. The post office has a system for calculating postage needed for wedding invitations. It has to do with the invitation envelope size, it's ability to fit through a mail slot, and the overall weight. I always advise my clients to wait to buy postage until we have a complete invitation suite in hand to have weighed & measured. I have the tools in house to determine postage for your wedding invitations. Making sure you have the correct postage is a crucial step in getting your invitations safely in the hands of your guests!
You have your gorgeous wedding invitations with the postage on your response envelopes and your invitation envelopes sealed and ready to mail. Now you want to make sure that they are cared for when they leave your hands. I always request hand-canceling for wedding invitations. This eliminates one of the machine processes that your invitations will go through. Hand-canceling is usually done by the postmaster who will use an ink stamp to hand cancel each stamp for mailing. This is a request that you need to make and I have found that calling a post office ahead of time to see if they can accommodate my invitations saves me a lot of time. Tip: smaller, local post offices are often more likely to oblige.
Postage is part of the envelope design.
When I am creating a design for a client, I often look to see what the post office currently offers to to see if anything will work with the design. The images below show a snippet of a mock-up sent to my client and the actual postage. I think it worked out really well!
Couples are using vintage stamps more and more often when mailing their invitations. It adds a beautiful touch to the envelopes. I work with a postage house that collects vintage stamps. The amazing people there help me to curate a set of stamps for the correct postage needed, to tie in with the invitation design and color scheme and often we will find something that ties in with the couple personally as well. I consider curating vintage stamps and laying them out on an envelope the equivalent to creating a gallery wall in your home. They have to be laid out just right to make a big impact.
When not using vintage postage, I love to add a little illustration or frame for the stamps that will be used. The image below shows a pine branch illustration for some Christmas cards I designed.
Whatever you plan to mail, give the postage and the envelopes a little more thought. There was a hashtag movement started (#nomoreboringenvelopes) that can inspire additional envelope and postage creativity. Make your invitations and mail stand out from the crowd!
Amy Hammond is the owner of Stone Hill Paperie, a custom invitation design studio in the quaint village of Skippack, Pennsylvania. Available by appointment locally or virtually to give you the attention you deserve for your important and unique event. Ready for some goosebumps?