Mailing out invitations is not a small task. Here are our top five tips for mailing out your wedding invites!
1. Before designing the invitation, you need to learn the rules!
A standard first class stamp has restrictions:
- The max weight is 13 ounces. If your invitation weighs more than that, you’ll have to purchase an additional stamp or a more expensive stamp.
- The standard letter shape is a rectangle. Check to see if your planned envelope shape fits the standard requirement. (For example, a square invitation will cost at least $0.70)
If your desired size and shape are too large, then you’ll need an upgraded stamp or possibly two stamps. For example, the “wedding cake” stamp is $.70, rather than $.49 and it will enable you to ship a heavier, non-traditionally shaped invitation.
2. Learn from the pros.
Plan on making more than one trip to the post office. On your first trip, just do your best to learn about standard sizes, shapes and weights (or, just talk to us at Hitch Design Studio and we can handle this part for you! Hitch even have the plastic mail slot to test to see if your invite is too thick.) 🙂
Here are some tips for visiting the post office:
- Don’t go first thing in the morning or at lunch; stop by at a slow time. This will help ensure that your invitations are processed at a slower part of the workday and/or that you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions.
- The largest envelope your invitation can be in is a 6″ x 9″ (A10) to mail for one stamp. Hitch can order you custom envelopes for this size!
3. Don’t buy stamps until the end!
After assembling a completed invite, weigh one before you purchase the stamps so that you’ll purchase the correct number of stamps for your invitations. And if you don’t have time to address and assemble your invitations, that’s a service we’re happy to provide! Hitch can print your return address and guest addresses directly on your envelopes if you’d like.
4. Keep it simple (on the outside).
This article from The Offbeat Bride provides some suggestions to help your invitation sail smoothly through the computer read sorting machines.
- Use a light-colored outer envelope.
- Use black or dark blue ink to write the address and return address.
- Keep calligraphy simple in the state and zip code sections to guarantee that they’re legible.
- Don’t use too many designs on the envelope.
- Don’t use sparkly or colored ink.
All of these factors simply help keep your wedding invitations as legible as possible for the electronic mail sorting machines to help ensure a quick and accurate delivery.
Don’t be disappointed; the place for creative colors and finishes is on the inner envelope and invitation. Go crazy here!
5. Stamp the RSVPs.
It is a courtesy to your guests to place a stamp on the RSVP. They shouldn’t have to provide a stamp to RSVP to your event! If you do decide to skip the stamp, provide alternative ways for your guests to RSVP — like an email address, a phone number to call/text or a wedding website to reply at.
One option for saving a little money is to designing a postcard-sized RSVP (instead of an individual card inside an envelope). Then the return stamp will cost $0.34 instead of the traditional $0.49.
Click here to view this “post card” stamp at USPS.com. The largest a postcard can be is 4.25″ x 6″ to qualify as a postcard and must be mailed on thicker paper. Hitch can help you with all this!
We can help!
Contact us today about designing your custom wedding invitation. We can help you design beautiful stationary and navigate the complex postal system with ease! Remember, the post office doesn’t like envelopes with lumps or bumps, so if you have a piece of twine tied around your invitation or a jewel glued somewhere, take care in asking the post office about it to avoid extra postage rates.
Here are the official 2015 postage rates. Only geeks like us are interested in this stuff. 😉