You ordered your invitations, are racing against your planner’s suggested deadline for getting them in the mail, and BOOM. You realize you forgot about postage. It happens all the time. Or maybe you thought about postage, but now the post office is telling you that your envelope is too heavy or rigid for the stamps you chose.
Lemme help you out. I love pretty paper, but more than anything, I love order. I know — boring — but exactly what you need when it comes to wedding planning and the chaos that alwayyyyys ensues. Plan ahead. Here’s your guide to postage!
First, let’s talk options.
Custom postage is a fun way to reiterate motifs or themes in your suite. Do you have a monogram? Is your liner a beautiful floral pattern that you want to incorporate everywhere you can? Custom postage does the job, and eliminates the need to sift through pages of USPS Forever stamps of old white presidents. It has a considerable markup, and you need to know the denomination of the stamp (how much $ you need per envelope) before you order, so if this is your jam, plan wayyyy ahead and budget for it!
They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, right!? Vintage postage is a great way to add some nostalgia and personality to your envelopes. There are several sources for vintage postage online, or you can have your stationer curate a collection that matches your suite perfectly. There is typically a markup on these, too, so you will pay more than face value for stamps, and, since postage used to be printed in smaller denominates, will likely require several stamps per envelope to meet the postage requirement. Thanks, inflation!
Every once in a while, the Post Office remembers that people like stamps, and they release one that isn’t a flag. It’s remarkable, and you can count on every single stationer stocking up on these like the apocalypse is near (shoutout to the Rifle collection that changed all of our lives). Keep an eye on their website through your stationery design process, and swoop in if a not-ugly stamp is released!
Now, let’s talk tips.
WEIGH IN ADVANCE
I will say this every day for as long as I run a stationery business, but what Minted cannot do for you is go to the Post Office and talk to a human. If you do decide to forego the humans and order online, make sure you take a completed suite (with all elements including liners, inserts, etc.) to the Post Office to be weighed ASAP. Look very closely at your kind associate’s nametag, and when he or she tells you that your wedding invitations will require [x] amount of postage, write it down. I can’t stress this step enough. It’s the only way you’ll know if your suite is 1.1 oz., versus 1 oz., and therefore requires additional postage! If you go with a human, he or she should handle this aspect and pass the information on to you!
POST YOUR RSVP ENVELOPES
To avoid horrifying your guests (this is definitely taboo with the more ~mature crowd) or losing out on all of your RSVP envelopes, don’t forget to put stamps on your RSVP envelopes before you stuff your invitations!
When you drop your water bill in the mailbox, it begins its long and relatively violent journey to city services. It’s sorted via machine, which means it gets sucked up and pooped out …and no one cares. HOWEVER, when you pay big bucks for a gorgeous suite with a liner and a wax seal and calligraphy, you might care. You should care. The Post Office will “hand-cancel” your envelopes at your request, which means that they will use their actual hands to process the envelope. Real talk: they don’t seem to love doing it, so ask nicely, and mention that you are sending wedding invitations. And stand your ground if they try to tell you they don’t offer that service (it’s not true). I’ve had so many clients take on their assembly and then tell me they were turned away at the very Post Office I go to — send your stationer instead because familiar face usually means less runaround! I often bring my chubby baby with me and force him to smile at them so they are particularly weakened.
My best piece of advice is to plan. Figure out what you like, so that you are ready to drop those suckers in the mail and have a celebratory glass of wine without a Post Office meltdown. Figure out right away if you are going to go the custom, vintage, or USPS route. Note: if you are having your envelopes calligraphed, your calligrapher needs to know how much space to keep blank for stamps, so this is extra important!
There you have it! Postage is oft-overlooked detail but a very important one. It can elevate your suite in a special way, or lead to 100 returned envelopes… WOMP. Share your questions about anything I missed below!
PS. — I’m already starting to sense a theme with my blog and it’s looking like “PRETTY THINGS ARE GREAT BUT HAVE YOU HEARD OF PLANNING!? IT IS SO GREAT!”. Bear with me. Any enneagram ones in the houuuuuse!?