Wedding Invitation Postage: How to Mail Your Invites – Zola Expert Wedding Advice

You spend a lot of time and energy designing, personalizing and perfecting your wedding invitations and/or paper packaging. then, you are probably eager to send them. however, one mail mishap and the process can get really complicated (read: frustrating). To avoid mistakes, we’ve covered everything you need to know about sending wedding invitations, including information about postage on wedding invitations. read on to make sure you save the dates and the invites don’t end up on your doorstep.

how much postage will you need to send the wedding invitations

Because wedding invitations require a few different postal correspondences, we estimate that couples will need 3-4 stamps per household they send invitations to.

  • save the dates usually require only a postage stamp, as they will typically weigh below the standard amount of shipping limits
  • wedding invitations often include more materials, which can affect the cost of shipping. Due to the added weight of additional materials, wedding invitation suites typically require 1-2 stamps each. there are also a handful of stamps available that allow packages up to 2 oz. each one, which can be perfect for mailing wedding invitations
  • reply cards should include postage when they arrive to your guests to avoid roadblocks in their responses. these usually weigh less than the standard postage amount and will only require 1 stamp

save the dates

Before you even put together your wedding invitations, you need to create and mail your save the dates. breathe easy, because this is the simplest part of wedding postage. In most cases, your save the date postcards will only include one piece, which means it will weigh equal to or less than the standard quantity (1 ounce) and will only require one stamp. To avoid being returned, please ship from your local post office, especially if they are in a custom way.

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set of invitations

Your invitation suite (or paper suite) is where things get more complicated. To start, the number of stamps you’ll need and the cost of mailing each invitation largely depends on how many materials you include. As you add additional cards, the weight of each invitation envelope will increase, therefore you will need additional postage. a standard weight stamp, or “forever stamp”, is 55 cents, with each additional ounce costing 15 cents. With maps, address cards, itinerary cards and much more, the total cost of stamps for your wedding invitations can add up. We recommend that you include the essentials in your invitation package and make the rest of the information available on a wedding website.

Once you have assembled your set of wedding invitations, we recommend that you take one to your local post office and have it weighed. then you can calculate exactly how much postage each invitation will need.

rsvp reply cards

technically, these are included in your wedding invitation set, but they deserve specific mention. Having your response cards prepared and ready to go is vital, as giving your guests extra work could delay their responses. To avoid mishaps, place the card under an RSVP envelope addressed to the host’s residence and include a postage stamp (or a pre-stamp on the envelope). Not only does this make the process easy for your guests, but it also prevents someone from mailing your RSVP cards without postage. Not to mention, it’s not good etiquette to make someone pay postage to RSVP your event. Make the mailing process easy on both ends by having your reply cards ready to go.

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things to consider

In addition to total weight, there are additional factors that can affect the process and cost of mailing wedding invitations. Some things to keep in mind when creating your suites are:

  • Card Stock: In case you’re not familiar, card stock is paper that is thicker and more durable than typical printer or writing paper. this is probably what you are using for all your wedding sends. card stock comes in different weights (or thicknesses); the higher the weight, the thicker the paper. while this makes your invitations look and feel professional, it also adds weight to your suite, which means you’ll need to pay extra postage.
  • decorative pieces: gold foil , ribbons, twine, flowers – each one adds a beautiful and unique touch to your envelopes. but considering how delicate these pieces are, you’ll want them processed by hand (more on that below). this costs an additional 21 cents per invitation.
  • Calligraphy: Invitations that are addressed in calligraphy have a higher chance of being returned or not delivered, compared to clearly printed addresses. in fact, many calligraphers state in their contracts that you can get up to 20% back. it may not be considered legible by the mail carrier or may be smeared with ink and rendered unreadable. This doesn’t mean you should ditch the calligraphy entirely, just be aware that you may need to resend some invitations.
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manual processing and manual cancellation

After all the time (and money) you’ve put into creating your invitation sets, make sure they’re delivered to you in good hands. literally. manual processing and manual cancellation are two ways you can prevent bending or machine mess.

In a nutshell, manual processing means your postmaster sorts your invitations by hand, rather than a machine. like we said, this costs an extra 21 cents but it also ensures that your wedding invitation envelopes won’t be damaged in delivery.

Similarly, you can have your invitations canceled by hand. Have you ever seen those wavy lines on a postage stamp when you receive a letter? that means the seal has been “canceled” (or spent) and can no longer be used. this is usually done by machine, but you can request that your wedding invitations be canceled by hand. in this case, the postmaster will either cancel each individual stamp or hand it over to you to do it yourself (usually for free!). you may have to spend some time at the post office, but it’s worth knowing that your invitations were handled well.

non-machinable elements

there are some decorative elements of the inner envelope that are considered “non-machinable”. this means that they cannot be processed or canceled through a machine. you’ll need to pay the extra 21 cents to have them processed by hand and canceled no matter what. the following are popular customizations that are considered non-machinable:

  • wax seal envelopes
  • envelopes over ¾ inch thick
  • square or custom size envelopes

Now that you’ve prepared your invitations, stamps and all, learn the right time to send them.

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