Growing up, my mom had a basket in the cabinet with the stamps in it. If we had to mail something, we’d just pull that basket down and take out one of the American flag stamps. We’d smack it on an envelope and drop it in the mail. That’s it. Little did I know, there’s a lot more to mailing—especially mailing your wedding invitations.
Until I started doing wedding stationery, I had no idea there were stamps worth different values! I thought all stamps were the “forever” stamps and maybe for the bigger envelopes, you’d need a couple stamps instead of just one? I literally had never given much thought to it!
If you’re like me, you probably didn’t know your wedding invitations require different postage. That’s what we’ve outlined here. These are general guidelines or what we’ve come across in the years we’ve been doing East + West Designs that will help you surpass any hurdles that may be in your way. First things first, to be 100% sure your postage is correct we recommend that you take your invitation sample to the post office and they’ll tell you which stamps to buy. There’s nothing more annoying than buying 300 stamps to find out you bought the wrong ones.
The amount of postage the letter would require is dependent on a few small things: weight, size, and thickness.
Generally, wedding invitations are either less than an ounce or more than an ounce. Typically, save the dates (because they usually only have one cardstock piece) are under one ounce. When a letter is one ounce or under, they require a “forever” stamp which is $.55 each. When a letter has multiple pieces, which 99% of the invitations we create have, it’ll end up being between one and two ounces. These invitations automatically require a $.70 stamp since they weigh just a little bit more.
Most wedding invitations are 5”x7” for a reason — postage. When you do anything much bigger or anything a different shape, you could run into additional costs. Square invitations automatically require a $.70 stamp no matter the weight. The square shape is not able to go through the sorting machine so they have to be what’s called “hand cancelled” which means hand sorting. Thus the additional cost. Definitely take postage into consideration when you’re thinking about playing with various sizes for your stationery, because it could easily cost you a little extra in the long run. This is why us stationery designers love 5″x7″ for most things mailed.
If the envelope is thinner than ¼” thick at its thickest point, then it can go through the sorting machine. The issue we usually get here is when people want a ribbon tie for the envelope liner. The knot that the ribbon will make when it’s tied is usually thicker than ¼” so we have to bump up with the postage. Majority of the invitations we design do have a ribbon or some sort of tie, so we just automatically bump the postage cost up. But, consider this when creating your invitations! If you’d rather not bump up too much, maybe consider a paper bellyband or maybe some vellum. Just remember, weight is now a factor, too.
All and all, most of our save the dates and RSVP envelopes are good with a $.55 stamp and the outer envelope for the invitation usually needs anywhere from a $.70-$1.25 or so. We do want you to keep in mind that it’s highly possible that if your postage is incorrect when you go to mail your save the dates or invitations that they could A.) bounce back to you or the worst case scenario B.) your guest would be asked to come to the post office, pay the remaining postage cost in order to receive their card. YIKES! That would be horrible.
Our best advice we can give you if you’re tackling postage and mailing on your own is to go visit your local post office or check out the guidelines a little more in-depth on USPS’s website here.
Most people don’t think about or budget for the cost of postage, but we hope this quick and easy three-step breakdown helps! That way, before you go and buy 300 of a certain stamp, please put an invitation together and take it to your post office! They’ll be glad you asked. 🙂
Wanna check out more stationery resources? Check out some of our other entries on our Journal.
If you’re working on mailing your invitations or just planning ahead we highly recommend also keeping your stationery timeline in mind. Not sure what that is or when you should be mailing things? Learn more in our journal entry: Your Go-To Wedding Stationery Timeline
Also, follow along with us on Instagram where we love to share even more insider tips and tricks in our posts and stories. We’d love for you to join us! (: