When it comes to wedding invitations, postage is one of the most complicated aspects to plan. USPS is constantly changing the prices and procedures to mail letters; it can be hard to keep up and ensure you have the correct amount of postage on your invitations.
In order to help you identify the amount of postage you need, I’m going to outline the 3 factors that contribute to the required postage value for a letter.
The main factor that influences how much postage you need is the weight of the suite. The best way to determine this is to have your stationer weigh your fully-assembled suite before ordering postage. If you are mailing your own invitations, you can bring one fully-assembled suite to your local USPS and have them weigh it.
For a rectangular letter that weighs 0-1 ounces, you will need $0.55 worth of postage (one forever stamp). Anything over one ounce and under two ounces will require a $0.70 stamp. Anything over two ounces and under three ounces will require $0.85 worth of postage.
Shape & Thickness
If you are opting for the unique square invitation, you will need to account for additional postage costs. The cost to mail a square envelope will be $0.15 higher than a rectangular envelope. Start with the weight price and add $0.15 to identify the total postage required.
If an envelope is more than 0.25 inches thick, you will need to upgrade to a parcel, which could cost over $3 per set to ship.
The USPS processes letters using machines. The machines scan the postage and sort the envelopes. If your invitations cannot be processed by machine, you will have to request hand cancelling, which means your local USPS representatives will go through and hand stamp each invitation prior to sorting. Due to the additional time and effort, some post offices charge for this service. You can expect to pay an additional $0.21 per letter for hand cancelling. There are some post offices that do not charge, so check with yours to find out!
If you do not request hand cancelling and your letters cannot be processed by the machine, it is possible your invitations will be short postage, and your guests may need to pay in order to receive them (you do not want this!!).
Factors that would require hand cancelling:
- Wax Seals – If you have wax seals on the outside of your envelope, you should request hand cancelling. The extra bulge may not do well in the machine.
- Square Envelopes – The machines cannot read square envelopes, so they will require hand cancelling.
- Ribbons or Twine – Suites that are enclosed in ribbon or twine may require hand cancelling due to the extra bulge.
- Hand Calligraphed Envelope Addressing – When your guests’ addresses are written in formal calligraphy, it is recommended that you hand cancel. This will protect the beautiful calligraphy and ensure they arrive correctly.
Custom or Vintage Stamps
If you are interested in custom or vintage stamps, you should plan to spend more than normal postage rates. Custom stamps usually come in at double the normal postage rates, while vintage stamps cost three times as much. I do not upcharge customers for custom or vintage postage, so you will pay exactly what I pay when ordering. I will create a design that ties to your suite if you choose custom. If you go vintage, I will curate a set of 4-5 vintage stamps that coordinate with the aesthetic and color scheme of your suite.
Moral of the Story
Calculating postage can be stressful. You want to ensure your beautiful wedding invitations arrive to your guests’ mailboxes in pristine condition and without asking your guests to open their wallets. If you choose to book your wedding invitations with Raise Your Words Design, I will take care of all the postage and mailing to ensure the whole process runs smoothly.
Head to my invitations page to learn more about the process!