Mastering the Art of Mailing Invitations - Wedding Invitations - Unique Wedding Invitations

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Photo Credits:
Red Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
White and Cranberry Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
Invitation with Bow -- Geoff White Photographers
White Invitations -- Geoff White Photographers

Feature

Mastering the Art of Mailing Invitations

Invitations express your sense of style and give friends and family a taste of things to come. You don’t want to leave your wedding guests guessing -- or feeling left out -- due to invitations that are lost or misdirected in the mail. We’ve checked in with the experts and compiled the latest news on postage rates, paper dimensions, insert and reply cards and the proper timing for it all.

Photo: Geoff White Photographers

Getting It Done On Time

Selecting, proofing, ordering and addressing your invitations is a chore in itself. But that isn’t the end of the chore. Preparing your invitations for the mail and getting them sent can be time consuming. Allow yourself at least one extra week between when you finish addressing envelopes and when you plan to mail your invitations in order to ensure you have enough time to get your invitations off properly.

Assembling Invitations For Mailing

Your invitations are a sign of things to come and that means you need to get them delivered on time and with style. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to presentation, and if your invitation packages are vague and lackluster, your guests may worry that you’re unorganized or worse yet, bored! On the other hand, if you send romantic, yet dynamic invitations that arrive on time, with inserts all in proper order, your guests will instantly sense your enthusiasm.
Wedding consultants Ericka Kammerer and Sonja Kueppers suggest following these steps detailing how to assemble the individual pieces into an elegant, completed invitation package:
  • Start by placing the invitation face-up in front of you. Place insert tissue over the writing (if you plan to use it).
  • Layer enclosures on top of the invitation in order of size, with the largest enclosure nearest the invitations. Place enclosures “writing-side up”.
  • Enclosures with accompanying envelopes, like RSVP response cards, should be tucked under the flap on the envelope so that the triangle covers part of the writing on the card.
  • Pick up the pile in one hand. Now, pick up the inner envelope in your other hand. Stuff the pile into the envelope with the first fold of the invitation at the bottom of the inner envelope, and with the writing on the invitation facing the back of the inner envelope.
  • Put the inner envelope in one hand and turn it over so the writing is facing you. Stuff the inner envelope into the outer envelope with the bottom of the inner envelope to the bottom of the outer envelope and the front of the inner envelope facing the outer envelope.

Know The Rates

Invitations vary widely in shape and weight. Our best advice is that you visit your post office with a complete invitation and ask about the exact postage rates. That said, here is the rate information we found out.
According to the United States Postal Service, a First Class letter that meets the single piece mail dimensions is 39¢ for the first ounce; each ounce thereafter is an additional 24¢. Single Piece Mail Dimensions are defined as not less than 0.007 inch thick and not more than 1/4 inch thick. Pieces must measure at least 3 1/2 inches high, 5 inches long, and be rectangular in shape.
You’ll want to facilitate your guests’ replies by pre-stamping their response card envelopes. A response card envelope should only require one First Class (39¢ stamp) if the card and envelope is a minimum of 3 1/2 by 5 inches by 0.007 inch thick, a maximum of 6 1/8 by 11-1/2 inches by 0.25 inch thick.
Chose your design wisely because creativity can be costly! Those trendy square-shaped cards and invitations that seem to be everywhere lately, require extra postage. Square invitations weighing up to one ounce cost 52¢. For each additional ounce, add 24¢. And most invitation packets -- meaning the combination of the invitation, insert cards, and response card and envelopes -- weigh over the one-ounce mark.
Wedding Consultant Teddy Lenderman from Houston, Texas warns, “an oversized invitation will cost more to mail even if it weighs less than the one-ounce limit.” So take your completed invitation packet in its envelope, including RSVP card, map, and any other enclosures, to the post office to be weighed. Weigh and stamp inserts like the RSVP card separately. “It is not a pretty picture to open your mailbox to find all 350 of your invitations marked, in huge red letters, RETURNED FOR POSTAGE!,” adds Lenderman.

Avoid Postal Pandemonium

While at the post office checking weight, spend a few minutes with the person in charge. Discuss your upcoming plans to mail your invitations, and solicit the assistance of a senior staff person. A little kindness can go a long way, and you’ll probably find it reassuring to know that someone in charge is making sure your envelopes are processed properly. See if you can make an appointment with the postal official to bring your invitations in when they are ready to be mailed. Ideally, schedule the appointment for the first half of the day; if you wait until the end of the day, there’s a chance your mail will be processed in a rush or left until the next day to be processed.

Make a Statement with Stamps


Guests will be impressed with your attention to detail when you use decorative postage stamps on your invitations, response cards and thank you notes. Browse the stamp index at www.stampsonline.com to find out about all the newest stamp designs and classic archived stamp images. If you don't find a stamp that coordinates with your wedding theme, the "Love" stamps are always a great choice.

Get It In

Even if you don’t schedule an appointment at the post office to drop off your invitations, do be sure to go in to the post office to do the mailing. While your mail should be safe in any mailbox, there’s no reason to tempt fate. The day you mail your invitations might just be the day some kid decides to pull a prank by tossing his half-eaten, ketchup-smeared burger into the mail slot. Don’t just drop the bundles into the corner mailbox, or expect your regular carrier to pick them up as out-going mail. Do all you can to get your invitations as far along in the mailing process as possible before you let them out of your hands.

See More: Invitations , Planning