Friday, July 10, 2009

All about Invitation Postage!

Postage: Such an important part of the wedding stationery package, and yet so little time spent thinking about it and budgeting for it.

We just discussed postage in our blog on Wednesday as a way to cut costs. Visit Wednesday's blog to learn all the money-saving tips! Here is some more details on postage, how to cut down on it and how to make it unique.

"How much will it cost to send out my invitations?"
Here are the things to consider to get your answer.

Quantity: First of all, make sure you have the right invitation quanitity figured out. You only need to send one per family / couple.

Shape/Size: Square invitations are super-trendy and super-cute, but they also must be what is considered "manually processed" because the standard automatic processing postage machines will not read that shape. There are other sizes (like over-sized pacakged) that have to be manually processed as well. Click here to see all postage guidelines concerning shapes & sizes. **The only shapes that cost extra postage offered by Relish are Square Invitations (as well as any square save-the-dates or shower invites) & Origami Invitations (which are square).

Embellishments: If you add stones or ribbon to your invitations, you may still be able to have them automatically processed, but we highly recommend against it. We have done our own in-house study and 1 out of 10 invitations with stones end up having the stones poked through the envelope. Ribbons are a bit safer, but they can get squished and just don't look as appealing. If you are paying for the beautiful invitations, it is worth the extra cost for postage to KEEP them beautiful.

Weight: If you have layers with embellishments and ribbons, PLUS RSVPs inside envelopes as well as Direction Cards and Rehearsal Invitation Cards, etc... the total weight of the package will start to add up. 98% of the time, our invitation packages do not end up being enough weight to push it to extra postage, but it when you add in all the bells and whistles, we recommend you wait to get your invitation package to get it weighed before you settle on postage costs. If you want to plan ahead, order a hard proof of the whole package and get it weighed before placing the order to completion.

Current USPS Pricing:
At this time (July, 2009) pricing has recently just went up again, so we hope it will stay this way for awhile.

Standard First Class Postage (good for most sizes, weights and those invitations without stones or ribbon) = $.44 / envelope

Manual Machine Processing Postage = always $.20 more than the standard First Class Postage. So at current rate, that = $.64 / envelope

"Okay, now that I have the cost down, what are my options for style with my stamps?"

1) Wedding Stamps: USPS makes one First-Class wedding stamp, featured below.

IF you need additional postage for the manual processing or additional weight - you will have an issue with the pretty factor if you are expecting to have normal stamps. They do not make $.20 stamps to add to your $.44 wedding stamp, so you could end up with several stamps. However, they DO make a $.64 stamp though. They only make one design. I love dolphins, but unless I was having a beach wedding, I would not like them on my invitations. BUT they do have the $.64 stamp as an option.

2) Custom Stamps: Create your own custom stamps!
You can further your creativity by creating your own custom stamps at It is a super easy process and I really enjoyed making the below stamp, with a photo from my wedding and customized to our wedding colors!

You can assign the value to the stamps so you could get your $.64 stamps here and be done! There is a charge for their services (of course).

For a book of 20, it was a little over $10 extra for the custom creation. So it ends up being $18.99 / sheet of 20. If you buy in bulk, the price comes down. For 100 stamps (or 5 Sheets), it is $16.99 / sheet. For 200 stamps, it goes down to $14.99 / sheet.

All in all, custom stamps are going to cost you more. But I'm not writing to tell you about cutting costs - if you want that, visit Wednesday's blog. These are just super-cute people and worth thinking over! Of course, we are biased in our opinion here at Relish, where everything is customizable! Go back to Wednesday's blog on cutting costs... and maybe you cut those awful napkins and add in these super-cute, customizable stamps!

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