Mailing Your Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations should be sent six to eight weeks prior to the date of the wedding. The Save the Date cards (if you are choosing to send them) should be sent as far in advance as twelve months (for more on Save the Dates, click here). Make sure you have enough time to place your order, compile and address the envelopes, and (importantly) leave your guests with plenty of time to reply by your deadline. The sooner you invite your guests to the event, the more likely it is that they'll be able to attend!
When it comes to dropping your wedding invitations in the mail, never take anything for granted. You'll take a lot of time and effort in getting your invitations to look how you want them to, and to ensure that they arrive on time. Don't take any chances now. Here's how to ensure your beautiful invitations arrive as you intend them to, and on time:
Compile a complete invitation (including all the enclosures) and take it to the local post office, where they will weigh the entire package and let you know what a first-class mailing will cost. Don't make any assumptions…being just a few cents short on postage means all your beautifully addressed invitations will be sent back to you.
While you're at the post office, ask if they will hand cancel your invitations (they will want to know how many you'll be sending). Hand canceling is the process by which the mailing is processed by hand, avoiding potential damage by bypassing the large processing machines the post office uses. Hand canceling minimizes the amount of stamping, bar codes, and other marks the post office automatically puts on mailings. The process also ensures your invitations don't get caught, torn, or misshapen by the machines. Hand canceling is free in most areas…you just need to ask!
If you have the time, send a sample to yourself first. This will allow you to gauge the amount of time it will take for your invitations to arrive to your guests. It will also be a relief to receive the invitation in the mail and confirm that you don't want to make any changes to the components or compilation. Do this, of course, only if you have sufficient time.
While on the subject of postage, make sure to your response cards also contain the correct stamps. Again, the safest bet is to confirm with a postal worker how much postage the cards will require.