One of the most time-consuming parts of a wedding involves assembling and mailing out the wedding invitations. Typically, wedding invitations feature multiple cards, including the actual invitation, plus inserts for the reception, and even maps. Once you have everything put together, beautifully addressed with calligraphy, and ready to go, you may think the hard work is over. However, there is still much to do and consider.
The American Wedding has been in operation for nearly 100 years. Just like the generations of brides before you, we understand that you want to make your wedding unique and special. That’s why we offer up the top five tips for mailing out wedding invitations to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Tip #1 Order Some Extras
Our first tip is to order some extra invitations. If you are planning to invite just 150 guests to your wedding, you do not want to just order 150 invitations. Usually it is a good idea to order a few extras. This will come in handy if you want to save any invitations for a memory book, need to add in last minute guests, or you have addressed any invitations incorrectly because someone recently moved. You may also need to count on having some extras for those that are lost in the mail. No matter the reason, it is always good to have a few extra invitations on hand.
Tip #2 Mark the Date
Our next tip is to follow a strict timeline of when you send your wedding invitations out. Mark the date about three months out. Working with brides for decades, we’ve learned that this is the very best time to send out wedding invitations to ensure you get the responses back in a reasonable amount of time and can pass along the guest count to your caterers effectively.
You will want to give guests time to respond, but allow for mailing time, too. While the length of time may seem considerable now, believe us that the time will pass very quickly, and your wedding day will be here before you know it.
Tip #3 Weigh Your Invitations
With the date in mind, make sure that you know exactly how much your invitations weigh before you head to the post office with the entire lot. As discussed, wedding invitations are often quite bulky, with all of the inserts, plus the response card and envelope. It is difficult to know exactly how much postage is needed otherwise, but you may be able to get a general idea via the USPS.
Thicker envelopes may add to the cost, especially extra-thick paper. You will also need to plan accordingly if you are considering sending any invitations to guests outside the United States. While you are at the post office, make sure to stock up on postage for pre-stamping the reply card envelopes. While this is a courtesy commonly afforded to guests, it also helps increase the chances of getting your replies back sooner if your guests do not have to hunt around for a stamp themselves.
Tip #4 Creative Stamps
This is the time where you can get more creative. Some brides and grooms use the reply card envelope as a way to personalize their day. You may want to look for stamps with meaning to you as an almost married couple. It may be a symbol, a site you’ve visited together, or a stamp that signifies your home state. Other couples enjoying putting a beautiful heart stamp or floral stamp on their envelopes.
Tip #5 Hand Cancel Invitations
One way to ensure that the beautiful invitation you chose will look just as beautiful when it arrives at its destination is to have the post office hand cancel all of your invitations. This is a much prettier way of sending mail. Without doing this, your invitation will go through the post office machines and end up with some not so beautiful bar codes. Sending your invitations through machines could also tear up the invitations, themselves, because the machines are sometimes a bit rough.
You may find that hand canceling is not a service your post office provides, so it may be in your best interest to visit a couple of branches. You may also have to pay a little extra money for the hand cancellations. Sometimes the post office will allow you so many free cancellations before charging a fee for the rest. It is best to ask ahead so that you know what to expect.
Wedding invitations are a beautiful way to announce your upcoming nuptials. When you follow these five mailing tips, you are well on your way to the wedding of your dreams.