Hooray! If you’re a planner, you are probably loving every bit of the wedding planning phase, and are probably right on track (if not a little ahead) with getting your wedding invitations planned out. Who you’re going to use, what style you’re going for, etc. Well, one thing I find brides being blindsided by quite often is how much postage ends up costing for their dream wedding invitations. Whether you have a simple invitation suite or something more elaborate, it’s best not to forget about the cost of postage to get those little pretties off to your excited guests. Here I’ll break down the different types of postage you’ll need, and things you might not think of that could throw a wrench into your plans later.
No matter how well you plan, things might be different than you think they are. I’ve done tons of research before and then when you get to the post office they are like, oh no, that’s not a first class large envelope because it’s rigid, it’s a different cost (fyi, WAY more). So word to the wise, work in an extra two weeks into your timeline so when you receive your invitations, you have time to take a full one to the post office, find out how much it will cost you to mail, and then order your postage.
Here are the basic postage rates, pulled straight from the USPS website (as of June 2019):
- Letter Stamps - standard-sized rectangular envelopes - from $0.55
- Letter Stamps - square, oversized, or unusual envelopes - from $0.70
- Postcard Stamps - standard-sized, rectangular postcards - from $0.35
- Global Forever (International) - standard-sized, rectangular envelopes - from $1.15
Notice they all say “from X amount”... that’s because additional ounces add to the cost, and like I mentioned before, if it’s rigid (think wood or acrylic invitations) the price changes completely. Something that might normally cost $0.85 might now cost $4.85. You can always try to estimate and buy your postage ahead of time, but I’d still advise taking a FULLY assembled invitation to let them tell you how much it will cost.
Types of stamps and where you can get them
You can always head down to your nearest post office and grab whatever stamps they have, but more than likely if you put a little thought into your invitations (or care enough and are reading a blog post on postage...) you are the type of person that is going to want your stamps aligned with your invitation vibe. For instance, I’d 100% rather pay extra to have fern/botanical stamps to match a tropical or romantic vibe rather than throw everything off with a flag stamp... anyone with me?? You can go on the USPS site and see what they have available, there might be something that will work for your suite just fine, but if you don’t see anything you like, there are absolutely other options.
CUSTOM STAMPS, ETC
You can grab all kinds of stamps from somewhere like Minted or Shutterfly. You can filter by themes and colors to find exactly what you want. There’s also the option to make custom stamps... hello another use for your engagement photos!
Some of my favorite stamps ever are the fern stamps from a few years ago from the USPS. It was a very cheap way to get a pretty stamp on your wedding envelopes. I was basically heartbroken when they weren’t available anymore (first world problems) but found that you can still buy them on Amazon and on Walmart.com. WIN! They aren’t as cheap as they were straight from the post office, but still cheaper than some of the custom options and specialty shops out there.
Vintage postage is a fun way to set the tone for your wedding the second your guest pulls that pretty little envelope out of their mailbox. You can search online for specialty shops or I have found that Etsy is a great resource. Just be absolutely sure the listing says UNUSED stamps. You can also buy used vintage stamps for styling and things like that, so just double check so that you can actually use them! Something to keep in mind here is to go find out exactly how much it will cost to ship your invites, then piece together your vintage stamps so that you have enough. You can do anything your heart desires, like romantic floral stamps, focus on blush and champagne tones, find different tropical options, or find stamps from places that are special to you, for instance one from each, you were born in South Carolina and he in New York, or a stamp from each state you were born in and where you met or live now. There are so many ways to incorporate yourselves into stamps, which you probably didn’t think of at all.
So in the case of acrylic or other rigid invitations, the postage can add up quickly. You may need to buy way more stamps than you planned for, or you may need to take them in and have them calculate the amount for each invitation based on weight, size and destination. Just educate yourself on what it could cost you before you sign up for acrylic invitations. They are stunning but these can go upwards of $5 an invite to send, so just keep that in mind when planning your budget. I recently sent out acrylic invitations for a bride and because of this rigid envelope we used and the acrylic invitations themselves, the postage varied for each invitations, anywhere from $4.15 to $5.00. To keep everything looking beautiful we just rounded up to $5 for each and used the global succulent stamps so that we didn’t have a giant postage sticker covering up the beautiful envelope. Get creative if you need to, I know you have it in you.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR RSVP STAMP...
One thing I’ve noticed many brides don’t factor in is postage for their RSVP cards. They’ll either end up sending out their invitations later than anticipated because they have to order them at the last minute or just forget about working them into the stationery budget and you go overboard. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you’re working with a pretty tight budget, it could put you over the edge. Forever stamps currently cost $0.55, so if you need to send out 200 invitations you are looking at $110. Keep in mind that’s if you get post office issued forever stamps... If you are upgrading to custom or vintage stamps, you’ll need to allow for even more plus shipping.
And yes, ladies, you need to put a stamp on the RSVP envelope or postcard for your guests. It’s proper etiquette and will ensure your responses get back in a timely manner.
Remember, proper planning will help avoid surprises later on that could derail your day or your budget, so just get all your ducks in a row and you’ll be good to go! Now go grab another cup of coffee and get going on the rest of that checklist, girl!