How to Mail Your Invitations
The Artisaire Way
Whew, you’ve done it!
You’ve designed, ordered and assembled your invitations and now there’s just one step left… MAILING THEM (cue streamers, confetti and a BIG glass of wine)!
Before you celebrate, let’s make sure those paper pretties are ready for mailing and arrive to your guests in once piece!
By following these simple tips, you can ship your invites out without skipping a beat and ensure your invites are safe and sound in transit!
Let’s get into it!
Step 1: Address Them Properly
The first step to safely sending out your invites is making sure your envelopes are addressed properly!
Did you know that USPS (and most other carriers) has specific requirements for addressing a letter?
Here’s what you need to know:
- Always use the standard addressing format:
Delivery Address (including apartment #, suite, etc.)
City, State, Zip Code
- Always put your destination address and postage on the same side of your envelope
- Print return address on the back flap of the envelope (most popular for wedding invites) or the top left corner of the front side if you have room.
- Don’t use fonts smaller than 10 pt. on either side of your envelopes.
- Use clear and easy-to-read font/script
- Use dark ink on light or white envelopes (must be easily legible)
- White ink on dark envelopes is not often accepted and may cost extra/take longer – so save that for an inner envelope or call ahead to your local post office to double check their policies.
- If you’re using a mailing label on your invites, make sure they are straight – scanners have a hard time reading crooked labels!
- Avoid using shiny or shimmery envelopes for your invitations, unless you’re using them with a non-shiny outer envelope. These are harder for the sorting machines to read and can cause delays and issues in routing.
- Leave a ½” tall band of print-free space along the bottom of your envelope for USPS barcodes.
If you missed our guide on wording etiquette and how to address your invitations, here's a quick recap:
- Always include titles for each guest (over 18), using the main addressing line for both guests (if married), or separate lines for each non-married guest.
- Write out names, streets, states and cities out in full.
- If you are inviting a guest and a plus-one, you can use “and Guest” on the outer envelope or save this for your inner envelope.
- If your guests have a professional title (like Doctor, Judge, or active military), make sure to include that title and list their name first!
Artisaire Quick Tip: Having your envelopes pre-printed is a HUGE time saver if you’re assembling yourself (or don’t have the neatest handwriting) – plus printed envelopes are the easiest to read! Some brands will even include this as a free service when added to your invitation order if you’re lucky!
Step 2: Have Enough Postage
Now that you’ve got your addresses set – it’s time to tackle the postage!
Wedding invitations take more postage than you think – and there’s nothing worse you’re your invites being returned for lack of postage, let alone not delivered at all!
Here’s how to calculate how much postage you’ll need:
- Weigh them
- Take note of their shape
- Measure dimensions and thickness
- Look up postage for your mailing destination
The first step is to weigh your invitations!
The easiest way to do this is with a basic kitchen scale. Simply add all the pieces you’ll use for one invitation to your scale (doesn’t have to be assembled, just needs to include all the inserts, envelopes, wax seals, and extras) to find the total weight (in oz.)!
Artisaire Quick Tip: To easily calculate how much postage you need BEFORE receiving your invitations (a great tool for balancing your budget)– order generic samples of the exact product you’ll be using to calculate your per invitation weight! Most companies will send you samples for free (or a small fee) that you can use for this!
From there, you’ll be able to quickly find out the appropriate amount of postage using the USPS Postage Calculator (or by contacting your local post office)!
The most popular method for mailing invites is via USPS First Class Mail which starts at $.0.55 per invitation.
Here are the specs:
- Weight: Up to 1 oz.
- Shape: Must be a rectangular envelope
- Size (Length x Height):
o Minimum: 5” x 3.5”
o Maximum: 11.5” x 6.125”
- Thickness: Up to 0.25”
- Delivery Speed: 1-3 business days
- Region: Within the Continental U.S.
But what if your invites are heavier than that? Thicker? A different shape? Going international?
If they're heavier:
- If your invitations are over 1 oz. but less than 2 oz, Two Ounce Postage starts at $0.70/invite via USPS
- If your invitations are over 2 oz. but less than 3 oz, Three Ounce Postage starts at $0.85/invite via USPS
- If your invitations are over 3 oz but less than 3.5 oz, Three and a Half Ounce Postage starts at $1.00/invite via USPS
If they're thicker or non-rectangular:
- If your invitations are extra thick (over 0.25” thick), add an extra $0.21 of postage for each invitation.
- If your invitations are square, oversized or an unusual shape (and weigh under 1 oz.), First Class Postage for these start at $0.71/invite
Stationery by Sal Studio
If you're mailing internationally:
- First Class Mail International starts at $1.15/invite (within the same dimensions listed above for domestic) but can get EXTREMELY expensive (we’re talking +$30/invite) if you need them delivered faster or have invitations outside of those specs. Click here for more info from USPS!
For more information on specific pricing for your invitations, USPS has a great online Postage Price Calculator that you can find here!
Artisaire Quick Tip: When calculating pricing, make sure you’re looking at the stamped price – not metered pricing (which is a different type of postage system)
Step 3: Hand-Cancel
Meet your new best friend.
Hand-cancelling is THE biggest life saver you’ll find when mailing your wedding invitations. No matter how much postage you add, how many envelopes you use, or how nicely you ask your post office to handle your invitations, mailing is rough business!
When it comes to mailing, “cancelling” is the process of stamping your postage so it can’t be used again and usually is done by an automated machine – which can tear, crumple or damage your invites (especially if you’re using a special shape or extra thick envelope).
Hand-cancelling will save you the stress of all of that because the post office will manually stamp and sort your invitations – saving them from those automated sorting machines!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Hand cancelling is a (paid) service that saves your invitations from being rolled and sorted by machines which can tear and damage your beautiful invites.
- Your invitations will be stamped and sorted by-hand vs. send through the automated sorting machines.
- Some post offices will have you hand-cancel your own invitations while they help other customers and will simply do a quick check at the end to make sure you did it properly (if you get an initial “no” for hand-cancelling, try offering to do it for them!).
- This will likely cost you more but is so worth it! This “non-machinable” surcharge usually costs $0.15 - $0.21/invite depending on your post office.
- This service isn’t available at all USPS locations – so make sure to call ahead to your local branch to make sure!
Artisaire Quick Tip: Hand-cancelling is the BEST way to mail wax seal wedding invitations! If you’ve been on the fence about wax seals because you’re afraid they won’t go through the mail – have no fear, hand-cancelling is here (insert superhero stance here)! 😊
The Wrap Up
Now that you’ve got your addressing done, postage sorted and hand-cancelling in the bag, it’s time to pop the bubbly and celebrate – you’ve officially mastered the art of creating your wedding invitations The Artisaire Way!
On behalf of our entire team, thank you for letting us be a part of your planning process – we hope your wedding is the most magical day ever and can’t WAIT to see photos!
Make sure to tag us @artisaire and use #theartisaireway when sharing your celebrations on social so we can join in on the fun!
We’re always looking for new Artisaire Brides to showcase – so if you’d like to share your story, leave a comment below or reach out to our team so we can connect with you!
Until next time friend - keep calm, wed on and enjoy a special offer below that'll help transform your invites into the stationery of your dreams!
The Artisaire Team