It’s all so exciting…..you just met with the wedding stationery specialist! You looked at a lot of different invitations; you really liked more than one design. This might be a difficult decision. You’re leaning towards a 5″ square style with RSVP and information cards. It has 3 rhinestone embellishments adhered to a petal enclosure envelope. Finally, it’s all wrapped up with a sheer ribbon bow. All of this is enclosed in a lined envelope for a mailing size of 5 1/2″ square. You really love this invitation suite until you find out – – It’s going to cost over $2 to mail each one!!! Don’t panic, we have some tips to help you keep the cost in check.
There are a few things to keep in mind before we get into the facts. 2016 Postage rates in the United States are:
|Up to 1oz
|Up to 2oz
|Up to 3oz
You can pretty much expect that your invitations will be over 1 ounce, but it is possible to keep them under 2 ounces. Keeping the size, shape, thickness & weight in check can help hold the postage down. So with all this in mind, here are the facts:
Fact #1 – Size Matters
5” X 7” is the standard invitation size and would be the largest envelope size you should use. As long as the finished product with the envelope is less than 2 ounces, first class postage is $0.71. Another first class stamp for your RSVP envelope and you’re at $1.20 to mail your invitations. An optional size you might want to consider is 4” x 6”. It will take weight off of the total package and may help you come in under budget!
Fact #2 – Out of Shape
Square envelopes are considered “non-machinable” by the Post Office and carry a $0.22 surcharge. Basically, that means each non-machinable piece of mail gets hand metered. Using our example from fact #1, you’re now up to $0.93.
Fact #3 – Heavy Paper Warning
Using heavier card stock adds elegance to any invitation suite. It also has the potential to drive postage costs up as well. You may be able to come in under 2 ounces if you use a lighter stock for the RSVP & information cards, so keep this in mind when making your choices.
Fact #4 – Embellish Wisely
Embellishments such as rhinestones will have to be small. Larger embellishments can cause stress on the envelope and tear it. Most likely, this type of invitation will be considered non-machinable by the Post Office unless the rhinestones are really small. When using bows or other decorations, choose ones that are not too bulky. They will add weight and bulk which leads to…you guessed it, more postage. Do you see a theme developing here???
FACT #5 – Maximum Thickness
Up to this point, everything we’ve talked about contributes to the weight of the product. The final thing to remember is the finished product in the envelope cannot be more than ¼” thick. At the post office they have a letter-size mail dimensional standards template. You are required to check the thickness and height standards by sliding the envelope through a ¼” slot lengthwise. If it doesn’t pass through it could end up costing the parcel post rate which is $2.54 per invitation. That would be $254.00 for 100 invitations plus tax which, in our area, Central New York is 8% equals $274.32. Yikes!
Now, don’t panic! I know just thinking about all of this is too much. E-vites sound really good right now don’t they. Don’t do it. It’s ok……..breathe.
The most important things to remember are these:
- Choose the style of invitation you want. Square is ok, it’s just going to cost more in postage.
- Keep your embellishments light so it will go through the template at the post office.
- To be safe do a test, take an unsealed invitation that’s all together to the post office to be measured before you put postage on the RSVP return envelope and on the outer envelope.
- The less bulkier the better.
The resources used for this information were found on usps.com.
Melody Creek is located in LaFayette, New York. My name is Shelly Whyland and I am one of the owners and designers. We make custom handmade wedding invitation and stationery as well as invitations for birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, holiday parties, all-occasion cards and so much more. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you design what ever you are looking for!