5 Facts About Postage Costs That’ll Keep You up at Night

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 $0.49
Up to 2oz $0.71
Up to 3oz $0.93

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:

c50Fact #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 Thicknessmail-template

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!

When Talking About Your Wedding Budget Sends You Running for Cover

You(the future Mr. and Mrs.) just sat down with your future in-laws and without too much blood, sweat and tears — you have agreed upon the “magic” number that will be your wedding budget.  Well done, GREAT JOB!  Now, the real FUN begins.

The average cost for a wedding in Syracuse and the Central New York region in 2015 ranged from $16,825 to $31,213.  I took these two numbers and averaged them and came up with $24,019.  We’ll use $24,000 for our “magic” number.

I don’t know about you, but whenever “money talks” take place I just want to disappear.  Most money discussions lead to great amounts of stress, arguments and fights.  All things most people want to AVOID.  What I’ve discovered is that having a plan makes these talks go much smoother.  A realistic idea of what weddings actually cost can help with this plan.

The Wedding Budget

Below is a table of a wedding budget breakdown with our $24,000.  Now remember, this is just an average breakdown.



Wedding Budget Breakdown


Category Percentage Cost
Reception 45% $10,800
Photography/Videographer 12% $2,880
Flowers 10% $2,400
DJ/Band 8% $1,920
Attire/Hair/Makeup 12% $2,800
Ceremony/Officiant 2% $560
Stationery 5% $1200
Transportation 2% $480
Gifts 2% $480
Wedding Rings 2% $480
Total 100% $24,000


If you wanted to add a Wedding Planner, the low end would be 16% of your budget or $3840 for the full service.  You can always choose to go ala carte.  That way you decide on the specific services you might want or need.  By adding this service you would bring your total budget to $27,840.  Yes, you are now over budget, but by having a wedding planner a lot of the stress comes off of you.

When you have a plan it can keep your budget on track and minimize unwanted stress.  There are lots of ways you can cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams.  You might be a DIY bride who is crafty and can make a lot of items you want yourself.  Or maybe you are a thrifty shopper and can find your attire for a steal.

By having the numbers, you have an idea of where the money should go. That way if you pay less for certain things you can put that money where you want something else. You can do this with each category.

Let’s be realistic for a moment. If your Mom and Dad are paying for this shindig and you keep going over the agreed upon “magic number,” another talk could be in your very near future. “Money talks” can be very stressful but when you have a plan, and better still can stick close to that plan, the stress pretty much melts away!

Save, Save, Save!!!

hand putting a dollar into a Wedding coin jar -- wedding cost concept

If you are employed when you get engaged, you should start saving money towards your wedding. By having that money set aside you could have some of those extras that are over budget that you don’t want to live without! Your parents would appreciate you taking ownership of some of the expenses. They may not take the money, but it will show that you appreciate them.



Here at Melody Creek we want to help you with your wedding needs.  We specialize in wedding stationery, but our heart is to help ease your wedding plans so your wedding day is everything you want it to be. Contact us today for a free consultation for wedding stationery.

The following resources for my statistics in the table above:



Did you find this post helpful?  Leave a comment.  Tell us what you think.

3 Crucial Steps You Have to Take Before Ordering Wedding Invitations

So, it’s time to order wedding invitations.  Your wedding is anywhere from 6-12 months away.  You’re asking yourself where do I begin?  No worries you’ve got this!

The first crucial step is putting together your guest list.  This is probably the hardest part of planning your wedding.  It can be a stressful time but the following list can help with who to invite.

Blog image 2

  • Family – decide how deep you want to go – – if you’re not close with your 3rd cousin on Mom’s side don’t invite them.
  • Parent’s and In-law’s friends – give each set of parents a specific number they can invite.  Now remember in traditional weddings the bride’s parents may be paying for most of the wedding so be mindful that this means a lot to them and they may want a few more guests.
  • Your friends – this number includes your wedding party, the bride’s friends, the groom’s friends and the friends you share.
  • Plus ones – this can be a touchy subject.  Make sure you know the names of significant others.  You can decide who that will be.  Maybe you want to invite only married and engaged couples.  Just because someone who is single is invited to your wedding does NOT mean they can bring a plus one.  It’s your wedding you want the people there that matter to YOU!
  • One great way to know how many guests you have invited and keep track of your list is by using an Excel spreadsheet.  This makes keeping track of rsvp’s when they come in a breeze.  You can then have a column set up for gifts, table seating, address labels and even your bridal shower invites could be generated from this program.

Blog image 3

The second crucial step is budget.  The average wedding budget for wedding invitations and stationery is between 5-10% of the total wedding budget.  So let’s say your wedding budget is $15,000 then the maximum your wedding stationery budget would be $750-$1,500.

Wedding stationery can include but is not limited to:  save the dates, invitations, rsvps, insert cards, programs, menus, place cards, table numbers, wedding favors and thank you cards.

The final crucial step is choosing your invitation expert.  Maybe you met some wedding stationery vendors if you went to your local Bridal Show.  There are a wide variety of invitation vendors to choose from.  Locally in your area, on the internet, Etsy, Pinterest or DIY kits from your local craft store.  This can be overwhelming when you are trying to choose the right invitation for your BIG day!

Do you have a theme or specific colors in mind?  Do you want plain, simple, elegant, extravagant bling invitations?  All of this matters and reflects who you are.  This information is important so bring your ideas when you meet with the expert(s).Blog image 1

If you’ve got your guest list nailed down, then that makes this final step so much easier.  This way you will know how much wedding stationery you will need to order.  Also, if you decide to have your envelopes addressed by the invitation expert that Excel spreadsheet comes in handy!

Yes, planning a wedding can be stressful.  Take time to breathe and remember this is the greatest time of your life and it will all be worth it in the end.  Hopefully by following these three crucial steps they will help you when ordering your wedding invitations.

We at Melody Creek invitations offer many of these services in the Central New York region but can offer our expertise long distance as well.  We love to FaceTime!  Please feel free to contact us today for your free consultation.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Have an amazing day!