Posts

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:

wedding-stamps

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!

Hello Monday’s

 

Good Morning!

I’ve decided to kick-start a weekly blog post telling YOU how AWESOME you are!  Each Monday I will do a “Hello Mondays” post.  These posts will be filled with encouragement, a positive quote for the week, 10 amazing truths about you that maybe you’ve forgotten, and lastly LOVE.

 

This will definitely be a different post then the wedding posts that go up other days in the week.  Mondays will be for everyone.  Anyone who needs to be reminded that you MATTER, you have VALUE and you are LOVED!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

During the 1st week of October 2014 I had heard about a lot of people who were struggling and bummed out.  My friends were really having a hard time.  People on Facebook seemed down and I decided I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, so I decided to do a 30-Day Love and Encouragement Challenge.

 

I remember being told that for every one negative thing that is said to us it takes 10 positive things to erase it.  I posted 10 sentences over 30 days to remove 30 negative things from all my FB friends’ lives. 

 

I want to take the time to encourage you on Mondays so you can rock your week!  Hopefully, if you know this blog is here you’ll come read it, be encouraged, get some love and pass it on to others around you.  Let’s say you or someone you know is having a bad day, (come on, we all have them, yes, even me, Beam, my nickname from a dear friend at work!) you will know this is here and you can come get uplifted. 

 

POSITIVE QUOTE

 

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become GREAT.”

~ Mark Twain

 

10 AMAZING TRUTHS ABOUT YOU (YES, YOU!)

  1. You are capable of doing anything!
  2. There is no obstacle that you can’t overcome.
  3. Take a moment to really look at the beauty around you (including yourself) it’s there if you look for it.
  4. You are more than you think you are!
  5. Your value cannot be measured by what you do, it’s measured by those who can’t live without you.
  6. Be yourself – – – you’re spectacular!
  7. No one has the power to rob you of your JOY unless you give it to them.
  8. You are unique – there is no one else like YOU.
  9. Make time for yourself: read a book, take a bath, dance, sing, do whatever makes you happy for YOU.  I triple dog dare ya.
  10. No one is perfect – – it’s OK to make mistakes.  That’s what erasers and white out are for!

 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we forget in all the craziness who we are.  Take a minute to really look at how incredible YOU are.  I know, they are 10 sentences that a person wrote on a page.  That doesn’t make them not the TRUTH.

 

LOVE

One of the simple definitions of love by Merriam-Webster dictionary says this:

love:  a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

Love can encompass all the relationships in our lives.  Family, friends, co-workers, you know who the people are in your life that you love. Some of us have such close friends that we consider them family.    

Love requires action and words.  Take a few minutes throughout this week and put your love into action.  Send someone you love a quick note, text, email or give them a call.  Spend a little time and effort in your busy schedule to tell them how much you love them.  In my experience when you give love away, you get so much more than you gave.

Love is an incredible gift.  Sometimes we forget that and we take it for granted.  When you’re thankful for the love in your life take a few precious minutes to let the people around you know.  It doesn’t have to be a HUGE grand gesture, make it simple.  A post it note on the mirror for your wife, a text to your kids or husband, a call to your parents or friend.  You never know, you just might make someone’s day!

 

Hi Everyone, it’s me Shelly, I hope you feel the love and encouragement and will look forward to coming back for this blog each week.  My goal for you today and the rest of the week is to know that you are valuable to those around you.  Each day we have the opportunity to bring about change in our surroundings.  Maybe it starts with just a smile from YOU.  Have an awesome week —– see you next Monday!

 

Did you find this post worthwhile?  Feel free to leave a comment.  Like it or Share it with your friends.  Contact us and send a favorite quote so I can use it in a Hello Mondays post.  Take Care!

 

Key Elements to Write a Killer Maid of Honor Speech/Toast

How exciting, you’ve just been asked to be the Maid of Honor in a wedding!  Don’t panic because you were also asked to give a Maid of Honor speech/toast.  You haven’t got a clue what to say.  You might even be thinking how can I get out of this?  I’m not very good at public speaking,  maybe I should decline and let someone else do this.   It’s ok, we’ve got your back.  Remember,  you were asked because you are very important to this awesome couple.

Below are some key elements you could use in your speech:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Be who you are — I’m sure that’s why you were asked to be the maid of honor in the 1st place
  • Keep it light
  • Tell a funny story about the person who asked you (bride or groom)
  • Say something from the heart
  • Tell them (bride or groom) what they mean to you
  • Thank the bride and groom for asking you to be their maid of honor
  • Thank the other bridesmaids for making today (the wedding day) incredible for the bride and groom and for being a HUGE part of this day that they will always remember
  • Use a favorite “love” quote
  • Remember the wedding day it’s about them not you
  • Keep it short

These are all just suggestions to help you get started because honestly that’s the hardest part…….starting.  Give yourself plenty of time to write the speech so you’re not doing it at the last-minute. This is a big deal and you don’t want to rush, so start early and take your time.  The more time you give to this the better it will be.

Google is a great resource to actually look at speeches/toasts and see examples of how they are written.  There are so many different styles and choices you can choose from.  You can then adapt one to fit for you and the bride and groom.

Pinterest is also another place to look at examples of maid of honor speeches/toasts.  Again there are samples you can get great ideas from.

In my opinion the #1 KEY element in writing a killer maid of honor speech/toast is YOU!  You know these people.  You’ve shared experiences with them that probably no one else has, or ever will. Draw from your love, knowledge and experiences that you have shared together.  From all of these things you will have a killer speech/toast come wedding day!

Hi there, I am Shelly the owner and designer at Melody Creek.  We make custom wedding stationery and invitations.  We are located in Lafayette, New York.  My goal with this blog is to share wedding related topics, tips and advice, do’s and don’ts, amazing ideas and how to’s.  We offer so many services at our studio.  Please contact us today for a free consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have the BEST day!

Photo courtesy of Nicole Marie Photography

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!