It’s so exciting when the day comes to get your precious wedding invitations in the mail.
But, before you get too gung-ho and drop them in your nearest postbox, it’s time to back up a little.
In today’s article, I’m talking about how to mail wedding invitations the RIGHT way – no matter where you live in the world!
Taking some time to think about the best way of mailing your wedding invitations is well worth it for 2 reasons:
- You could save cash by making sure you’re not paying more postage than you need.
- You’ll ensure that your invites are more likely to arrive in one piece to your guests.
So, let’s jump right in:
What’s the cheapest way to mail wedding invitations?
You might be thinking, “how many stamps do I need for my wedding invitations?” And, believe me, that cost can soon add up.
We DIYed all our wedding invitations and, in the end, the cost of postage was MORE than the entire cost of our invitations and RSVPs!
But, never fear, there are a few tricks to reducing your postage spend for your wedding invitations…
1 – Pick your invitation size carefully
Ok, so this tip isn’t hugely helpful if you’ve already chosen your wedding invitations (if that’s the case, just move on to the next tip!)
But, one of the most effective ways of limiting your postage spend on wedding invites is to ensure that you choose a wedding invitation that:
- Fits a “regular” sized envelope, and/ or
- Doesn’t weigh “too much”
What a “regular” sized envelope or “too heavy” invite looks like depends on the postal restrictions where you are in the world.
NOTE: I got engaged and did most of my wedding planning in the UK and, like many of my readers, I’ve lived in the US. So, I’m going to look at the postal restrictions and costs for those two countries in particular. It’s worth checking out your national postal system for the country you live in.
How much postage do I need for wedding invitations in the US?
According to The United States Postal Service (as of 6th November 2021), standard First-Class Mail stamps start at $0.58, with square, oversized, or unusually shaped envelope stamps starting at $0.88.
So, assuming you’re sending out about 50 wedding invitations – staying within standard letter-sized envelopes could save you at least $15.
The United States Postal Service has a handy reference to help you determine what size envelope will stay within standard postage costs:
Screenshot correct as of 6th November 2021
You can also check this wedding invitation, postage calculator.
How much postage do I need for wedding invitations in the UK?
The cheapest option in the UK is to send your invitations by 2nd Class mail, with prices starting at 66p for standard letters and 96p for large, non-standard letters up to 100g (as of 6th November 2021).
So, assuming you’re sending out 50 invitations, you could save £15 by ensuring your envelopes are a more standard size.
Here’s the latest guidance for letter weight and dimensions:
Screenshot correct as of 6th November 2021
2 – Check the final weight for the correct postage cost
You can use the above guidelines to work out if your wedding invitations are likely to fall into the dimensions and weight of standard mail.
But, it’s also worth double-checking before you put ALL your invitations in the post.
So, take one invitation suite (assembled with all the bits and pieces) in its envelope to your local post office and have it weighed to check that you’re applying enough postage.
That way, you won’t have any invitations returned for insufficient postage or, even worse, your guests being charged for the incomplete postage cost(the horror!)
How to “mail-proof” your wedding invitations
Having spent your time and money on the perfect wedding invitations, the last thing you want is for them to get damaged or lost in the mail.
So, here are a few tips to protect your wedding invitations in the post:
1 – Protect delicate invitations with a tissue or thin paper insert to avoid any “snagging” on the envelope
Just ensure that your final stuffed envelope comes in under the weight limit above!
Related reading: How to make DIY wedding invitations
2 – Ensure envelope flaps don’t come loose
Instead of relying on “spit” power to close your envelopes, consider using a touch of glue, or double-sided tape to secure the flaps.
3 – Add a return address to stop your wedding invitations from getting lost in the mail
Mistakes happen even in the most well-oiled postal services. So, to avoid your invitations getting lost (and guests thinking they haven’t been invited), be sure to add a return address on your envelope.
You could just handwrite your address on the back of the envelope. Or… you could make things a little more special and personalized with a personalized return address label or stamp.
Check out this post I’ve written on 10 of the cutest wedding invitation return address labels (plus I run through all the etiquette when it comes to addressing your labels!)
Do you provide stamps on wedding RSVP cards?
If you want your guests to post their RSVP responses back to you then, yes, it’s just good manners to include a stamped addressed envelope.
Alternatively, if you want to reduce costs (and be a bit more environmentally friendly) you can always ask guests to RSVP by email or text.
Related reading: RSVP wording examples for your wedding
Can you put wedding invitations in a mailbox?
To be on the safe side, it’s best NOT to post your invitations directly in the mailbox and, instead, to bring them to your local post office to mail.
That way you’re cutting out one potential risk of them getting “caught” in the post box, or otherwise lost.
Related reading: how far in advance should you send your wedding invitations?
Should you hand cancel wedding invitations?
If you’re in the US then it appears that hand-canceling envelopes may still be a thing.
That is – the post office clerk will hand stamp your envelopes rather than them passing through a mail sorting machine.
Hand-canceling your wedding invitations can avoid potential rips or marks from the mail sorting machines on your envelopes – so, if the clerk is willing to do it, it’s worth asking for.
In the UK and Ireland (where I’m based), hand-cancelling is no longer something that’s offered (and postal staff are likely to look puzzled if you ask about it!)
If you’re REALLY worried about your envelopes getting ruined in the mail, then you could look into slimline postal boxes for your envelopes. But, this is a pricey option if you’re sending more than a few wedding invitations!
How to mail wedding invitations the RIGHT way
So, hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to post wedding invitations to save money and ensure they get there in one piece.
If you’re more of a skim reader, here’s a quick summary of everything you need to know:
- Pick your invitation size carefully and check the envelope dimensions and weight to minimize postage costs.
- Bring one assembled invitation to the post office to have it weighed to confirm postage.
- Consider protecting your invitations with a tissue paper layer and glue or tape the envelope flaps together to avoid them opening in the post.
- Consider a personalized return address stamp or return address label to ensure your invitations don’t get lost in the mail (and look fabulous in the process!)
- Be sure to add postage stamps to your RSVP card envelopes if you want guests to post their responses to you.
- Bring your invitations to the post office to mail (rather than posting them in a mailbox) and if offered, ask for them to be hand-canceled.