This past January, the US Postal Service raised its postage rates. It’s not much, even if you are sending out 300 invitations, but there are some other things to take into consideration when budgeting for wedding stationery that will have an effect on your budget.
So many brides forget to include postage in their stationery budgets. Not only for invitations, but for all the thank you notes as well! Postage rates are based on certain criteria like weight, size and shape. How much postage you pay depends on your invitation design.
With the increase the US Postal Service implemented in January 2012, postcards went from $.29 each to $.32 each to mail and 1 oz. letters went from $.44 each to $.45 each to mail. Before you budget for and mail your invitations, you should be aware of some surcharges that can increase the cost of mailing your invitations.
The maximum weight of a letter at the standard $.45 rate you can send is 1 oz. This is usually for your typical birthday card or thank you note. With wedding invitations, you are usually including more paper such as reply cards and/or a reception enclosure. Most wedding invitations, even with these enclosures are ok at the regular $.45 rate, but be sure to check with your local post office, or ask you invitation designer how much your invitations will weigh.
Heavier, more quality papers, double envelopes and pocket style invitations will require more postage due to weight. Here is a guide to help you, but check with a professional:
- Less than 1.0 oz. = $.45
- Less than 2.0 oz. = $.65
- Less than 3.0 oz. = $.85
- Less than 3.5 oz. = $1.05
If you are thinking of doing anything unique, like a concert ticket style response card or a large poster style invitation, you may need to consider increasing your postage budget. The minimum size of letter that you can mail is 3.5×5 inches. The maximum is 6.25×11.5 inches. For square envelopes, the minimum size of a is 5×5 inches.
Most of you will be fine at the regular rate. Your invitation designer will be able to help you understand any additional postage fees if you are thinking outside the box!
Most invitations or letters are rectangular in shape. Did you know that square envelopes incur a $.20 surcharge each on postage?
Square invitations are modern and fun, but make sure you know that your postage rates will incur a surcharge, even if your invitation meets the weight and size specifications.
4. Non-Machinable Characteristics
Non-machinable characteristics are letters that need to be hand sorted because they cannot be read by the Post Office sorting machines, so an employee must hand sort each envelope. In addition to being square or not meeting weight restrictions, letters that meet one or more of the non-machinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.20 non-machinable surcharge as well.
- It is too rigid – does not bend easily
- It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
- It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
- It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
Example: Pocket fold invitations are usually considered too rigid.
Example: Adding ribbon, rhinestones, feathers or any other adornments can increase the postage.
Hopefully, this will help you in budgeting for your wedding invitations! We can help guide you to make the best paper, size, shape and design decisions to fit your wedding stationery budget. Give me a call at 331-615-6517 or send us an email to set up a free consultation.