(Updated for the USPS Postal Rate increase, January 2023)
With all of the time that is spent assembling the perfect wedding invitation suite and putting together a guest list, it may not surprise you to find out that postage is one of the most forgotten aspects of ordering wedding invitations. While it might not be the most exciting or flashy part of the process, it’s certainly important.
As a stationer, I’m often asked, “Exactly how much wedding invitation postage do I need?” If you’re wondering the same thing, look no further than this blog post!
Three items require postage:
Save the Date
RSVP Response Envelope
Invitation Suite Outer Envelope
Several factors go into calculating the postage for your wedding invitations. These include the shape and the weight of your suite, as well as any embellishments included in it. Standard USPS postage is currently valued at $0.63 to mail an envelope that weighs one ounce or less (the international rate is $1.45).
On average, wedding invitation suites weigh between one and two ounces, in which case postage costs at least $0.87. Every ounce added after that will cost an additional $0.24, up to three and a half ounces. The weight of your invitation suite is determined by the number of pieces in it, the weight of the paper you use, and any embellishments you include (such as wax seals or ribbons). Invitations with wax seals or ribbon tends to cost approximately $1.28 and up.
As the weight of your invitation suite increases, so will the cost of the postage you need. If you have an enclosure holding all of your pieces together, then the weight will usually be pushed to over three ounces. This will increase the price. As always it is best have your full suite weighed at the post office before you purchase postage. For up-to-date postal rates, click here.
When mailing your invitations to other countries, you don’t need to include postage on the RSVP envelope. Since most countries will refuse to mail an envelope with a foreign country’s postage, your guests will need to purchase their own.
These are two ways to prevent your invitations from being soiled or bent via a mail-processing machine at the post office. Hand-processing means that your postmaster sorts your invitations and stamps them by hand, rather than using a machine. There is an extra fee for this of approximately $0.21 per envelope.
In addition, you may request to have your invitations hand-canceled. During this process, the postmaster will “cancel” each individual stamp on your invitation envelopes. At some locations, this can even be done by you. This is something you may want to inquire about at your local post office. However, keep in mind that if you decide to DIY it, you may end up spending a good amount of time at the post office.
Keep in mind that certain decorative elements are considered “non-machinable.” This means that they cannot be processed through the machines at the post office. If your suite includes such elements, you will need to have your envelopes hand-processed and hand-canceled. Examples of non-machinable elements include envelopes with wax seals, envelopes that are thicker than ¾ of an inch, and envelopes that are custom sizes (such as squares).