One of the most important things to remember when sending out your wedding stationery is the cost of postage. A common misconception is that the invitation will need a standard forever stamp (currently valued at .49) but the additional pieces will often make the weight heavier than a standard letter, increasing the amount of postage needed.
Take a completed suite to the Post Office to be formally weighed
Stuff an invitation suite with the invite, reception card, rsvp and rsvp envelope and take this to the post office for a clerk to weigh it and confirm the cost of postage needed. If you have a small digital scale at home you can also use a handy tool in usps.com to help determine postage.
Factors to Consider
Is there a rigid object included in your invitation suite? A rigid object includes 2-ply or 4-ply paper or other hard material. This will add to the cost of postage because the suite won’t be able to run through the processing machines. Also, if use a fabric or ribbon and there is a not, this is considered a rigid object. Typically it will raise the postage cost to 66 cents.
Are you using an Odd Shaped envelope? If you decided on a square-shaped invitation suite then you will need to factor in additional postage, regardless of weight. Also, if you use a #10 sized invitation (long and skinny) then be sure to put the recipient’s address “long-ways”. If you write the address out so the longest side of the envelope is the height, then you will need to add additional postage.
Shipping in a Box Mailer? A fabulous option is using a box mailer, which is a small cardboard box, to mail out your invitation suite. These are great when you want to tie a big ribbon and bow around your suite or include a fun extra like confetti. The maximum height for a standard envelope is 1/4 inch and box mailers are just a tad too big. This means the postage will be closer to $2.11 depending on weight.
A standard RSVP envelope (4 bar) will need a 49 cent forever stamp. It is so important to pre-stamp the rsvp envelope for your guests to ensure it is returned in a timely manner. Another option is to use a postcard style RSVP and the postage would be 34 cents. If you do use a postcard style be sure the paper weight is sturdy enough to travel through the USPS system. I recommend at least 110# cover stock if not heavier. Definitely do not use a light-weight Lettra type paper (used for letterpress designs), because they will be torn and unreadable during delivery.
You can go online to usps.com to see the standard designs available. There are a few different styles each season that can coordinate well with your suite but if you are looking for a design that matches the motif and design of your invitation suite perfectly then you have to check out photo.stamps.com. You are able to upload your custom design or photo and choose the value, as well. I definitely recommend this option if you worked with a custom design studio because it really brings the design full circle. The cost of the stamps will be the value listed on the postage plus an additional fee so be sure to factor that into the budget as well. There is a handy tool on photo.stamps.com to help calculate how much the custom stamps will cost.