Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions…
When should I send out Save the Dates?
For good measure I suggest mailing your Save the Dates 6-8 months before the wedding. Save the Dates are not necessary but will give guests traveling from out go town adequate time to plan their trip.
When should I send out our Wedding Invitations?
When researching the answer to this question you’re sure to get a mixed bag of answers. Here’s my best advice when taking into consideration current delays in mailing times.
If you sent out Save the Dates you can comfortably mail your invitations 3-4 months before your wedding. Guests have already been given a heads up and have hopefully been considering their travel plans at this point.
If you did not send out Save the Dates then giving your guests a bit more time to plan is always a good idea. With today’s current socioeconomic climate I recommend sending your invitations 5-6 months before your wedding. Some family or friends may really want to be there but need a little extra time to plan and save for travel and accommodations.
How many Save the Dates and Invitations should I print?
One bit of information I always remember to give couples is the quantity of save the Dates/Invitations needed. You will need one for every HOUSEHOLD, not one per guest. Be sure to print at least 5-10 extras just in case, and don’t forget to save one for yourself! You’ll enjoy looking back on your stationery years down the road.
How much postage do I need?
The amount of postage you will need is going to depend on what’s inside, and outside, the envelope.
A 5×7 invitation only in an A7 (5.25″ x 7.25″) envelope will likely only need a standard 55¢ stamp or a Forever stamp. **The postage rate is increasing by 3¢ as of Sunday, August 29, 2021, from 55¢ to 58¢. Your forever stamps will still work. Add an RSVP, enclosure card, belly band, and envelope liner and you can expect to need a .75¢ stamp (or combination of stamps that equal 75¢) or more.
Wax seals are one of my favorite ways to embellish and add personality to stationery. They do require a little extra care and postage though. Mail today is sent through a sorting machine – wax seals don’t always make it through those machines unscathed. Here are your options for keeping your wax seals looking amazing.
- Ask your postmaster to hand cancel your invitations. This option costs an additional 21¢ per envelope but will keep your invitations from being crammed through the sorting machines which might tear up your wax seals. A postal worker will mark up the postage by hand to indicate that the postage has been used and will also keep those unsightly red barcodes from being printed at the bottom of your envelopes. *Pro-tip: not all post office employees know what hand-canceling is. Make sure they understand your request, and if they don’t, ask them to consult their supervisor or another postal worker.
- Use an outer envelope. Assemble, seal, and place your wax seal on your A7 envelope, then place that into a slightly larger envelope called an “outer envelope” (5.5″ x 7.5″). This is the envelope that you’ll address and add postage to. It acts as an added layer of protection for your wax seals and helps keep your A7 envelope from getting dirty during transit. I recommend hand cancelling for this option as well to keep everything looking crisp but isn’t necessary.
- Place your wax seal on the inside of the envelope as an embellishment on the belly band, vellum wrap, or ribbon tie. Wax seals aren’t just for sealing envelopes anymore! They can be used in many creative ways to personalize your stationery.
However you decide to assemble your stationery, it’s a good idea to take a fully assembled invitation to your local post office and have the postmaster weigh it. To be certain your invitations reach their destination they’ll be able to tell you exactly how much postage you’ll need.
What are my options for stamps?
The post office has a small variety of pretty stamps in different amounts that will work nicely for stationery. Not every post office carries all of the varieties so check with your local branch to see what they carry, or visit store.usps.com to order the stamps you want.
What kind of paper should I print my invitations on?
I partner with Prints of Love because they make this part a breeze. They give you three paper options: gloss, matte, and linen.
- My go-to is their matte option which is a smooth, high quality white cardstock. This paper is a great all-around option for invitations and enclosure cards of all designs and colors.
- Linen is a nice option if you want a little texture to your stationery. It’s a bit less traditional but is beautiful for stationery that is simpler and has a lot of white space.
- I do not usually recommend gloss but if that’s the look you like go for it!
For at-home printing I recommend purchasing a cover weight smooth white card stock of 100 lb – 130 lb. This type of card stock can be found at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or even Walmart. Amazon is of course a great resource also. Just be sure to check your printer’s capabilities as not all at-home printers can feed heavier 130 lb. card stocks through them. I found this out the hard way!