What I wish everyone knew about invitation postage
An important element to any special event - the invitations! Invitation postage that is. If e-invites are not your thing, then postage is important for you to understand. It's a sneaky cost and if you are not prepared, it can add up very quickly.
Here are some facts to keep in mind when invitation shopping:
The maximum size for a standard LETTER is 11 1/2" long x 6 1/8" high. It has to be completely flexible and less than 1/4" inch thick. A letter sent first-class and weighs 1 ounce (about 4 sheets of regular white printer paper) will cost you 47¢ per envelope. After that, postage goes up 21¢ per 1 ounce. If it is not flexible, that will incur a non-machinable fee of 21¢.
It's should be common knowledge that a standard card-stock wedding invitation with all pertinent enclosures will weigh more than 1-ounce. Sometimes those added enclosures make the envelope too stiff adding to the postage. Being that the current postage is around 50¢, plus 21¢ for an additional ounce and another 21¢ for being too rigid, this will bring one invitation to 92¢. Plus, wedding invitations usually include a return envelope with postage (that is usually a regular stamp) which will add on another 50¢. That brings the total for one invitation to around $1.42.
Are you still with me? Because It can get trickier. Proceed with caution when ordering invitations with very thick paper. If your invitation does not appear to be flexible and feels more like a thin piece of cardboard than a letter you can assume that will be more than 1/4” thick. Believe it or not, once it goes past that 1/4’ mark, your invitations automatically go into the small package category!
Small packages have a starting rate of $3.50 up to the first 4-ounces. Those cute musical cards are usually over the maximum thickness and have the package rate.
Also, keep in mind, if you plan on sending little trinkets with your invitations (i.e. bells, thick buttons, rhinestones, or bows) these little guys could push the thickness of your envelope to over the 1/4” thickness. Additionally, any of these items also incur the extra non-machinable rate. If your invitations are being mailed in any type of box, tube, scroll, or unusual container, they will for sure go as a package rate. Unless you have a really generous budget, you have to keep these things in mind.
Another measurement to be aware of is the height of your envelope, if it is more than 6 1/8", this puts in in the large envelope category. That starts at $1.00 and also has an additional 1-ounce rate of 21¢. If your invitation is too stiff, it automatically is charged at the package rate. These are small details that have a major impact.
THE FANCY SQUARE INVITATION
You’ve probably seen this type more recently within the past few years. These little beauties have become very popular and most people do not realize that square anything is an automatic non-machinable charge. This goes for holiday and birthday cards as well.
The same goes for fancy wax seals on the back of the invitations. They are an automatic non-machinable rate
RSVP Cards/ Postcards
Lastly, the RSVP enclosure. If it has a return envelope it will be the 1-ounce rate, currently 50¢. The current postcard rate is 35¢. The MAXIMUM size for a postcard is 4 1/14" high 6" in length. Anything larger than that is charged at the 1-ounce rate.
Remember that Invitations come in all shapes and thicknesses. The best way to confirm costs is to go to the post office and have them weigh and measure the envelopes. This method, however, requires a lot of patience and which may not always be feasible with a busy schedule.