10 things you need to know about mailing your wedding invitations

Mailing your wedding invitations is a huge deal. Mailing them properly is the key to making sure everybody on your guest list receives their invitation in good condition and in plenty of time to respond. After all the work of choosing the invitations, assembling them, and addressing them, though, putting them in the mail often feels like an afterthought.

Here are our tips for getting those gorgeous invitations sent out properly:

Leave plenty of time for invitation assembly so you're not rushed.

Trust me, putting all those invitation pieces together is probably going to take a little longer than you expect, and you don't want to rush and make mistakes. Leave yourself plenty of time to get them put together (which also means ordering them in plenty of time to allow for that). Worse case scenario, you get them done early and have to set them aside until you're ready to add addresses and stamps. That's the kind of problem you want to have, right?

What are those tissue paper inserts for?

Traditionally, those little tissue paper inserts served to prevent the ink on the invitations from smudging during mailing. Many modern printing methods make the tissues unnecessary, but that doesn't mean you can't use them! There are even tissue inserts in fun designs now, so you can use them to add some graphic interest. Not your thing? No problem: They're totally optional.

Square invitations require more postage.

Square envelopes cost more to mail, as do other unusually shaped envelopes, envelopes with the address running parallel to the short side of the envelope, and a few other types of nonstandard mail. If you're planning an invitation that you think might be out of the norm, check with the post office first. Additional charges don't have to mean a change of plans, but you will want to plan for the extra postage in your budget.

Weigh a complete invitation.

Once you have your invitations assembled and stuffed, take one to the post office to be weighed so you know exactly how much they'll cost to send. If you have some invitations that are heavier or thicker than others (those with additional inserts for out-of-towners, for example), have those evaluated separately. It would awful to stamp and send all of your invitations only to have every last one returned to you due to insufficient postage.

Don't lick the adhesive; use glue instead.

After assembling and stuffing all those invitation pieces into their envelopes, the last thing you want is for the envelopes to come open in transit and spill their contents everywhere. To be extra sure your envelopes are securely closed, use a glue stick or something similar instead of trusting the lick-and-stick adhesive on the envelopes. Better yet, buy peel-and-stick envelopes! You can also secure your outer envelope flaps with coordinating washi tape (best for more casual invitations) or with a stick-on seal.

Choose attractive stamps.

The outer envelope is like your envelope's receptionist: It's the part that makes the first impression, so make it a good one! The U.S. Postal Service always has one or two stamp designs that work well for wedding invitations. I love these for D.C. weddings:

If you want something more specific, then you can design and print your own through any number of online services.

Stamp the RSVP envelopes.

Yup, you need to put stamps on those little RSVP envelopes too! They won't stamp themselves, and expecting your invitees to foot the postage bill — however small it may be — is a faux pas.

Don't drop your wedding invitations into a mailbox.

After spending all that time ordering the invitation parts, putting them into their proper envelopes, finding pretty stamps, and maybe even having them professional addressed by a calligrapher, don't just drop them into some corner mailbox. Finish the process properly by walking your invitations into the Post Office and giving them to an actual human being. 

Ask the Post Office to hand cancel your invitations.

Since you're already at the Post Office talking with a human being, go ahead and ask about having your wedding invitations hand cancelled instead of having them sent through the cancelling machine. It looks prettier, and it's not as hard on the envelopes. They might say no, but it never hurts to ask, right? And if they're not super busy, the answer is often yes!

Get a special postmark from a town with a fun name.

This one is purely for bonus points, but it's fun! There are many towns in the U.S. with wonderfully wedding-y names:

  • Bridal Veil, Oregon
  • Loveville, Maryland
  • Valentines, Virginia

And so many more! If you'd like to have the postmark from one of these towns on your wedding invitations, then contact the Postmaster for that town and ask for instructions. You can look up any town's postmaster at the U.S. Postal Service's website.

Do you have more questions about wedding invitations? Post them in the comments, or ask your wedding planner! We're always happy to help with small-but-important details like these.