How much postage does my wedding invitation need?

As of August 2014 the postage rate is $0.49. It’s not much, even if you are sending out 300 invitations, but there are some other things to take into consideration when budgeting for wedding stationery that will have an effect on your budget.

So many brides forget to include postage in their stationery budgets. Not only for invitations, but for all the thank you notes as well! Postage rates are based on certain criteria like weight, size and shape. Before you budget for and mail your invitations, you should be aware of some surcharges that can increase the cost of mailing your invitations.

1. Weight

The maximum weight of a letter at the standard postage rate you can send is 1 oz. This is usually for your typical birthday card or thank you note.

With wedding invitations, you are including more paper such as reply cards and/or a reception enclosure.

Most wedding invitations, even with these enclosures are ok at the regular postage rate, but be sure to check with your local post office, or ask you invitation designer how much your invitations will weigh.

Heavier, more quality papers, double envelopes and pocket style invitations will require more postage due to weight. Here is a guide to help you, but check with a professional:

Less than 1.0 oz. = $.45

Less than 2.0 oz. = $.65

Less than 3.0 oz. = $.85

Less than 3.5 oz. = $1.05

 

2. Size

If you are thinking of doing anything unique, like a concert ticket style response card or a large poster style invitation, you may need to consider increasing your postage budget. The minimum size of letter that you can mail is 3.5×5 inches. The maximum is 6.25×11.5 inches.

For square envelopes, the minimum size is 5×5 inches. Your invitation designer will be able to help you understand any additional postage fees if you are thinking outside the box!

 

3. Shape

Most invitations or letters are rectangular in shape. Square envelopes incur a $0.20 postage surcharge each. Square invitations are modern and fun, but your postage rates will incur a surcharge, even if your invitation meets the weight and size specifications. Please calculate that into your invitation budget before settling on a design.

 

4. Non-Machinable Characteristics

Non-machinable characteristics are letters that need to be hand sorted because they cannot be read by the Post Office sorting machines. An employee must hand sort each envelope.

In addition to being square or not meeting weight restrictions, letters that meet one or more of the non-machinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.20 non-machinable surcharge as well:

  • It is too rigid – does not bend easily (Pocket fold invitations are usually considered too rigid)
  • It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
  • It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
  • It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
  • Adding ribbon, rhinestones, feathers or any other adornments can increase the postage

How much would postage for a square invitation with rhinestones and pockets will probably cost, you ask? At least $0.89 each.

So, if you’re sending out 200 invitations you would need to budget for at least $178 for invitation postage. On top of that, you need to budget for $196 for postage for 200 save the dates and 200 response cards (for designs with no embellishments or odd shapes).

This brings you to a grand total of $374 for all postage. Whew, that was a lot of math, I know. But I can help you with that.

Don’t let postage costs surprise you in your wedding invitation budget! We’re here to help! If you are interested in having Something Detailed design your wedding invitation suite and need help with postage too, set up a consultation with Jennifer now!