Don’t let the post office ruin your event invitations!! If you’ve taken the time to work with a custom product company and design one-of-a-kind event invitations, you will want them to arrive in perfect condition. We’ve written a blog with detailed instructions of how to communicate with your local post office to properly mail your invitations.
Ask for “Hand Cancelled”
Be sure to bring your invitations into the post office and ask for them to be “hand cancelled.” This means that your envelopes will be stamped by hand. The alternative, and default practice unless you request otherwise, is for them to run your invitations through a machine. Machine cancelling is not only less attractive (have you ever noticed those wavy lines on your mail?), but can damage your envelopes and is especially dangerous for delicate invitations like wood or acrylic.
Talk to Your Post Office
It’s a great idea to assemble a mock-up (complete with all inserts) and bring it into the post office to be weighed and checked by a USPS employee before you purchase postage. They will be able to determine how much postage you need and if any other costs will apply. Some post offices charge extra for hand cancelling.
Tip: Try, try again. When it comes to hand cancelling, one post office employee may quote you something like twenty cents a pop, but the next day another will say it’s complimentary. Takeaway: don’t take the first answer you get (unless it’s the one you want to hear, of course!). If there are multiple post offices in your town, call ahead to each one. If there’s only one, attempt at different times of the day (especially times when they are less busy) until you get the answer you want. P.S. Be polite, and it also helps to mention if it’s for wedding invitations.
Will It Cost More?
Some post offices also charge more for delivering rigid invitations; they classify them as “parcel post.” This is another case where you can try your luck at a different post office. Most are very understanding and supportive of mailing wedding invitations at an affordable cost.
Save Money and Do It Yourself
If the post office quotes you a price for hand cancelling, offer to DIY to save on costs. Many will let you stand at a nearby counter and hand stamp your own invitations to avoid the charge. By doing it yourself this not only ensures that they do in fact get hand cancelled, but also they they’re handled with care and look great.
Get turned down?
You may receive an abrupt, “There’s no such thing as hand-cancelling anymore.” Trust me, there is… You just asked a grumpy postal service employee. While that particular location may not offer it, others in the area likely do. This service is far from extinct and is still common practice for wedding invitations.
It never hurts to mail your wood or acrylic invitations out in thick/padded envelopes or gift boxes! The cost will be more, but is often worth it to ensure your invitations arrive intact and looking great. Visit here for ideas on invitation presentation.