How to Mail Wedding Invitations + Etiquette Tips
Mailing your wedding invitations seems pretty straightforward, right? Not so fast…there are a few important things to remember before sending them out. Here’s a step-by-step to show you how to mail wedding invitations properly.
Step 1. Stamp and address all of the response card envelopes.
This is standard wedding invitation etiquette and an important courtesy to extend to your guests. Feel free to hand address the response card envelopes with your return address or use labels. Guests will find it that much easier to drop their responses in the mail, which means you get a more accurate head count without having to call so many late responders.
Step 2. Stuff the envelopes with your wedding invitation ensembles.
Do you know how the different pieces should be arranged before going into the envelope? Don’t worry, it can be tricky. We recommend reading this guide for Assembling Your Wedding Invitations.
Step 3. Have one stuffed envelope weighed at the post office.
Many wedding invitation ensembles can be mailed for one standard postage stamp or the cost of a wedding stamp (70¢ per 2 oz rather than 49¢ per 1 oz). However, if you choose a uniquely shaped invitation (square, for example) or if you upgrade to a thicker paper, you may surpass the weight limit per stamp. Have one ensemble weighed so you know exactly how much postage you need.
Step 4. Stamp them!
Get some pretty stamps for mailing those beautiful wedding invitations. The post office has a few options for wedding stamps but you can also get custom stamps from a number of places. Shutterfly has a really nice selection of custom postage stamps if you’re looking for something a little more personalized. Whichever way you go, be sure to order enough stamps for your invitations and response cards.
Step 5. Drop them in the mail.
Send your invitation six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date, or 10-12 weeks for a destination wedding.
Important Note: Wedding invitations that are “non-machineable” (square, tea-length, boxed invitations, etc.) will be hand processed. You can request to have standard invitations hand processed for an additional fee of 20¢ per envelope to avoid possible damage from machine sorting. Some post offices offer a hand canceling option, which means each invitation is hand stamped to indicate it has been processed. This option is free but there is no guarantee that hand-canceled mail will be kept separate from standard.
7 Etiquette Tips for Addressing Invitations
Tip 1. Everyone invited should receive an invitation. Don't overlook people you know will be attending (parents, bridal party, ushers, etc.)
Tip 2. Clearly print the names of all invited on the inner envelope. This is your chance to state each person by name (this includes children).
Tip 3. Only one invitation per married couple.
Tip 4. Indicate a plus one is welcome by writing “and guest” after the recipient’s name on the inner envelope.
Tip 5. Invitations to unmarried couples should be sent to the closest friend but each person’s name (first and last) should appear on the inner envelope.
Tip 6. Children under the age of 18 are included in their parents’ invitation.
Tip 7. Children older than 18 should receive their own invitations, even if living at home.
Learn more about properly addressing your wedding invitations by reading the Inner and Outer Envelopes Explanation and Etiquette.