The $1.13 invitation

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Most brides expect to drop plenty of cash on pre-nuptial postage, which makes sense considering that so many wedding invitations are outsized and overstuffed. I even had to pay quite a bit extra to mail my invitations as they were too small to be properly read by the USPS sorting machines. But who woulda thunk that orienting the stamps and destination on your envelope incorrectly could turn a $.41 letter into a $1.13 letter?

Alison found this out the hard way, according to Boing Boing.

I’m getting married at the end of the summer and am using a lovely red No 10 standard size envelope. The problem is that I decide to get funky. Instead of addressing the envelopes normally, I decided to orient the envelope vertically and put the stamp at the top (what would be the lower right-hand corner in a normal horizontal envelope).

Since the envelope is still the same size, I mistakenly thought that the postage would be 41 cents. Oh how I was wrong! My invitations all came back to me asking for 17 more cents. I brought them back to the post office, where the surprisingly friendly staff explained that since the simple act of spinning my envelope 90 degrees increased my postage to 58 cents.

But that’s not the end of the story…apparently, Alison was lucky that her invitations made it to their destinations. All but one, that is. When she returned to her local post office to ask what gives, she was told that postage should have been $1.13 on all of her invitations. In the end, she only had to shell out the extra $.58 for one invitation, but she could have prevented a whole mess of confusion by bringing one invitation to the PO to have it weighed and priced. That’s how I found out that I’d have to pay extra for my itty-bitty envelopes! It’s just a good way to prevent one more stressful surprise from rearing its ugly head in the days before your impending marriage.

The Day’s Aside:

Like the envelope above? It comes from Greer, a lovely paper shop based out of Chicago. In addition to their totally sweet invitations and stationary, they also offer a unique range of brilliantly-hued envelopes. Greer affixes 41 cents or more in vintage stamps to envelopes you can mail, as is. No extra postage required!

8 Responses to “The $1.13 invitation”

  1. Toni June 22, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    Yep, if you check the USPS website it addresses that issue. There’s a certain width to height ratio that the envelope must adhere to. They charge extra for square or “tall” envelopes.

    Also, I think it’s pointless for brides to fuss about having their envelopes hand-stamped to avoid the “ugly” machine barcode. First of all, that’s something NO-ONE-ELSE will *ever* notice, and secondly I’ve heard that even if you request hand-stamping, there’s still a chance it will get sent through the machine anyway.

    Though, I suppose that having non-regulation shaped envelopes and having to pay extra postage might be a way to insure hand-stamping, since the machine’s *can’t* process them.

  2. C* June 22, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m making my trial run invite this weekend and a trip to the post office is already on the schedule. I would not be a happy bride if all of my invites got returned for more postage. Thank GOD we are just using A10 envelopes.

  3. C* June 22, 2007 at 1:09 pm #

    Just kidding…they’re A9 envelopes. A little large-ish…I hope they don’t cost extra.

  4. Twistie June 22, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    This story makes me glad I used invitations that were a pretty standard-sized envelope and kept inserts to a minimum. Futzing with postage would have driven me up a tree.

  5. Kai Jones June 22, 2007 at 3:07 pm #

    It’s not just for invites: postage has complicated the day in our office ever since they changed it. Size, shape, orientation, weight, thickness, and flexibility all change your standard envelope into some other category with inflated postage requirements.

  6. Michelle B June 24, 2007 at 12:22 pm #

    Yup, I got my postage wrong too. But thankfully just before I sent them off, I was reading this wedding planning book and it highlighted the problem of incorrect postage as a common wedding budget blunder. Immediately got it weighed and phew! saved myself a bundle (not to mention a lot of headache).

  7. Pencils June 25, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    I had mine hand-stamped, not because of the stamp itself–we used the old “wedding” stamp from before the last increase–but because it wasn’t terribly flat as I had a bow around the whole shebang and I didn’t want it to go through the machines. Although some may have anyway, it’s a risk you have to take. But we spent a good amount of money on the invitations, and I didn’t want them to be ruined.

    I do like the vintage stamp look, except you start to get into the realm of trying just a little too hard, you know? I didn’t want to be one of *those* brides.

  8. Wedding Lover August 26, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    Wow, I guess we got lucky when we sent out our invitations. That is some very informative information that can save a whole bunch of potential issues before they begin. Of course the problem only goes away by throwing more money at it. But a few extra cents on every wedding invitation is worth it to ensure they actually get there (and regarding RSVPs back too)!