"What is this trend, and how did you get into this?"
I fell in love with vintage postage after seeing images of beautiful wedding invitations on which vintage stamps were used in wild, yet organized, abandon.
After collecting thousands of vintage stamps to address my own wedding invitations in a similar fashion, I found myself left with both a growing collection of vintage postage, and a growing desire to share the many ways one can combine vintage postage in a fashion that awes the recipient.
In an age where paper correspondence is used less-and-less, my husband and I wanted our invitations to stand out and impress our guests. We were overwhelmed by the response we got from our wedding guests, and we have been similarly overwhelmed by the feedback we've received from our clients.
Recipients are touched by the effort and thought that goes into curating a beautiful set of vintage postage, and we're convinced that a gorgeous set of postage can help set the tone for a lovely event. We can't wait to help you find the perfect set of vintage postage.
... I am passionate about postage
"how much do custom collections cost?..."
We price out custom sets by the stamp (you can browse stamp-by-stamp pricing in our shop section). While pricing varies, we can provide some general guidelines of what we typically see for most of our projects:
Postage for 0 - 1 ounce rectangular envelopes ($0.55 on envelope) usually runs between $1.00 - $3.50 per envelope (e.g., save the dates & response envelopes)
Postage for 1 - 2 ounce rectangular envelopes ($0.70 on envelope) usually runs between $2.50 - $4.50 per envelope (e.g., most rectangular wedding invitations)
Postage for 0 - 1 ounce square envelopes ($0.70 on envelope) usually runs between $2.50 - $4.50 per envelope (e.g., square save the dates)
Postage for 1 - 2 ounce square envelopes ($0.85 on envelope) usually runs between $3.00 - $5.00 per envelope (e.g., most square wedding invitations)
Postage over 2 ounces, or postage for irregular sized, thick, or rigid invitations will be in excess of the estimates above. Please check with your post office on expected shipping costs and we can go from there.
...In short: It varies!
"how do i know how much vintage postage i need?"
Great question that is best left to the pros at the US Post Office. You can take an assembled invitation to the post office to have it weighed & measured, and you can also use the USPS Postage Calculator to get a good estimate.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Envelope Size: For your envelopes to qualify as a “Letter”, the envelope must meet the following guidelines:
The envelope must be rectangular, and must be at least 3-1/2” high, and 5” wide (an envelope that is 3” x 6” would not qualify because the shortest side is shorter than 3-1/2”).
The envelope also cannot be larger than 6-1/8” x 11-1/2’ (an envelope that is 6-1/2” x 9” would not qualify because the “shortest” edge is longer than 6-1/8”).
The nuances here can be confusing, so please take your envelope to the post office to confirm (more detail on USPS letter sizing here).
Non-Machinable Characteristics: If you are adding a wax seal, a button, external ribbon, or if you are writing the address sideways, or if you have an invitation that is “too rigid” (along with a handful of other nuances), you will likely also need to pay a “non-machinable surcharge” as your envelope will require hand processing. As this time, the surcharge is $0.21. Again, the recommendation is to take your fully asembled invitation to the post office to confirm. (more details on USPS non-machinable characteristics here)
If you are mailing a standard sized letter rectangular envelope that weighs less than 1 oz., you will need 1 "forever" stamp, or 50¢ worth of postage. Keep in mind that postage rates do fluctuate up and down over time, so double and triple check before you apply your vintage postage! There is a postage rate change scheduled for January 2019.
If you are mailing a square envelope that weighs less than 1 oz., or a rectangular envelope that weighs between 1-2 oz. (most wedding invitations) domestically, you will need 71¢ worth of postage.
...Yes, square envelopes cost more to mail than rectangular envelopes, and each additional ounce costs an additional amount...
...Yes, international envelopes also require additional postage...
...Check with your post office to be sure!
"what should i keep in mind as i plan my invitation timeline?"
Most event invitations (though etiquette varies by event) should go out in the mail 6-8 weeks before the event takes place, especially if you are asking guests to send a response. That means that you should be thinking about putting your vintage postage on envelopes at least 2 months before your event takes place.
Applying vintage postage to your envelopes can be a time-consuming task. You should dedicate at least a few hours to ensure that you are not rushed, and that you can take the time to line up your stamps, and apply them with care.
Are you working with a calligrapher? That takes time too – calligraphers vary on their timelines, so ask your calligrapher how early they need your envelopes to ensure that you get them back in time to apply your postage.
...Planning is key!
"what is hand cancelling, and why should i THINK ABOUT havING it done?"
Each stamp needs to be “Cancelled” so that it cannot be peeled off and used again (USPS Protocol). Hand cancelling usually ensures that your envelopes are handled with care at your home post office, and cancelled without being run through a large cancelling machine.
Please note that many post offices no longer offer hand cancelling as the reality is that once your envelopes get dropped at the post office, they are entirely out of your hands and will likely be run through a machine somewhere along the journey, regardless of whether they were hand cancelled up front. That said, sometimes it’s just best to drop them in the normal mail receptacle.
The one major recommendation we have here is to confirm that if they are going to hand cancel them, that they don’t use a marker to do it - they should be using a rubber stamp. This is a good question to ask as sadly, we’ve seen this happen more than once.
...Hand cancelling recommended if it’s offered!
“what's the best way to adhere my stamps?"
I find that the best method of adhering stamps to an envelope is just to lick the stamps. I’ve tried wet sponges, sponge pens, glue pads, glue sticks, etc., and most of these methods result in either a very sticky mess (read: sloppy invitation), or over-wet stamps that wrinkle your envelopes and don't stick nearly as well.
...Just lick the stamps... it works better than anything else
...rosé is a great palate cleanser *cheers*
"I see a lot of beautiful calligraphy and invitation suites featured on your site and on your social media, where can I find something similar?"
Unless otherwise noted, all paper suites featured on our website were designed and graciously provided by Cheree Berry Paper.
Unless otherwise noted, all calligraphy is by Suzanne Cunningham.