Monthly Archives: February 2010

From The Archives

Invite Assembly: Part 4

February 26, 2010


The postage you choose can add the final finishing touch to your envelopes. It’s like the perfect bow on a well-wrapped gift. Just like with the addressing, the postage can really help form a great impression and create a little excitement for your guests. When your invitation arrives in someone’s mailbox, you want them to think “Oh! What’s this? How lovely!” rather than thinking it might be another bill.

Stamps are little pieces of commissioned artwork and with so many beautiful options available, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick a pretty design. You can either look for stamps that will work with the color palette of your wedding or you can search for stamps with a similar theme or aesthetic. Here are a few examples:

finding the perfect postage 1

A variety of stamps in pink and grey coordinate with this grey and white invitation.
invitation shown: Ameera

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A mix of vintage stamps featuring birds and trees works well for a rustic wedding.
invitation shown: Love Logo #12

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postage for destination wedding invitations

These ‘Tropical Flowers’ stamps are perfect for a destination wedding. (These are actually a favorite of mine because I used them on my own invitations back in 2001!)
invitation shown: Love Logo #24

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A few of our recent customers have had military weddings – these ‘presidential’ stamps would be appropriate.
invitation shown: Love Logo #1

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postage stamps for a modern wedding

A simple, modern stamp for a modern wedding.
invitation shown: Gwen

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The first place to start your search is, of course the post office. Ask to see all of the current stamps and determine if any have the look you’re going for. If there’s nothing at the post office that strikes your fancy, the next best place will be your local Stamp & Coin shop. Stamp & Coin shops can be a veritable treasure trove. I have spent literally HOURS at my local shop pouring over all the delightful little goodies. I don’t know the first thing about stamp collecting but I can certainly appreciate beautiful things – who knew these dusty little shops could be so inspiring! Anyway, I digress…

The great thing about the Stamp & Coin shop is that you can find lovely vintage stamps as well as designs that are more recent but no longer available at the post office. There are, however, a few things to consider:

First, if you plan to use the stamps, you will need to buy them in mint condition. The mint condition value tends to be a bit higher than the face value of the stamp – especially for the really vintage designs. For example, you might pay 20 cents for a 15 cent stamp.

Secondly, the older the stamp, the smaller it’s value will be. For example, some stamps from the 1950’s are only valued at 3 or 4 cents each. Be sure to look for stamps with higher values (15 cents or greater) since your postage will need to add up to 44 cents (or more, depending on the weight of your invitations).

Of course, you will need to consider your budget in all this. Vintage stamps are a bit more expensive and depending on how many invitations you need to send, the cost can add up. For me personally, the small additional cost is well worth it but it all depends on what’s most important to you. It is, at least, something to consider.

Anyone out there planning to hunt for pretty postage for your invitations?

From The Archives

Invite Assembly: Part 3

February 25, 2010


As mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this little series, one of the first things you need to do when you receive your wedding stationery is to address the envelopes. I wanted to focus on this today because the way you choose to address your envelopes can make a really good or really bad impression, regardless of what’s inside the envelope. I’ve pulled together a few tips which I hope will be helpful.

addressing your invitation envelopes

I personally have an absolute love affair with calligraphy and I think it should always be the first choice. Having your guests’ names and addresses beautifully penned by a pro will add a certain elegance and style to even the most simple (and affordable) invitations.

If you’re thinking about hiring a calligrapher, click here for a few helpful tips on how to get the process started. You can also find a list of talented calligraphers here.

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If calligraphy is not in the budget, the next best option is to hand address the envelopes yourself. If your handwriting is not up to par, solicit the help of a family member or good friend with better penmanship. Although your own handwriting might not be as artistic as a calligrapher’s, that’s perfectly fine – what’s more important is that it will be personal. The mere fact you have taken the time to address each and every envelope will make your guests feel as though they really have been personally invited to share in your special day.

The key to hand-addressing is to give yourself time. Don’t try to knock out 150 envelopes in an hour. Allow yourself a week or two (maybe more, depending on how many envelopes you need to address) and do just a few each day.

quick tip: Print 3-4 thick black lines on a piece of paper then slide that template inside the envelope to use as a guide so that when you write the address, your lines are as evenly spaced and as neat as possible.

another tip: Be sure to get yourself a really good pen – one that won’t bleed or run. Also avoid using a thick marker-type pen… this tends to look a bit unrefined.

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Please, I implore you, please don’t stick printed address labels on your invitation envelopes! Yes, I know, it’s easy… but there’s nothing more impersonal than to receive an invitation with a printed label. Labels give the impression that you just didn’t have the time or energy to hand-write the envelopes. Although this might be true (we’re all busy after all, and wedding planning is a lot of work!), you’ve already taken time to choose just the right invitation and you’ve thought long and hard about your wording… the last thing you want to do is to give a less-than-ideal impression in the end.

I think the best use of a label is if it’s a decorative one. A decorative label can add another design element to your envelopes if the label carries the same motif, pattern or colors as your invitations. You would, of course, still need to hand-write the addresses on the labels.

quick tip: The printed label rule also goes for the return address on the envelope flap. The best bet is to have your return address pre-printed on the envelope flaps when you order your invitations. You could also have a special rubber stamp made with your address and a coordinating motif, then hand-stamp the envelope flaps.

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If you feel as though hand addressing is simply out of the question and you’re a savvy DIY-er, another option would be to print the addresses directly on the envelopes. Although still not ideal, this option is not quite as impersonal as generic printed address labels. If you find a nice font, you can set up a file  which you can use to type each address (in Adobe Illustrator, Word, PhotoShop… whatever you’re most comfortable with), then print each envelope on your desktop printer. Ideally, you would want to use a laser printer since the ink would be less likely to run than an inkjet printout if the envelopes are delivered on a rainy day.

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Well, that’s my two cents on how to address your envelopes. Hope it was helpful. Tomorrow we’ll chat about the final finishing touch: postage.

I Fancy That

Inspiring Images: No. 20

February 24, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

I know I’m supposed to be focusing on invitation assembly this week but I just had to take a break to share these pretty photos. Yes, I’m easily distracted by beautiful things… it’s sad. Aren’t these lovely?:

So pretty and quirky. A bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel, no? Which reminds me, can’t wait to see this.

Back to the invite assembly tips tomorrow!

Photo Credits:
Images by Arthur Elgort

From The Archives

Invite Assembly: Part 2

February 23, 2010


Yesterday I shared a visual guide on how to stuff envelopes for a set of standard, rectangle-shaped  invitations. As promised, today I will focus specifically on unique sizes… namely square and tea-length invites. Stuffing these envelopes really is not much different but since I receive several questions about these particular sizes, I figured it would be worthwhile to post a separate visual guide.

First: Square invites. This set includes the invitation with double envelopes and the response set:

Just as shown yesterday, you will want to address the invitation envelopes and add stamps to the response envelopes first. Then, stack your various cards on top of the invitation. In this case, there’s no need to turn the response set vertically – simply place it horizontally on top of the invitation.

Insert the stack of cards into the inner envelope with the text facing up towards the flap so the design is visible when the inner envelope is first opened:

how to stuff square envelopes

Place the inner envelope inside the outer envelope, making sure the names on the inner envelope face up towards the flap so the writing is visible when the outer envelope is opened. When you’re ready to add your stamps, remember that square invitations require more postage than standard sizes.

Now, the tea-length invitations are the ones we get the most questions about. I think the confusion comes in because of the tall envelope – brides often ask us how a 5″ wide response card can fit inside such a long, skinny envelope. Also, the fact that the flap is on the short end of the envelope tends to be a bit confusing for some. Fret not. Here’s how it works:

Here, we have an invitation with double envelopes, response set and enclosure card.

As usual, the various cards should be arranged by size, from the largest to the smallest, which means the invitation will be at the bottom of the stack. Group the the response card and response envelope together then turn the response set vertically and place it on top of the invitation (images 2 & 3 below). The reception card and any other enclosures would then be stacked on top.

You’ll notice that the flaps of our tea-length envelopes are located on the short end of the envelope (these are called French flaps) – don’t let that throw you off. When addressing the envelopes, lay them horizontally as you normally would… it’s just that the flap will be on the right side rather than at the top (like with a standard business size envelope).

Insert the inner envelope into the outer envelope as usual, add postage and you’re good to go! Depending on how many enclosures are included in your set, the postage could vary a bit but there are no special postage rates for tea-length envelopes.

That’s it for stuffing envelopes. Tomorrow we’ll chat about methods of addressing.