Designing and Mailing the Perfect Wedding invitation

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DBY events & invitations is a full service planning and stationery design firm here to help with all your event needs – including coordination, rentals and décor, stationery design and specialty monogram creation.

Almost a decade ago, we began simply by stocking paper products and designing communiques for clients’ celebrations. Now we are a complete planning partner in our 10th year and our second studio. We’re thrilled to bring you a few tips and tricks for monograms and mailing.

We believe the custom process should always include a sketch session, a monogram discussion and a proof appointment. Monograms can be 2-letter (first names) or 3-letter (married monogram). If adhering to tradition, it should correspond to the timing of the paper goods ordered. Technically, the 3-letter monogram should only be used after marriage. The first initial intertwined version is a great place to begin.

Once all your design sketches are created, your presented proof should look exactly as the ordered stocks will look to ensure that mailing characteristics are exactly the same as your finished order. Be sure you receive the same type of envelope as ordered – it makes a mailing difference.

Mail it to yourself. Take it to the post office. Ask someone to weigh it and check it with the sorters to check the cost. Track the days it takes to arrive, and see what condition it’s in when it comes. Only after you’re satisfied with the envelope’s condition should you purchase your total postage. Remember, it’s also a possibility to have a specially designed stamp created for you (featuring that pre-wedding monogram) after you know the exact amount each invitation will demand.

The three most important terms to remember when mailing your amazing invitations are:

1. Non-Machineable: An envelope that isn’t able to run through postal machines. Anything too rigid, too thick or not the right shape is non-machineable. Most custom pocket invitations and large or square envelopes fit into this category. There is a fee for this, but it’s only paid once and gives you the privilege of hand sorting your envelopes.

2. Hand Sorted vs. Hand Cancelled: The process by which small packages are run through the postal system. We tell every client to put their invitations in the bin with the ‘spurs’ (a postal term) to ensure that a person looks at them every step along the way. This is NOT the same as hand cancelling, which simply means that a person behind the counter puts a mark over the stamps to show they have been “spent.”

3. Additional Postage: The amount over a first class forever stamp (currently $ .45) to mail an invitation. Extra weight and larger sizes make a difference. Boxed invitations are comparable to large envelopes, but could be even more if too heavy.

We always keep all these terms and thoughts in mind when helping you design and contract your stationery suite. In addition to these important terms, DBY can help you learn about minimum mailing sizes, postcards vs. envelopes, custom postage designs and much more to make your stationery the most personal expression of your event.

As a full service event studio, we keep budget, etiquette and personality in mind, but always try to remember that the invitation sets the tone for the event. It’s the first thing guests see, and it will be what they use as a benchmark for how to dress and what to expect at the celebration itself. Let us help your style shine through!

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About Kasey Larson

Kasey Larson is president/co-founder of DBY events & invitations. And while you'd think her background is in hospitality, events or design, it's actually by way of a finance/marketing degree from DePaul University that this entrepreneur has the knowledge to run the successful independent business. Ms. Larson holds a C.P.A. certification, which is very effective in helping her plan for clients staying on budget. She also holds a design certification and a minor in art. After working in fundraising event management and advertising, she joined forces in 2003 with her co-founder and began the retail design studio that would grow into DBY events & invitations. Over the last 20 years, she has planned huge city-wide walks, small intimate dinner parties, weddings and business events for a wide range of clientele everywhere from Chicago’s Museum Campus to some of the city’s most elegant ballrooms to private estate beaches.