Lifestyle Magazine

Warnings: Royal Mail and Your Wedding

By Claire

For any­one who didn’t know, the price of stamps is going up in April. It’s worth think­ing about buy­ing your stamps now to save lots of money. The big­ger / heav­ier your wed­ding invi­ta­tions, the more you’ll save by buy­ing stamps before the 3oth of April.

The price of a first class stamp and what it covers

A stan­dard first class stamp will cost 46p until the 30th of April, when the price will increase to 60p. Stan­dard stamps are valid for items up to 240mm long; 165mm wide, 5mm thick and up to 100g in weight. If you’re post­ing 50 wed­ding invi­ta­tions and they’re that size, that weight, you’ll save £7 (every penny counts!)

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Mea­sure and weigh your wed­ding invites for postage

Larger and heav­ier let­ters cost more to send. If your wed­ding invi­ta­tions con­tain infor­ma­tion sheets, dia­manté buck­les, or are heavy pock­et­fold for­mats, be care­ful to buy the right stamp for their size and weight. Never assume your wed­ding invi­ta­tions weigh less than 100g: it all depends on the card stock you’ve used; the enve­lope qual­ity, and whether you’ve included a reply slip or infor­ma­tion sheet.

How to be sure of what your invi­ta­tions will cost to post

Have one of your made-up wed­ding invi­ta­tion packs weighed at the post office or ask your sta­tioner to cal­cu­late the postage price for you. If you use the wrong stamps and your wed­ding invi­ta­tions cost more to post than you’ve paid, they could be held at the deliv­ery office while your guests are asked to stump up the addi­tional postage cost and a £1 han­dling fee! Don’t for­get the price increase on the 30th of April!

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This hap­pened to one of my wed­ding cal­lig­ra­phy clients this week. The poor girl felt awful as a cou­ple of her guests had had to pay (£1.12) for their wed­ding invi­ta­tions to be delivered!

Stamps or great big ugly postage stick­ers on your invites?

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It might seem eas­ier to get all your wed­ding invi­ta­tions ready and just take them into the post office for them to add your stamps for you. If you’ve spent a lot on mak­ing your wed­ding invi­ta­tions look good, don’t for­get your envelopes. Stamps look nice but those big postage labels they use at post office coun­ters can look awful squidged onto an enve­lope! Ask the counter staff to give you nor­mal stamps instead. Even if you need more than one, two stamps look nicer than a huge sticker on your del­i­cate lit­tle envelopes!
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Wed­ding mail order — use Spe­cial Delivery

When you’re order­ing other bits and pieces for your wed­ding, don’t skimp on guar­an­teed deliv­ery ser­vices, and ask your sup­pli­ers how they post orders out.

Bespoke items worth £100 or more should always be sent by Spe­cial Deliv­ery in my opin­ion: if the sup­plier charges more for this, it’s worth pay­ing. Recorded deliv­ery is not a viable option. In my per­sonal expe­ri­ence Recorded deliv­ery can be no bet­ter than first class: my post­man never used to ask for a sig­na­ture for recorded items, only for Spe­cial Deliv­er­ies. Any­thing ‘Recorded’ was just dumped in my porch with the nor­mal post. Also, even if a Recorded item does go miss­ing, you’ll have to wait a month or so before Royal Mail will accept they’ve lost it and look into the mat­ter for you.

There is a big price dif­fer­ence to watch out for: Recorded deliv­ery costs the same as first class post plus 95p while Spe­cial Deliv­ery costs from £5.90.

See the full price list on the Royal Mail web­site here: Royal Mail 2012 Prices pdf

If you hover over the link it looks strange, but I promise it’s a gen­uine link. If in any doubt go via this page: (scroll down and click on the pdf).

Safe pack­ag­ing for wed­ding items in the post

Don’t skimp on pack­ag­ing if you are send­ing out parcels to sup­pli­ers or post­ing any­thing relat­ing to your wed­ding: your wed­ding invi­ta­tions, for exam­ple, for calligraphy.

I see many dif­fer­ent pack­ag­ing styles when cou­ples send me their invi­ta­tions. Some use two boxes with bub­ble wrap and pro­tec­tive foam while oth­ers sim­ply throw place­cards into a paper enve­lope and hope for the best.

(This week I’ve had an order for enve­lope cal­lig­ra­phy from a groom. It was very care­fully packed and the envelopes arrived in per­fect con­di­tion… in a box for a “cord­less recharge­able leisure infla­tor” — which has kept me smil­ing all week! — it may not be beau­ti­ful pack­ag­ing, but the tis­sue paper and care­ful wrap­ping worked like a charm.)

In my opin­ion it is always worth­while using plenty of pack­ag­ing to pro­tect valu­able items whether these are wed­ding invi­ta­tions or your brides­maids’ acces­sories, and wher­ever you are send­ing them to.

If you have any fur­ther advice about post­ing wed­ding invi­ta­tions or send­ing wed­dingy bits through the post, please use the com­ments box below to share with other cou­ples. Wed­ding sup­pli­ers — do you have any more tips? Eco-friendly pack­ag­ing, perhaps?

Claire x

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