Certified Mail Labels | How To Properly Assemble and Mail Wedding InvitationsIt’s officially Spring. This means wedding and graduation season is finally upon us.

Wedding bells are beginning to ring and graduation caps will soon be tossed. Planning for these exciting, monumental life events includes a task that many consider a chore- preparing and sending invitations. Consequently, inciting panic during what should be a season of celebration.

How do you stuff an invitation into an envelope? What is the etiquette for invitations? How do you put together a wedding invitation? How do you stuff an envelope with a RSVP card? Why do graduation invitations have 2 envelopes?

So many questions and so much stress swirls around what’s actually a simple task. When you understand the proper order and etiquette, assembling your invitations is easy. Once stuffed, they're ready for the mail. Family and friends will not only join in your season of celebration, but they’ll also be impressed with your formality.

Weddings and Graduations Power the Invitation Industry

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, weddings plunged in 2020. However, the industry is bouncing back with force. This year, over 2 million people are set to say, “I Do!”

According to The Knot, the average wedding in 2023 costs $30,000. Wedding Services in the United States is a $70 billion industry.

Wedding invitations cost, on average, $510 based on a Knot.com study. This figure does not include invitations to showers, bridal events, or save the dates. Brides suggest that couples should allot 4-6% of their wedding budget towards invitations.

Both industry leaders site that the quantity, style, and detail elements contribute to the expense.

The U.S. Department of Education predicts that just under 3.5 million students will graduate from high school this year. Approximated 4.7 million more students will be graduating with their secondary education degrees in 2023. These include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctor’s degrees.

Graduation announcements are different from wedding invitations as the options vary greatly. Most people who think of graduation announcements, typically picture traditional announcements which feature the school seal embossed on the outside.

Larger vendors, such as Balfour and Josten, sell graduation announcements through the school. These vendors often provide other services, such as class rings and letter jackets, as well.

This style announcements run, on average, $115-$200 per 25 cards. The price is often al la carte. Grads can build their own package. These announcements include two envelopes, tissue paper, a personalized name card, and sticker seals.

In recent years, non-traditional announcements have gained popularity as graduates and their parents search for other options. Options that are less expensive, require less assembly, and also offer a more personalized theme to the graduate. Many grads opt for an announcement that includes a photo spread from their graduation session and details for their graduation party. Popular online retailers for non-traditional announcements/invitations are Shutterfly, Minted, or VistaPrint.

There is no right or wrong option. Graduates and their parents should choose the option that serves them and their budget best!

Invitation Do’s and Don’ts

DO- Consider mailing your invitations via Certified Mail®.

Even though invitations are not typically sent Certified, it does guarantee letter tracking and delivery confirmation. The convenience that comes with sending Certified Mail from the comfort of your own home with Certified Mail Labels is unmatched.

DO- Pay attention to when you mail your invitations and announcements.

Wedding invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding.

Graduations announcements that do not include an invitation to a ceremony or party can be sent anytime during the grad season. They can even be mailed up to two weeks after the graduation itself.

If the announcement does include an invitation, then it should be mailed at least two weeks prior to the event. However, allowing guests to plan for travel is considerate. So, four to six weeks before graduation is ideal.

DO- Tally your guest list before ordering your invitations and announcements.

Save time and money by knowing the exact number of invitations or announcements you need prior to placing your order.

DO- Hand cancel your invitations if necessary.

When it comes time to mail your wedding invitations, do your homework. If your invitation suite includes additions, such as wax seals or ribbons, request the Postal Service to hand cancel them. This means, the envelope is stamped by hand instead of running through the machine for processing.

Envelopes that are not perfectly flat can get stuck in the machine. As a result, the recipient will receive their invitations in a tattered and distressed state. Note: Be prepared to pay an additional fee for hand canceling.

DON’T- Forget postage for your response cards.

It is proper etiquette to have the envelope of the response card filled out with your name and address. As well as, postage in place. The goal is to make the response process simple and effortless for your guests. They should be able to fill in their response, place it in the envelope, and mail it back to you.

Note: The M on the response card begins their title. Such as, Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss.

How to Assemble Invitations and Announcements

Before assembly, take inventory of all items that are to be stuffed. To work most efficiently it is best to set up an assembly line. Place the items in the order in which you will pack them and begin stacking. As a general rule of thumb, items are typically stacked from largest to smallest.

Wedding Invitations

A traditional wedding invitation suite includes four items: the invitation, the response card and its envelopes, the mailing envelope, and postage. Additional elements include direction cards, secondary envelopes, insert cards, affixing elements, etc.

How To Properly Assemble and Mail InvitationsOrder to Assemble:

  1. Invitation
  2. Tissue Paper- This item is optional. Historically, the tissue paper prevented ink from running, but ink today rarely smudges.
  3. Insert Card(s)- These include direction cards, accommodation cards, reception information, etc. They should be placed largest to smallest.
  4. Response Envelope and Card- Place the filled-out envelope face down and put the response card, face up, inside the envelope flap.
  5. Inner envelope- If you are using two envelopes, insert the stacked items above into the inner envelope face up.
  6. Outer envelope. - Insert the stacked items above into the envelope face up. If using a secondary/inner envelope, stuff this filled envelope into the outer envelope face-up and folded edge first. Seal the outer envelope.
  7. Address the outer envelope with the recipient’s formal name and address. Write the return address in the upper left corner and add the postage stamp to the upper right corner. Note: Some couples use customized or vintage stamps to add a personalized touch to the invitation.

Using ribbons, bands, and wax seals? Here’s what you need to know.

Graduation Announcements

One thing they probably didn’t teach you in school is how to stuff your graduation announcements. So, we’ve got you covered.

A single piece announcement/invitation should be placed face up into the exterior envelope and sealed. If you have multiple elements, see the order below. As with any invitation suite, items are typically stacked from largest to smallest and always face-up. The recipient should not have to flip an item to view it upon removing the stack from the envelope.

Announcements should be addressed by hand using blue or black ink.

How To Properly Assemble and Mail AnouncementsOrder to Assemble:

  1. Insert the name card and tissue paper into the announcement. The name card should be placed in the designated cut outs to hold it properly. Note: Photos of the graduate or details about a graduation party should be placed inside the announcement.
  2. Place the announcement, face-up and folded edge first, into the inner envelope (smaller envelope with no gummy flap).
  3. Secure the inner envelope closed with seal or monogrammed stickers included with the announcement suite.
  4. Be sure the inner envelope is noted with the recipient’s name or what the graduate called them. Example: Grandma Jane, Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen, etc. These are less formal than the outer envelopes notations.
  5. Insert the inner envelope, flap side down, into the outer envelope.
  6. Seal and address the outer envelope with the recipient’s formal name and address. Example: Ms. Jane Smith, Mr. Bob and Mrs. Karen Jones.
  7. Write the return address in the upper left corner and add the postage stamp to the upper right corner.

Mailing Invitations and Announcements

Now that your cards are stuffed and addressed, they are ready to be mailed. USPS postage is typically used to send wedding invitations and graduation announcements. To ensure delivery, we encourage you to consider sending via Certified Mail with Certified Mail® Labels.

Conveniently address and print USPS Certified Mail® Labels online and save $3.15 on postage with Certified Mail Labels. Get email notifications with Electronic Delivery Confirmations, Return Receipt Signatures, and tracking on each letter sent.

Users also have access to a 10-year data archive at no extra cost. No special software or equipment is needed. Just log on, address, print, and mail. There are no contract or monthly fees.

Enjoy this exciting and busy season by skipping the trip to the Post Office. For step-by-step instructions on how it works, click here or create your account now.
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