Hand Canceling Invitations

You spent all that time, effort and money ensuring that what is inside your invitation envelopes looks amazing and unique to your special event, why would the outside be any different? Keep invitation envelopes looking crisp and clean, while protecting the pretties inside by hand canceling invitations.

hand canceling invitations

What is Hand Canceling
Hand Canceling refers to the markings the post office puts on stamped mail . This is to prevent any stamps from being re-used. This marking is typically created by automated machinery, which are quick and convenient. The mail that goes through them run the risk of being  damaged, bent, marked up, and even torn. All of these being risks you do not want to take with your gorgeous invitations. Hand canceling, as the names implies, means that each invitation will be post marked by hand, not machinery. Doing so, will reduce the above risk factors.

How do I get invitation hand canceled
After completing your invitations, bring your finished ensemble into your local post office and simply request that they are hand canceled. Most (not all) post offices will have no problem with this, as it is common practice with formal mail. Depending on your local branch, be prepared to be asked to stamp your own invitations, or told that they can be hand canceled on another day, as high volume can cause the post office to sometimes refuse the service that day.

Calculating the Correct Postage
Take your fully assembled invitation, stuffed in it’s envelope, as if you were going to mail to the post office and have them weighed for the correct postage. Machines at  at mail centers can only process certain envelope shapes and sizes; rectangles that are a minimum of 3.5 by 5 inches to a maximum of 6.125 by 11.5 inches. If your envelope is an odd shape (say, square), even if it falls within those dimensions, you may end up paying a $0.20 cent non-machinable fee per envelope. With larger invites (more than 3.5 ounces) or like a boxed invitation (bigger than 6.125 by 11.5 inches), you won’t have to pay the surcharge to hand-process them.

Send a Test Invitation
Consider sending a test invitation to yourself, friend and/or a relative who lives far away. If it arrives safely and free or markings, bends, or tears, you’ll feel more confident in sending the rest out to your guests.

Warning on Hand Canceling
If your local post office agrees to hand cancel your invitations, this does not mean that your invitations will not hit an automated sorter sometime during its travel. Mail has many stops along the way and may be sorted at other facilities.

Remember, that every Post Office is different. You may have better luck with a small town than the bigger city.

Now when you go to mail your custom invitations you can make sure that it stays pretty from the outside in!

Adapted from LCI Paper’s previous blog post.

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