If you remember, I was ever the picky bride when it came to choosing stamps for the Beanstalk save the dates! To me, stamps are the finishing touch. They set the tone for whatever treasure is hidden inside the envelope. (I know I probably sound a bit crazy going on about the importance of stamps, but when you design your whole wedding paper suite…stamps are a pretty big deal!) Well, when it came to the actual wedding invitation, I was just as picky as I was with the save the dates! Mr. Beanstalk and I had lusted over the look of vintage stamps since we first started really getting into the wedding-planning process. I knew going the vintage stamp route would be a bit expensive, but I still REALLY wanted them (they would complete the look we were going for with our invites!).
Well, back in July, I decided to take a mock-up of our invitation to the post office to have them weigh it, that way I would know how much postage we would need (and ultimately determine if vintage stamps were even possible). The woman weighed the envelope that contained our invitation and quoted me a price of 65 cents. I was floored! That seemed so inexpensive! I went home and researched vintage stamps and found some I liked that would go with our theme.
How perfect is this vintage stamp for our Florida destination wedding?!? / Image via Florida Memory
I LOVE birds (and they are being incorporated into our special day in small, subtle ways). / Love Birds stamp via my iPhone
Florida Centennial stamps…another vintage Florida gem. / Again, thanks to my iPhone
Keeping with the love theme, this beauty seemed perfect. Oh, and we are getting married in a garden, so it seemed only fitting! / Floral Love stamps, snapped by my iPhone
Even though I had found the ideal stamps, I had to price it out. I calculated how many we would need of the different stamps I liked (each stamp was for a different value) and what each would cost, then tallied up my total. Next I researched 65-cent stamps currently offered by the United Stated Postal Service and priced that out. The vintage gems were double that of the 65-cent stamps (maybe even a little more). Even though they were a bit overpriced, I still wanted them!
I consulted with Mr. Beanstalk. I showed him a picture of the vintage beauties all in a row (composed by me in Photoshop) and then a photo of the not so pretty 65-cent stamp options. He totally agreed with me…we had to have vintage stamps! They just looked so good with our invitation suite and conveyed the feeling we wanted the wedding to evoke!
We ordered the stamps on eBay from several different sellers. (We had to use different sellers because we needed so many!) I was beyond excited when they arrived in the mail because they are so beautiful!
Some of my loot with my 5-cent stamps (left over from the save the dates)
To equal the 65 cents that our invites needed to be mailed, I mixed up our vintage stamps with some of the 5- and 10-cent stamps left over from our save the dates. The result was beautiful! Fast forward a few weeks, and I was ready to mail my parents and sister’s invites. (I thought I would mail theirs first as a sort of test run.) The invitation was really bulky and heavy! I took extra stamps with me just in case it cost over the quoted amount, which I really had a feeling it would. Well, good thing I took the extra postage because when they weighed it at the post office they told me it would cost $1.10! I had a feeling it would cost a little extra, but not that much more! They then pulled out this little piece of plastic with a mail slot in it. They attempted to put the invite through the slot and it wouldn’t go in! They told me because it was so bulky I had to pay the $1.10 to ship it a special way. (Is that what they told me? I don’t remember, since I was so flustered over the fact that it was going to require more postage that I wasn’t giving them my full attention…sorry!) I had to think on my toes and hurriedly decide what stamps to add and what quantities of each. I ultimately decided to just add one of my Garden of Love forever stamps. The invites still looked really good with this new addition.
What some of the envelopes looked like
Another stamp combination that was used
That night I had to do some research. I needed more stamps because I didn’t have enough Forever stamps for all of the envelopes and response card envelopes. I had a feeling my post office wouldn’t have the Garden of Love stamps anymore, so I found some alternatives just in case. (I couldn’t order the stamps online because the invites had to get out ASAP, so whatever stamps we got had to bought at the post office.) The next day, my thoughts were proven correct. They didn’t have the Garden of Love, but they did have the red Love Ribbon stamp…which I think is equally cute (and still looks good with the rest of our collection of stamps).
Image via USPS
You may be wondering why I was misquoted at the post office…well, truth be told, it’s probably my fault. You see, I did take my mock-up, but it wasn’t completed. It was only missing the reception card (and possibly two hang tags, oh, and the belly band ribbon with our monogram attached). Not so much, right? Well, I guess those seemingly little pieces added up! Oh well…you live and you learn!
Anyone else surprised by how much (or how little) their postage cost?