Yesterday morning on my way to the train station, I stopped by the post office with our first wave of invitations. Despite it being 8:30am in the morning, I fell in behind a line of people and chimed in when people started complaining that there was only one window open.
When it was finally my turn, I put on a cheery smile and told the woman behind the window that I had wedding invitations I wanted “hand canceled.” She looked at me and said “Sorry honey, we don’t hand cancel here.” How is that possible I ask, I called USPS and they said every post office does it and does it free of charge. She looked at me unamused and said “well, we don’t do it.” How do you cancel oversized mail that doesn’t feed into the machine then, I asked. “We have another machine for oversized mail,” she said. “Besides, even if you avoid the stamp cancel machine, your invitations go through other sorting machines.” Oh, I said defeated. Fine. So I handed over my babies to her and told them to be strong and prevail against the evil machines they would soon face.
To cancel out the value of stamps, post offices usually feed mail through a machine that imprints a post mark over the stamp.
To avoid these evil machines’ dirty smudges, a lot of people request to have the stamps on their wedding invitations to be canceled with a cleaner and neater hand held imprint.
(photos from : liweddings.com)
Our wedding invitations are dark brown and metallic so my concern was not so much with the envelopes getting dirty but with the possibility that they may be mangled by the canceling machine. But since mail also need to go through further sorting machines, I guess hand canceling is just a piece of mind request.
I’ve read from different forums that post offices sometimes let you hand cancel your own invitations right there under their watch. I was hoping to get to do that but I guess not.
BOOOO 20th Ave and 66th Street post office BOOOO~!!!