A few years ago I wrote a very popular post about hand-canceling your wedding invitations. Since then a lot has changed in the mail world, but hand-canceling is still a topic that comes up fairly often when it comes to wedding planning and wedding invitations.
So what is hand-canceling?
Hand-canceling refers to the markings the USPS places over your postage stamp so the stamp can’t be reused. For most of today’s mail, this is done by machines. These machines make light work of the millions of pieces of mail the postal service processes each year but can potentially bend, mark or tear your invitations.
Hand-canceling is when a postal official does this by hand with a special stamp, preserving the beauty of your stunningly addressed envelopes and preventing possible damage by the postal machines.
Why and when should you hand-cancel wedding invitations?
As I mentioned, most mail, including wedding invitations, is processed by machines. By requesting that your wedding invitations be hand-canceled you lower the risk that your beautiful wedding invitations will be damaged by cutting down some (possibly all) of the machines used by the postal services. Most wedding invitations, including a majority of Dear LC wedding invitations, can go through the mail without a problem. However, oddly-sized or oddly-shaped invitations, like those with wax seals or large bows, may get damaged in the process. To ensure that your wedding invitations arrive at their final destination looking their best, you’ll want to request hand-canceling.
A few tips for hand-canceling wedding invitations
A lot of smaller post offices don’t offer this service. Some post offices may allow you to do it yourself or charge a small fee for this service. I recommend visiting your local post office during a slow time (not early in the morning, during lunch time, or just before Christmas). Bring a sample of your wedding invitation and discuss with the experts what the best options are for your invitation.