Vintage stamps add a beautiful, romantic touch to wedding invitations. But there’s a few important things to consider when using them. See my pro tips below!
Vintage stamps are gorgeous, and you can find tons of them on Etsy these days. However, before you purchase, take a look at our vintage postage how-to guide below to make sure this unique touch is right for your wedding invitations!
1. Weigh & Measure Your Invites
Before you can purchase vintage postage for your wedding invitations, you’ll need to know exactly how much postage your invites will require. You can take one complete suite to the post office and have them weigh it for you; buy a mailing scale for under $30 from an office supply store; or ask your stationer – who most likely owns a postage scale – to weigh the invitation suite for you. I do this for our clients all the time! Most commonly for our clients will need either $.55 or $.70 per envelope. Keep in mind any international guests – invitations being mailed to destinations outside the U.S. will require extra postage. And did you know that square envelopes also need additional postage?
Don’t forget to include the cost of vintage stamps in your budget. Vintage stamps will typically run about twice the cost of standard postage (roughly around $125.00 for 100 invitation envelopes), and more if you ask you stationer to apply them for you.⠀
Lastly, you’ll need to put postage on your reply envelopes too. This doesn’t have to be vintage postage but it’s something to consider. Since it’s not as visible, I recommend simply using a first class stamp here.
Psst… See all of our tips for mailing invitations in this post.
2. Source Vintage Postage
Etsy is the best place to find vintage stamps, in my opinion. Personally, as an Etsy seller myself, I love to support other shops. And there are several offering vintage stamps. You can search specific visual design themes – like “floral stamps” or “nautical stamps”, for example. Some shops will even organize stamps by color or theme, which is very helpful.
This is a great time to consider what types of stamps will go best with your invitation design. For example, a soft pink-hued vintage rose stamp is a stunning compliment with super romantic invitations. Funky stamps like cactii would be extremely cute for an Austin wedding, while vintage tree stamps would fit the bill nicely for an outdoor woodsy venue. I also love the idea of just focusing on color and using stamps all in one hue, like varying shades of blues for a beach-y wedding.
On the custom invitations shown above, we used vintage stamps with a mid-century modern feel, along with a more contemporary Oscar de la Renta stamp.
3. Add it Up
When sourcing multiple vintage stamps, I like to find the highest denomination value first, typically around 25 cents, and then fill in the rest with smaller values to get to the total amount of postage needed. There are a lot of cute 2- and 3-cent stamps out there! Some vintage postage sellers offer pre-sorted packs of 55 cent or 70 cent postage groupings, which can be helpful and save time in your search. Also, check to make certain you are purchasing unused stamps that have not been cancelled by the post office. Some sellers have cancelled stamps that would be more for collecting purposes and are not valid postage.⠀
Above, our Savannah invitation suite pairs well with colorful, botanical stamps circa 1960.
4. Leave Sufficient Space
Typically, with vintage stamps, you’ll be applying multiple stamps on each envelope – at least 2 and up to 6 stamps depending on the postage value – and this will take up significantly more real estate on the envelopes than one single first class stamp. You’ll want to think about this when addressing your envelopes. Be sure to let your stationer or calligrapher know that you will be using vintage stamps and how many. If possible, coordinate this together ahead of time. We want to make sure those ever-important addresses don’t get covered up and your invitations make it to their ultimate destination!
5. Apply Vintage Stamps with Care
Applying vintage stamps takes much longer than simply placing one stamp in the corner of an envelope. Before you apply any stamps, put some thought into how you want to arrange them on the envelope (and always in the upper right corner). Using an extra envelope, make a sample piece and set that one aside to guide you as you go along. I like to apply stamps on a lined cutting pad so that the stamps are as straight as possible. Then, use a glue stick or other adhesive to adhere. The adhesive on the stamp itself can wear down with age and may not be sticky enough anymore.⠀
That’s all you need to know about sourcing and using vintage stamps for invitations!
So, what do you think? Will you be using vintage postage for your wedding invitations? Contact us with any questions that pop up – we’re always happy to help!