We all love good vintage postage. Whether it’s styled in a flat lay, organized on your desk or carefully arranged on an envelope next to some beautiful calligraphy, I think we can all agree that vintage postage has a unique beauty and is worthy of the cult following that it has acquired.
Despite all of these truths (and I am definitely a sucker for vintage postage in a flat lay and use it myself!), I actually discourage the use of vintage postage for my own brides! Why? Let me explain…
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1: Hard to Find
Due to the nature of vintage postage (ya know, the fact that they aren’t making it anymore!), it actually requires a lot of legwork on the part of the stationer/designer to locate enough of a specific style of vintage postage for your suite. While there are some great shops out there (Vintage Postage Shop is one of my favorites and Ebay is also a great resource!), finding enough for all of your guests can be tricky sometimes!
Imagine having to do all of this leg work for an entire curated collection (the beautiful arrangements that we’re all eyeing on our favorite calligrapher’s Instagram)! This work alone will increase the time that you or your stationer spends on your wedding suite. And, if you haven’t noticed this already: Time = Money! Which brings me to my next point:
2: The Cost Will Gettcha
On top of the extra time that it is required to locate enough of the beautiful postage collection that you’re heart is set on, vintage postage costs more than it is literally worth at the post office! Meaning that a stamp with the postal value of $0.17 will cost you around $0.65 a piece (prices very by vendor/stamp, but this is a good example).
So let’s say you have a simple 5x7 invitation that does not go above the required 1oz limit for a forever stamp ($0.50). Let’s compare the two options: (vintage postage was selected at random from a few of my favorite designs at VPS)
$0.65 for 17 cent stamp
0.35 for 3 cent stamp
0.72 for 20 cent stamp
0.35 for 10 cent stamp
Total: $2.07 for each envelope
$0.50 for 50 cent stamp
Total: $0.50 for each envelope
As you can see from my example above, it can easily increase the cost of mailing your invitations by 400%. And this is for a relatively light invitation (probably no additional insert). What I recommend/use for my brides who do pursue vintage postage is to mix current standard postage in with vintage stamps, which will help to make the price a little more affordable. But for the sake of giving a clear example, I decided to leave the two sides “pure”.
3: There Are Great Options Out There
Even though vintage postage has a uniquely beautiful quality to it (especially when in a curated grouping), there are so many “standard” options out there now that will give you the same effect for a fraction of the cost! For one thing, USPS has really stepped up their game with postage! I used these vintage inspired stamps on a few of my weddings this year and plan to continue using them in the future! And, despite the fact that these say “Christmas” on them, I am planning to grab a few of these Renaissance stamps either for styling or for one of my brides! Or these if I get a bride who loves red…
I’m also a sucker for custom postage! I love that there is now an option to customize your postage to match your wedding invitations! If you love details and a cohesive look, then personalized postage is the thing for you! It’s a little more expensive than standard postage, but it does not get as high as vintage postage (in my experience). I used to purchase my custom postage through Zazzle, but they recently discontinued this option. I now go through Shutterfly.
While this blog post may seem a little harsh, I am not against vintage postage! In the end, I would personally rather spend the extra allowance of your stationery budget on a different element of your wedding invitations. Whether it’s upgrading to letterpress or foil printing (you can read more about printing methods HERE), adding a custom wax seal, a vellum wrap or a graceful ribbon to wrap around your invitation. I feel like there are so many fun options for customizing your invitation that are not immediately “canceled” when going through the postal service.
But, if your heart is set on vintage postage, let’s do it! Even though it’s not my number one “love” for wedding stationery, the beauty of vintage postage is undeniable! And, after all, this is your big day! My goal is to bring ease to your life, beauty without the stuffiness and to make your paper dreams come true ;)
The images on this page are by Katrina Crouch and Shanell Photography
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