From exuberant liners to custom seals, here are 10 ways to make your wedding invitation suite's humblest element a bit nobler.
1. There's nothing like hand calligraphy, even if it's your mother-in-law's At $1.50 to $5 a pop, not everyone can afford a pro, so it's okay to do it yourself—just be neat. Note that elaborate fonts can sometimes make numbers unrecognizable, so the invite might not make it to its destination. To be safe, send yourself one as a test run first.
2. If you're using a wax seal, stationers recommend the plastic variety. Real wax shatters in USPPS machinery and turns into dust.
3. In lieu of printing return addresses on the outer envelopes (pricey!), use a charming custom rubber stamp. However, stationers agree that printing the RSVP envelopes is well worth the splurge.
4. Home-printed labels can be dodgy territory for wedding invitation envelopes. A better place to cut costs is on the save-the-dates, where the glitter-and-glue-with-love look ought to win over even the stodgiest guest on your list.
5. If vintage stamps are your thing, dig deep at your local post office, surf championstamp.com, or search "unused vintage postage" at Etsy. You can also contact the postageservice.com, a retro postage provider that gives aesthetic advice (in person, if you live in Manhattan) and has great suppliers.
6. Skip trolling eBay for vintage stamps—unfortunately, you'll probably end up overpaying.
7. To avoid filtering invites through a machine that can damage envelopes, call your local post office to see if it offers hand-stamping or hand-cancelling. Says Laura Sarginger of Mr. Boddington's Studio in NYC: "The first 50 should be on the house;it's five cents for each additional envelope."
8. A custom monogram turns an envelope flap into art.
9. Patterned liners aren't incrdibly expensive, but you can also DIY them with spray adhesive.
10. A graphic motif or message on the inner envelope is a fun surprise.
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