Posting can be a confusing process in the United Kingdom, especially as the rules have changed in recent times which many people may not fully understand if they don’t post different shaped items often. The aim of this article is to help people posting items like wedding invitations think about the best way to send their invitations. I’ve been involved in running a wedding stationery business for several years in which time I have learnt a lot about posting items both nationally and internationally.

The first thing to say is that if you have a traditional folded card that is not especially thick (less than 5mm when in an envelope) and less than 16.5 cm on the shortest side and 24 cm on the longest then you are probably fine to use a standard 1st or 2nd class stamp as your card will qualify as a standard letter. This means a C5 envelope is about the largest size you can send. These are the envelopes normally used for an A5 card (the same size as an a4 piece of paper folded in half). The only thing to note is that items getting nearer the 5 mm thickness may be marked or dented when going through the sorting machinery so you may wish to consider one of the options listed later to provide some protection to the invitation.  If your not sure if your card falls into this category it’s maybe a good idea to take a card in it’s envelope to a post office, there are normally plastic postal checkers somewhere within you can try your invitation on.  If there’s not one accessible to customers the staff should definitely have one and should be happy to help.

When posting larger cards where the thickness is near or more than 5mm or where there is elaborate decoration on the front such as bows, crystals, flowers or other decorations then you will probably want to send them in something that will provide protection to stop the decoration being damaged.  Though we have found properly attached crystals can go through the post without additional protection than the envelope.  The most economical way to do this is to use posting boxes. These provide a hard protection around the invitation. The great thing about posting boxes is you can buy sizes which still count as a letter or large letter. To qualify as a large letter items must be less than 25 cm on the short side and on the 35.3cm longest side with a total thickness under 2.5cm. There is a weight limit of 750 grams; we rarely exceed 250 grams when sending our samples. The price of postage changes by weight, under 100 grams being the cheapest, under 250 gram the next price tier. As at Feb 2011 the price for under 100 grams was £0.90 and £0.69  for 1st and 2nd class respectively.  For between 100 grams and 250 grams it is £1.20 1st and £1.10 2nd.

Choosing posting boxes, we find by far the most durable to be made of single walled card board, if it’s just a card box they look nice but are too easily squashed. Searching for pricing in proportion or PIP postal boxes can be done through Google. They normally come in a brown card but are not the most aesthetically pleasing; however you could do a large label to cover most of one side of the box.  Much like we do for samples.  The main thing to do is get the invite there in one piece.