- 8 years ago
- Wedding: March 1996
I’ll preface this with a disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. I do not recommend pursuing the course of action that we did; we really got pretty lucky.
So, everyone knows that you have to take one of your wedding invitations to the post office and ask them to weigh it and tell you how much postage you’ll need. Smart people do this at multiple post offices to be absolutely certain the invites will get where they’re going, and not fall victim to a randomly vindictive employee who happens to be working that day and decides to, oh, I don’t know, enforce a rule that no one ever does and spitefully hurl your carefully glued and folded creations right back at your front door.
We didn’t do what smart people do.
Fiance and I, like everyone, are busy people and didn’t have time to make it to the post office during business hours in the time between when we assembled our first invitation and when it was time to send them all off. We did run by the post office after-hours to use their scale ourselves. We found out how much our invitation weighed and ordered custom postage from Zazzle because I personally loved the look of a single, color-coordinated, thematically appropriate stamp, instead of a row of awkward Liberty Bell stamps or whatnot.
So when they were all finished, we stamped our invites with their lovely dahlia stamps, and we dumped the lot directly into the bin at the post office, again after-hours. I think it was like midnight. We felt triumphant.
Fast forward three days.
I come home from work to find a soft package on my doorstep. It’s a neatly bundled package of exactly nineteen of our invitations, complete with a printout of USPS postage guidelines, in which some kind person has highlighted two sections. Point the first: that you’re really supposed to go to the post office to mail letters in quantities greater than 10 so that they can tell you if you need to add more postage. Point the second: that since our envelope is greater than 6 1/8 inches on each side, it’s considered a large envelope and is going to cost another 27 cents on top of our lovely dahlia stamp.
Nineteen of them, out of the 54 that we sent. Why? No rhyme or reason to which ones came back. By this point I’d gotten word from multiple locals who had received their invitations with no problem. The conclusion I came to was that some, perhaps slightly disgruntled, postal employee saw my pile of invitations after most of them had already gone through, thought, “HMMM looks a tad fishy there,” whipped out a ruler, and gleaned that they were, in fact, 3/8 of an inch too long. Three-eights… of an inch.
Now again, I don’t recommend anyone try what we did in response to this situation.
But, it worked.
I thought, I really don’t want to add another stamp to these invitations that I paid money to order a pretty, custom stamp for. And I couldn’t stop focusing on the fact that over half the invitations went through to our guests just fine. So over the course of the next day and a half (this was the weekend by this point), I split the remaining nineteen invitations into a few groups of 4-6 and went to different mailboxes around our area and dropped them in. Much less likely that way to grab the attention of a vindictive, I mean overzealous, postal employee who for some reason desires to halt their progress toward their loving recipients.
As I said, it worked. I now have confirmation that the invitations from every batch have made it to their destinations in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Seattle, and beyond. And they did it without any ugly extra postage.
So may I say, HAHA, USPS, WE WIN.
(Foolhardy? Certainly. But I like to follow my instinct, and I lucked out!)
Does anyone else have stories of wrestling with USPS? Did you emerge victorious, or did they knock you down?