Getting the USPS in New York to "Hand Cancel" Save the Dates and Invites

posted 4 years ago in New York City
Post # 2
46595 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

LAB:  The USPS handbook requires each post office to offer this service.   (top of page 8/140)

Be aware that your invitations will still go through machine sorting several times.

Post # 4
13248 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I was actually told be USPS that their regulations changed (the link posted above is 6 years old) and they do not have to offer the service.  My advice is to go at a slow time (if there is such a thing in NYC — I’d say a Tuesday at 10am or something like that would be your best bet), and offer to do it yourself.

I live in DC, and that’s how I got mine done.  They gave me the stamp, showed me what to do, and I stood at an unoccupied counter for half an hour.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  JiminyCricket.
Post # 5
1937 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think you need to take into account location and timing. If you go to the post office across from MSG or near Grand Central, i highly doubt you will be successful. Same if you go first thing in the morning or at lunch time. If you go to a more quiet location at an off hour (say, 3 pm?) I think you will have better luck. I used to live downtown nyc and I thought the people at the Peck Slip post office were lovely people. Unfortunately, I think that post office closed and they opened a different location downtown, so I can’t speak personally to any particular location.

Post # 8
720 posts
Busy bee

Can you educate me?  What does hand cancel mean?

Post # 9
49 posts
  • Wedding: December 2014 - St. Charles Borromeo / The Liberty Warehouse

@LAB Thanks for the tip!! I was worried about this as well…I haven’t had many pleasant experiences in NYC post offices.

Post # 12
297 posts
Helper bee

Last year I had special handmade invitations made up for a big birthday party- they were a little bulky+not flat so I paid extra to have them hand-cancelled/not go thru the machine… the post office threw them in the machine anyways! I got quite a few calls from friends&family telling me the cards arrived shredded or damaged 🙁

Post # 13
443 posts
Helper bee

Updating this for NYC bees. The Church Street location will hand cancel. First 50 are free. The teller took them and told me she’d do it. Crossing fingers! 

Post # 15
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

goldenbrown :  Nice! Did you actually confirm that this stopped them from going through the postage canceling machine (not the sorting machine)? I had my Save-The-Date Cards hand-cancelled at the 14th and 1st location (she did all of them for free), but most of them STILL got machine cancelled – they had both a hand cancel stamp, and a machine cancel stamp. The strange bit was that some of them didn’t get machine cancelled (but still machine sorted), so no consistency with the batch.

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