Post # 1
This is my first post on Wedding Bee in quite some time – I used to have a different account, but started a new account because, well, I don’t like my old username. Anyway, glad to be back!
So, I know that mailing out an invitation without return postage for the RSVP card is a huge no-no. However, we’re inviting some of our American friends and relatives (we’re Canadian), and Canada Post doesn’t sell US stamps. The clerk at the post office said I could just put some money in our invite envelopes for the guests to buy stamps with, but I’m thinking that’s even tackier than not including postage.
I wish I had thought of this sooner – the invitations are due to be mailed out next week, and it just occurred to me on the weekend.
So please tell me, will our American guests understand? Is it still a horrible faux pas to not include postage in this case? Or even better, do you have any quick and cheap suggestions for me as to how I could obtain US stamps? I can’t drive all the way to the US for stamps, unfortunately, and we’re also short on time.
Thank you in advance!
Post # 3
I didn’t include postage for our out of country guests, no one has complained or said anything. I think it’s fairly common to leave that off. I certainly wouldn’t put money in the envelope for them, I totally agree with you!!!
Post # 4
I did not put return postage for our out of country guests. Unless you can get ahold of postage from their country it’s impossible. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with not including it.
Post # 5
OMG I don’t know what to do either! What do we do for people that live in Switzerland?? Yikes I hasn’t even thought of this!! Thanks for bringing it up! Any ladies out there work for the post office that can fill us in? Hmm, I wonder if you can buy forign postage on line???
Post # 6
I wouldn’t include it since you need the stamps from the US to mail something from the US. Could you give these people the option of RSVPing by email or phone to save on postage?
Post # 7
Thanks for all of your advice so far, everyone! My mom is the queen of proper etiquette, and she’s horrified at the thought of not including postage – but you’re right, what else can we do, really?
@MissAsB: That’s a good idea! Maybe I’ll make an extra little card to tuck into their invite with email/phone options.
Post # 8
If a letter is going to a different country, you don’t need the postage of the country it’s going to. Example being, if you are in Canada, you use the appropriate Canadian postage that the post office tells you will get the letter to its destination. You don’t get American postage if you are sending it from Canada to America. The same goes for any other country. If someone does live overseas, they will know and understand that they need to provide their own postage as with any other piece of mail. Not only will you not know how much postage they need where they are sending it from but you also will not have access to it. That is following etiquette.
Post # 9
We did exactly that; printed a little enclosure with our contact information explaining that we weren’t able to locate return postage and invited them to RSVP via phone or e-mail. Our international guests were pleased to have that option!
Post # 10
Actually, your mom is just a princess of proper etiquette, I’m afraid. This custom of sending Rsvp cards with your wedding invitations has become common in the last twenty or thirty years, but it isn’t truly proper form and isn’t practiced in consular or Government-house circles, or among high sticklers for correct form.
Proper etiquette is to assume that your guests own their own formal stationery and know how to write a proper R.s.v.p. in their own impeccable handwriting (or at least to pretend that you believe that). If you don’t use the R.s.v.p. cards, then of course you don’t need to put postage on their little envelopes either.
But etiquette has to be adapted to the expectations of your own social circle, and your mom probably knows what your friends and family expect. You can buy stamps online from the US Postal Service. I expect they ship to Canada but if not, have them ship the stamps to one of your family members that are in the US, and they can forward them along to you.
Post # 11
Aspasia, actually, my mom is just a big worrywart sometimes. She constantly worries about what other people will think in so many facets of her life. Although our Canadian guests would expect return postage of us, I know that our American guests would not expect us to track down American stamps. In fact, they did not send us RSVP cards with Canadian stamps when they got married. The stamps would be a nice gesture, but we lack sufficient time (and resources) to get them, unfortunately.
Post # 12
We didn’t include postage on our RSVP cards to out of country guests. I was worried about that as well, but feel better having read this post!
Post # 13
there is one option…but it’s pricey. Canada Post sells vouchers that you can send to your guests, they take it to their Post Office and exchange it for their country’s respective postage. The only thing is that it’s $4 a pop. I asked someone going over the border for a weekend to grab US stamps for me, but for overseas guests I’m not adding postage.
Post # 14
Would you be able to print the postage from a website? You can do it from USPS.com or stamps.com
Of course you don’t have to include return postage for out of country guests, but if you’re really worried about it that is an option.
Post # 15
We’ve gotten one RSVP (just today actually!) from a relative in England. I actually loved seeing the postage she put on it! It was awesome!
Post # 16
We live in Switzerland. We invited many guests from the US. For that, we bought stamps from the USPS website, and had them shipped to my lovely maid of honor’s US address. She mailed them to us. The whole process took about one week. (USPS will not ship stamps outside of the US).
We used same lovely friend’s address as a c/o for RSVPs. That makes a difference when it’s transatlantic (time and budget both), but probably not a requirement for Canada.
We provided an email address, a telephone number, and an online form people can fill out to RSVP. And some of our friends managed to find other ways such as Facebook wall posts or text messages to answer. That was entertaining.