Confessions of a Letter Geek: I can’t bear to send out personal mail without adding a bit of embellishment. I’ve got “meaningful” return address labels (Save the Whales!), and my desk drawer holds more decorative stickers than a preteen girl has in her Hannah Montana Trapper Keeper. When I send out Cousin Bea’s birthday card, it’s sealed with a nosegay of pansies, and my Ecuadorian pen pal gets stickers of various puppy breeds all over her envelope.
When it comes to stamps, I’m equally choosey. I’ve been known to make a postal clerk check in the back to see if there really are no more sheets of first-class “sunflower” stamps. So the idea of being able to customize stamps with my choice of photographs is really exciting.
And as a bride organizing her wedding, it should be exciting for you, too. Let’s face it—when you’re asking people to spend hundreds of dollars on travel expenses and gifts for your wedding, inviting them by email isn’t going to cut it. As we’ve said elsewhere on HereComesTheGuide.com, Evite is fine for bachelor parties, but an etiquette no-no for the Main Event. Besides, your wedding invitations are more than just functional; they’re a formal announcement of your intentions. So since you’re going to use the U.S. Post Office to send out your invitations, thank-you notes and sundry other correspondence, why not get creative with it?
Thanks to modern technology, you can. Stamps.com was the first company to work with the post office to develop PC Stamps, postage that’s customizable with photographs of your choice. Unless you have a preference for reprints of Old Glory or Elvis collectibles, why not make your wedding stationery ultra-personal?
“Personalized stamps make any party invitation
or letter so much more special.”
How can you use photo stamps? Oh let me (and the clever folks at Stamps.com) count the ways:
- How about a fun-loving two-shot on stamps for your Save-the-Date cards or wedding shower and bachelorette party invites?
- When including your SASE for RSVP, use a stamp with a romantic engagement portrait.
- Give photo stamps that feature you and your Maid of Honor, bridesmaids, Moms or other wedding VIPs as memorable “thank you” gifts.
- Personalize your thank-you notes with photo stamps that capture scenes from the actual wedding!
- Frame your wedding photo stamps, turning them into a wonderfully whimsical keepsake to put on your office desk.
I was introduced to the photo stamp concept by a really fun couple I met at a recent bridal fair. The and Petrina are not only super-nice, they’re also super-photogenic. They’re planning a triple-location wedding: Taipei (for her family), Hawaii (for his) and L.A. (for everybody else)—so they’ll probably be ordering lots of “Airmail” photo stamps! Petrina sent me a picture of their first-class photo stamps.
Can you imagine the possibilities?
- Are they real postage? Yup.
- Is it complicated to make them? Creating PhotoStamps is so easy, even I can do it. Just upload a photo, and then customize it—the Stamps.com interface lets you zoom, move and rotate your image. You can also select one of 10 border colors to coordinate with your image and envelope.
- How long does it take to get an order? Normal orders typically ship in 3-5 business days.
- I bet it’s really expensive, right? Wrong. While the actual cost will depend on your postage needs, a sheet of first-class photo stamps for a 1oz letter at Stamps.com costs $15.99 (20 stamps to a sheet). TIP: Use postcards for Save the Dates and RSVPs—regular postage is $.27 instead of $.42.
- What size are the stamps? Each individual PhotoStamps postage label measures 1.9 inches in width by 1.4 inches in height, and the image area is 1.1 inches in width by 1.1 inches in height.
- Are they real postage? Yup.