Hand Cancelling; what it is, and why you need to do it.

From types of flowers to all of the etiquette, there is so much to learn when you are planning a wedding. Bear with me, and please add one more item to your list; hand cancelling.

Top: Postage Cancellation by Machine, Bottom: Hand Cancellation

Top: Postage Cancellation by Machine, Bottom: Hand Cancellation

I may be a bit biased, but your wedding invitations are one of the most important details about your big day. Without them, your guests would have no idea when and where to go, and what to wear. In terms of executing all of the plans you have spent countless hours on, mailing your invitations is step one in ensuring everything runs according to plan. The good news is, that to ensure your invitations are successfully delivered it only adds one step that should not take much time at all, and there is no additional charge (yay for staying on budget!).

So what does it mean to hand cancel, and why is it so important? Let’s start with the basics. A cancellation is a postal marking over the postage stamp to deface it so that it cannot be reused. The cancellation marking is most commonly applied by a machine. When the mail is fed through the machine, it scans the text to read the address of the recipient. A hand cancellation is applied by hand as a postal employee reads the address.

The machine sometimes has a hard time deciphering calligraphed script, especially if there are a lot of flourishes or if the ink is metallic. It is important to have calligraphed mail, or any very important mail (like your wedding invitations!), hand cancelled to ensure the address is read correctly for an accurate and timely delivery.

In order to have your invitations hand cancelled, you must walk into the post office and hand them to an employee at the counter and specifically request to have your mail hand cancelled. Do not drop your invitations in the box. The post office does not charge for this service. I repeat, you have to request this service, and there is no additional fee.

Hand Cancelling.jpg

In summary, here is the recipe for successful delivery of your wedding invitations.

  • Take your sealed, stamped, and addressed invitations inside the post office, and hand to a postal employee at the counter.

  • Request that your invitations are hand cancelled.

  • Go home feeling confident that your invitations will successfully be delivered to all of your guests.

Cheers to checking another planning task off your list!