Randi
Devoted May 2017

Hand-Cancelling Invitations.... (My Experience)

Randi, on May 20, 2017 at 8:08 PM Posted in Planning 0 18
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Ok, so when it was time to mail my lovely, calligraphed, personalized $1.19 stamp invitations... I got a little OCD.

I went to the post office on a slower, typically not busy time.... on a

non-rainy day (didn't want them to get wet!!). The gentleman behind the counter informed me that he would be happy to set them behind the desk, and if he could get to them, he would hand-cancel them... BUT!! It didn't matter, he said. "They'll all go through the machine anyway. They'll all get that big, black stamp across the top."

That's not what I expected to hear.

I only had 110. I asked if I could stamp them myself... "No ma'am. That's illegal."

Ok.....

So I decided to ask him to hand-cancel ONE of them & I chose a local address.

I asked them to take a picture when it arrived. (They know I'm anal.... sometimes I'm handy to have around... sometimes I'm annoying. It's a crapshoot.)

Anyway...

This was how it looked after the hand-cancelling....

(Cont'd in comments)


18 Comments

Latest activity by Amanda, on May 20, 2017 at 9:25 PM
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    So I thought it looked GREAT!! (Except that the cancellation was upside down. #soanal)

    Anyway, here is what your typical mail looks like.... it goes through "the big machine" & gets more ink across the top.


    • Reply
  • Km42118
    VIP April 2018
    Km42118 ·
    • Flag

    ???

    • Reply
  • MrsCalderon
    VIP December 2016
    MrsCalderon ·
    • Flag

    Yeah I'm confused as to what you mean. What's hand cancelling?

    • Reply
  • QueSeraSera
    VIP December 2017
    QueSeraSera ·
    • Flag

    I had to Google this because I didn't know what it was ... and I'm still a little confused, I kind of get it but kind of don't...

    • Reply
  • Addison
    Super June 2017
    Addison ·
    • Flag

    We asked to have ours hand cancelled, and the post office DID NOT do it! Advice to future brides--you can ask to stay with them while they hand cancel your envelopes. We had hand calligraphy done and the machine marked through part of the address on some invites. It felt like such a silly thing to be upset about, but I was!


    • Reply
  • Sylphier
    Super June 2017
    Sylphier ·
    • Flag

    I'm confused too - I know Hand Cancelling makes them not go through the machine and they get marked differently for shipment [for those who don't know its the mark that says 'this stamp was used' the post office puts on mail when it's accepted by them] but your post feels like it lets off without finishing the story? I mean I agree hand cancelling looks much nicer but???

    ETA: @Addison I had the same problem! The first lady did it with me there but the second lady [I had to mail invites twice because some got lost....] didn't do it right away because it was busy and I was much annoyed.

    • Reply
  • Samtoine2017
    VIP May 2017
    Samtoine2017 ·
    • Flag

    It's a post office thing - they generally just put everything through a machine to post mark it. "Hand canceling" is doing it manually, so it doesn't get mangled and/or has less ink on it, if you care about the outside of the envelope. (???)

    • Reply
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    So I decided that I definitely wanted to pursue getting them hand-cancelled.

    I went to 5 or 6 different post offices. (I know. I'm ridiculous.)

    Most said "We don't do that anymore"

    "That's a myth... no one hand-cancels"

    "No"

    etc, etc, etc.

    Well I went in to one of my local post offices one day & was just blessed to be in THIS guy's line...

    "Oh I understand! Those are beautiful... Look, if you don't mind standing right up here at the counter, I'll let you stamp them yourself. But you'll have to hand my stamp back if someone else comes up to the desk!"

    Ummmm.... YES!! ABSOLUTELY!!

    I LOVE YOU!!!

    (I didn't really tell him that I loved him... but in that moment, I pretty much DID love him!

    So I stood up there & stamped all 109 in just a couple of minutes!

    They looked great.... it was fast, and I just felt better, knowing I was sending the prettiest invitation I possibly could.

    So....

    In MY opinion, the final product is much "nicer" with the hand-canceling. So if you're ridiculously anal like me, you might just want to try & try & try again.

    I thought they looked so crisp & lovely without all the black machine stamp across the top.

    Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • QueSeraSera
    VIP December 2017
    QueSeraSera ·
    • Flag

    Well. Good to know!!!

    • Reply
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    Right, it's the round stamp they keep at their desk.

    All stamps have to be "cancelled" so that people don't just keep reusing them.

    These days, most things are automated, and the result of going through the big machine is that a lot more of your invitation gets inked over... has more marks across the top.

    The little stamp at the desk serves the same purpose, but it covers less of the envelope / stamp.

    So if you've gotten calligraphy.... or you designed a special wedding postage stamp for your invites... or maybe you're just a crazy OCD lady, like i sometimes am... you might prefer the final "look" if you are able to get them hand-cancelled.

    • Reply
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    @Addison W. - I'd have been upset too! Your calligraphy was gorgeous! (And then they went off & put that strip across the bottom!!)

    I had an invitation returned to me (I had been given their prior address... unbeknownst to me) Anyway.... the current resident had just scrawled across the front "No longer lives here!!"

    My fiancé put that one RIGHT on top of the mail pile & then waited for me to notice.

    Oh it was ridiculous how upset I was that they "defaced" my beautiful invitation.

    Oy.

    My fiancée just laughed at me.

    Ahhhh.... sometimes I surprise myself with my unexpectedly impassioned reactions.

    I just have to laugh at myself too.

    It turned out not to be the end of the world! Smiley winking

    • Reply
  • MrsMitch
    Master August 2017
    MrsMitch ·
    • Flag

    Thanks for the info on hand cancelling.

    Can I ask if your return address was printed on the back? I saw a thread on here yesterday with a bride stating invitations weren't being delivered because the return address was printed on the back. Somehow the machine was reading the return address instead of the delivery address and either the invitation was completely lost or delivered back to the sender's address. Hope that makes sense.

    Anyhow, I haven't mailed mine yet but this concerns me because our return address is on the back flap of the envelope.

    • Reply
  • Addison
    Super June 2017
    Addison ·
    • Flag

    @FutureMrs I had our address printed on the back and no issues with guests receiving them! We actually put the return address on the back of all of our regular mail and I don't think we've had issues...

    @Randi Thank you for the validation hehe! I'm glad to know other brides are as OCD as I am. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • RAG
    Super November 2017
    RAG ·
    • Flag

    @futuremrs yes this is true. My mom works in the post office and ALWAYS says to never write the return address on the back. She says something always goes wrong

    • Reply
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    @FutureMrs

    All of our return addresses were printed on the back. I do know of one relative who swears she never received her invitation, but EVERYONE else did.

    I think that having one's return address printed on that back flap is fairly common. I hope no one is running into problems because of THAT!

    (That's when I'd head to a different post office & seek a 2nd..., 3rd opinion)

    • Reply
  • Randi
    Devoted May 2017
    Randi ·
    • Flag

    @RAG

    That's so interesting!!!

    I can see how it would be easier to have it all right there on the front...

    (Glad mine didn't get kicked back to me..... I'd have FREAKED!)

    • Reply
  • Chelsea
    VIP September 2017
    Chelsea ·
    • Flag

    I asked to have my save the dates hand canceled because it was right after Christmas. They put them behind the counter to "do later" and I got a return to sender with Rudolph and "happy holidays" scrolled access the top. I was hot. DO NOT trust the post office.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Master January 2017
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    I got all of mine hand cancelled, I watched the postal worker do each envelope, and they still put it through the machine with the barcode sticker at the post office headquarters. The postal worker told me that even if they are hand cancelled it doesn't guarantee that they won't put them through the machine.

    ETA: I almost always write the return address on the flap, including all of our invitations, and I've never had any issues. I write letters to my sister every week and send cards pretty often and everyone has always received what I send.

    • Reply

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