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Hand cancelling of your invites at the post office?

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lovesparklies

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When I sent out my save the dates I asked the woman at the post office to hand cancel them and she said since the envelopes don''t have any bows or anything inside that would keep them from going through their automatic machine they wouldn''t do the hand cancelling. Grrr. But now I''m getting ready to send out my real invites and again, there''s nothing really to keep them from going through their machine, but I still want them hand cancelled. I''m wondering if I should try a different post office nearby.

How important do you think it is to have your invites hand cancelled? Did you do have it done?
 

jcrow

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if it''s important to you, i''d look into a different post office.
 

neatfreak

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They will let you do it yourself at the post office usually. If you have a ton of invites it isn''t really fair to ask them to do it, so usually they will let you sit there with the stamp thing and do it yourself after you have paid.
 

jcrow

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oh, i didn''t answer your second part. i thought it was important and had it done.
 

honey22

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Sorry, I don''t understand what cancelling means? If you mean, you don''t want them shoved through a machine to get bent and stuffed up, then I would find a way to avoid them getting ruined.
 

CDNinNYC

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2,216
I originally wanted mine hand cancelled but in the end didn''t bother. I''ve read stories about brides who hand cancelled their invites and they were still fed through the machine.
 

KimberlyH

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Didn''t do it. I had a "If it won''t matter it a year it doesn''t matter now" rule that I lived by when wedding planning, and that fell into the "Won''t matter..." category. If it''s very important to you, find a way to have it done. As a guest, I would never notice if an invitation arrived hand cancelled or not.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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13,329
ehh....it''s 2009. (:

Maybe if you lived in a small town with nice people at the post office, but I live in LA and I just don''t see that happening.
 

Mediterranean

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 26, 2008
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578
To answer a question with another question
because I''m completely clueless as to how the post office works:

Is the initial cancel the only sorting machinery that mailings go through? Because if you do make the effort to hand-cancel them, it may be in vain if they have to go through machines at different points in their delivery to the final destination... I''d ask the post office that question first, before going through the trouble.

If I have to go to the post office for anything, I''ll find out and post the answer...
 

Mediterranean

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 3/25/2009 10:44:37 PM
Author: Mediterranean
To answer a question with another question
because I''m completely clueless as to how the post office works:


Is the initial cancel the only sorting machinery that mailings go through? Because if you do make the effort to hand-cancel them, it may be in vain if they have to go through machines at different points in their delivery to the final destination... I''d ask the post office that question first, before going through the trouble.


If I have to go to the post office for anything, I''ll find out and post the answer...
OK. A quick Google, and I found this post from a bride who hand made invitations (complete with metal brads and grommets, etc....the post was long, I edited for relevance) on some wedding message board:



"Argh. I had been under the impression (no pun intended, hah) that hand-cancelling would prevent an invitation from going through machines & getting those nasty marks. Well, now I know, IT DOESN''T, SO BE WARNED!! MIGHT NOT BE WORTH WASTING YOUR TIME AT THE POST OFFICE! Thing is, realistically an invite will probably have to go through a number of sorting machines to reach its destination (mine was going from Cambridge, MA to San Francisco, CA area). Also, if you go to a small post office even it was hand-cancelled there it might still get a machine cancellation mark on the stamp from the "main" post office it leaves from (mine got one at Boston, MA). Arg"


So, maybe it''s not worth it?
 

meresal

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Nov 13, 2007
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I hand cancelled all of my STD''s and will do all of my invites as well.... this is one of my "things". Like Neat said, the post office should let you do it youself, so I would suggest going to another post office and see if they are a bit more accomodating.
 

choro72

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 11, 2008
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For those who are like me and had no idea what "cancellation" mean. Wiki says that it''s that ink stamp that they put on the postage stamp. This prevents recipients from cutting the postage stamp and reusing them. It''s usually the ink thing that has the date and location.

My next question is...What is "hand cancellation"? How do you do it by hand? Do you manually write in the date and location yourself? If so, how is that better than the machine stamped one?
 

lovesparklies

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295
Yes, sorry, cancelling is when they make a mark over the postage stamp so it can't be used again. It used to be done with a stamp (not a postage stamp, but a rubber stamp) but these days it's done by machine. The issue isn't that it looks ugly on the outside of the envelope but it can potentially indent the contents inside or smudge the ink on your invites. Cancelling your envelopes by hand is more gentle than the machine and wouldn't damage the invitations inside.

neatfreak, I didn't realize that they will let you hand cancel your own envelopes. I definitely wouldn't mind doing that and will suggest it if they push back again at the post office.

But that brings me to Mediterranean's post! Are we all being fooled into thinking it does any good to hand cancel?! Not according to your research! I need to go to the post office for something else anyway so maybe I can talk to them about it then.
 

Sparkalicious

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Nov 22, 2007
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3,721
I asked when I as sending out our save the dates but ... no luck. I''ll try again with our invites b/c I would prefer that but if it''s a hassle, I''m just sending them out as I did our save the dates ... picking my battles, if you know what I mean, right?
 

violet02

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Sep 5, 2007
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2,201
I had mine hand cancelled at my local post office. They didn''t give me any grief over it and I liked that the hand cancelling avoided the dirty black tire marks you usually get when they go through the machine. They weren''t put through the machine after the hand canceling and looked very nice when they arrived (I saw the end result at friend''s houses). I also saw the end result of my thank you notes that weren''t hand canceled... yikes!

If that''s something you''d like to do by all means you should! It was one of my things too.
 

ice-queen

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Oct 5, 2008
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I just recently sent out invites to a bridal shower that needed to be hand-cancelled due to a bow on the invitation. I live in a small town and have known the same postal-workers since I was little. I asked that the invites be hand-cancelled and since there was no one else in the post office at the time, the guy did it right in front of me...well I had sent one to myself (because I''m neurotic
) and it arrived with a randon barcode at the bottom....clearly it had been run through some machine later. Bottom line...it will probably not end up perfect no matter what. My best-friend received her invitation in a crumpled mess
...oh well, at least I tried...
 

LauraBabe08

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
228
I had the post office hand-cancel my std''s and wedding invites. STD''s they did, no prob but gave me a little bit of attitude.

Invites - the lady said no. I told her they HAVE to be hand cancelled, and she still refused. So I cried and stormed out. My mom called and talked to the supervisor, who said that if I brought them back he would do it. DH took me back and we got it done.

I asked if I could stamp them myself and they said no. They do not allow anyone else to handle their stamper thing. Stupid, I know. I was very annoyed. They didn''t do as good of a job as I would have done.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/25/2009 10:50:02 PM
Author: Mediterranean
Date: 3/25/2009 10:44:37 PM

Author: Mediterranean

To answer a question with another question
because I'm completely clueless as to how the post office works:



Is the initial cancel the only sorting machinery that mailings go through? Because if you do make the effort to hand-cancel them, it may be in vain if they have to go through machines at different points in their delivery to the final destination... I'd ask the post office that question first, before going through the trouble.



If I have to go to the post office for anything, I'll find out and post the answer...

OK. A quick Google, and I found this post from a bride who hand made invitations (complete with metal brads and grommets, etc....the post was long, I edited for relevance) on some wedding message board:




'Argh. I had been under the impression (no pun intended, hah) that hand-cancelling would prevent an invitation from going through machines & getting those nasty marks. Well, now I know, IT DOESN'T, SO BE WARNED!! MIGHT NOT BE WORTH WASTING YOUR TIME AT THE POST OFFICE! Thing is, realistically an invite will probably have to go through a number of sorting machines to reach its destination (mine was going from Cambridge, MA to San Francisco, CA area). Also, if you go to a small post office even it was hand-cancelled there it might still get a machine cancellation mark on the stamp from the 'main' post office it leaves from (mine got one at Boston, MA). Arg'



So, maybe it's not worth it?
This is why most traditional invitations have an inner and an outer envelope. The outer envelope is there to collect all of the smudges, dirt, and marks from shipping.
 

anniee19

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
308
When I sent my invites out abou 3 weeks ago, I wanted them hand cancelled. I asked the lady at the post office about it, and she said they would do it, but they would also charge me 20 cents per envelope. I decided it wasn''t worth the expense and let them go normally. I have received a lot of RSVPs though, where you can faintly see the printing of other cards on the RSVP card. I am wondering if it was because it went through the machine, and how the invites turned out.
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
5,720
Date: 3/26/2009 10:56:06 AM
Author: anniee19
When I sent my invites out abou 3 weeks ago, I wanted them hand cancelled. I asked the lady at the post office about it, and she said they would do it, but they would also charge me 20 cents per envelope. I decided it wasn''t worth the expense and let them go normally. I have received a lot of RSVPs though, where you can faintly see the printing of other cards on the RSVP card. I am wondering if it was because it went through the machine, and how the invites turned out.
That''s ridiculous...
 

emeraldlover1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
2,913
I thought the post office was going to give me a hard time considering my location however I went mid morning and the lady wasn''t busy so she hand canceled them for me. The only downside is that some of my save the dates didn''t arive till over a month later and the had canceling is the only reason I can see why. My grandmother in florida did not recieve her till after six weeks post brining them to the post office. After 4 weeks I addressed another one and it got there within a day of the other. The one that was hand canceled was clean and nice, the one that wasn''t looked terrible and the silver marker pen that we used to address the envelope was all sumdged.
 

Octavia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,660
One good thing about living in Philly is that all mail sent through the original post office here (3d and Market, I think -- it's right next to the postal museum) is always hand-canceled, with a special stamp. I didn't really care for save-the-dates, but I'm definitely going to mail my invitations there. They might still get messed up, but I really want the "B. Free Franklin" cancellation stamp on them. If I lived somewhere else, I don't know that I'd bother.
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
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1,793
Date: 3/26/2009 4:20:47 AM
Author: LauraBabe08
I had the post office hand-cancel my std''s and wedding invites. STD''s they did, no prob but gave me a little bit of attitude.

Invites - the lady said no. I told her they HAVE to be hand cancelled, and she still refused. So I cried and stormed out. My mom called and talked to the supervisor, who said that if I brought them back he would do it. DH took me back and we got it done.

I asked if I could stamp them myself and they said no. They do not allow anyone else to handle their stamper thing. Stupid, I know. I was very annoyed. They didn''t do as good of a job as I would have done.
I tried to do mine at my "friendly" post office, and they said the same thing. When I asked her, she gave me a look like I had just asked to drive her mail truck. SO it won''t be happening for me.
 

Barcelona

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
202
Unfortunately I know way too much about the mail service due to my work position and dealing with all our event mailings. For my area (mid-atlantic), unless you are mailing your invitations from the same post office that your guests receive their mail from (very unlikely all guests live in the same town and may only apply to smaller post offices), your invitations will go through a machine at some point in order to be sorted and directed to the correct distribution center. Hand canceling will just reduces the number of times it goes through a machine, but not eliminate it completely.
 
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