Your couture wedding invitations are designed, are oh so gorgeous, and are ready to be sealed in their beautiful envelopes… Now the daunting task of addressing them begins.
The invitations going to your family and friends will be easy to tackle, but what about your guests overseas? How do you make sure your invitation actually makes it to them and how much time will it take to get there? Read on for the answers to your burning international mail questions…
Making sure your international guests’ addresses are properly formatted is the biggest key to making sure your wedding invitation actually gets delivered.
Each country has it’s own specific address format, some require the postal code to come before the city, while others will have it appear after. Some countries, like Nicaragua, don’t even have street names and instead use landmarks as a reference point to describe a certain addresses. Imagine the addressing nightmare!
While each country has it’s own format, here is the general rule from the United States Post Office on how international addresses should be written:
Addressee’s Full Legal Name
House Number and Street Address or Box Number
City Destination and Correct Postal Code/Delivery Zone
International Address Examples
Mr. Jake Thomas
Boulevard Argentino 8953
Ms. Janet Betancourt
245 Bukit Timah Road 8th Floor
Mr. Luke Hansen
PO Box 258
OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1
Address Formatting Tips
- Addresses with non-roman characters, Russian, Arabic, or Japanese, for example, must have an English translation.
- The city destination must appear with the correct postal code.
- The country name must be written on the last line, in full (no abbreviations), and in capital letters.
For more tips from USPS, check out this resource page.
Be sure to double-check the address format before you drop them off at the post office. You can do this by doing a simple Google search for “Country Address Format”
How much postage is required to send an international letter?
Pricing to mail your wedding invitation is determined by a few factors: size, weight, and thickness. I highly recommend taking your wedding invitation into the post office to have it weighed, as they will be able to give you the most accurate postage cost.
As a general rule of thumb, wedding invitations that require a regular Forever Stamp (US bound letters) will correlate directly to the Global Forever Stamp. This applies to postcards or 1oz letters traveling to anywhere in the world.
Keep in mind there are surcharges for additional weight, oversize size or square envelopes, envelopes that are more than a ¼” thick or have a varied thickness (think knotted ribbon, wax seals, etc). Unfortunately these surcharges stack, so you will pay for each variation on the “traditional” letter.
If you would like to get a quick postage estimate, check out this super handy price calculator from USPS.
How much time does it take to deliver international wedding invitations?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a set amount of time for delivery of international mail. Postal services of other countries aren’t always as reliable as the USPS, so consider mailing wedding invitations to your international guests a week or two in advance. It is probably a good idea to follow up with these guests after a couple of weeks to ensure their invitation was actually received.
Should I include return postage on the RSVP cards going to international guests?
You should not apply response postage on the RSVP envelope for international guests. They will have to apply their country’s own postage. **Also, make sure their RSVP envelopes are correctly formatted with the City, Postal Code, and Country so they make it back to you!**
If you are concerned about leaving off the postage on the response envelopes for your international guests, think about giving them an alternate way to RSVP. This can be as simple as including wording that says, “Please feel free to provide your responses via email to “______”.
Have other questions about sending invitations to international guests? Let me know in the comments below!