The Dangers of Envelope Wraps

a.k.a. How to Get the USPS to Hate You

Envelope wraps are all the rage right now and I totally get it. They are cute, easy, quick and they save you from having to write out a ton of addresses over and over again. I’m all about them. Well, I was all about them, until my most recent trip to the post office to get Lisa and Brandon’s Save the Date Tags weighed for mailing. I was ever so unkindly informed from Ms. USPS herself that they “don’t like these labels” and “we’ve been having a huge problem with them.” (I got the look of all looks, like they just figured out who had been torturing their staff for the last year). In fact, they didn’t like them so much so that they refused to even weigh the piece for me so I could buy the postage. Their reason? Well, the short version is that since a machine reads the addresses, a machine can’t tell which side is the front and which side is the back of the envelope. Since the address is on the same level on both sides, the machine could easily mistake either side for the front. Even having your return address on the back flap is apparently a problem (even though that puts the addresses on different levels). My question for Ms. USPS was, since they have a person loading all of the mail into the machine, why can’t that person take care to make sure that they are loading it in the correct way? (All of this could be avoided.) This question was not answered in anyway except for the fact that you can take your chances on mailing out letters like this, but you could get them all returned to you instead of being sent to the intended recipient.

In all my years of mailing things, I have never got a single piece of mail returned to me, never, not once. I used these same kind of labels for all of my wedding pieces last year, except the invitations, and even those had the return address on the back flap. I must have mailed out over 300 pieces when all was said and done, and not a single piece of mail was delivered back to me by mistake. Maybe it was luck and the person loading the mail was on their game that day, I don’t know.

Below is the original mailing label for Lisa and Brandon that two local post offices refused to accept. Their solution was to remove all of the wraps on the back, cut them on the fold and glue the return address to the top left corner on the front of the envelope. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. Not only would that look absolutely horrendous, those labels were glued on with super strength glue. They were not coming off.. ever. And we were not about to redo every label and buy all new envelopes. So I created small return labels to glue on the top left front corner and made a little sticker to place over the return address on the back. Though it was not the ideal solution, problem solved. Those labels can be seen here and here.

So the moral of my story is that envelope wraps may not be as great as we all once thought. You can take your chances on them and see what happens, but as far as my customer’s invites go, I won’t be making them anymore. They are more of a hassle than they are worth and you don’t even get a semi-guaranteeable delivery. Not worth the risk on something so important.


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