Hand Canceling- How To's

As the very ingenious, thoughtful, bride you are...you have
taken extreme care in choosing your wedding stationary.
As your invitation sets the whole tone
for your wedding you have spared no expense to make sure
they match just as closely as your flowers match your linens.

Whether you have worked closely with a designer, like myself, hand picked them from a local stationary shop or even taken the time to make them yourself; how do you go about to ensure they make it to your guest's hands just as beautifully?

The simple answer is, "Be sure and Hand Cancel." But as with most things in life, to get something done right the first time a bit of thought and careful planning must go into it.

First of all, for those of you who are new to hand canceling, I'll briefly explain.
Hand Canceling consists of a postal marking placed upon a stamp, envelop or post card by hand and by a postal authority. This indicates the date and location, and prevents the stamp from being reused. A canceller, which is applied by stamps, by hand. A cancellation applied with a hand-held device, as opposed to a cancellation applied by machine.
A common misconception at this point is they will "never" run through a machine. While hand canceling prevents your precious package from running through the traditional 2-3 machine route, there is a high possibility they will have to pass through a few sorters.

With that said, finding a post office willing to take on this task takes as much "shopping" around as it does to find those perfect shoes.

If you live in the city, I highly suggest driving to a post office on the outskirts of town. As hand canceling is supposed to be a federal service provided by all post offices, many have the choice to deny that service based upon the amount of employees available.
So when you hear "No", most likely they can, they just don't have the time or don't want to take the time. If they don't have the time you don't want to have them do it anyways because the greatest of care will not be taken with you stationary.

In all the research I have done on this subject it seems about 50% of brides have been happy with hand canceling and 50% have not. This is why I think it's very important to start off with a post office filled with workers you trust and are pleased to take the time to ensure your Invitations are handled with care.

The HoneyBee Wedding Blog actually had a very precise article on hand canceling to include photos with the difference between hand canceling and not.

Sure hope that helps! Enjoy

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