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Emilys invite
Even the smallest wedding can turn into an avalanche of planning. Who could blame a bride for taking the easy way out on things like invitations? That’s NOT what my niece did when she got married Father’s Day weekend.

When their invitation arrived a few weeks before the wedding, I was wowed: Emily had painstakingly made each card. It must have taken hours to pen all the invitations, but the effect was stunning. How lovely to think that she would put such care into this milestone event.

I’m a sentimental sap, and I’ll never get over the beauty of a handwritten note of any kind, whether it’s a thank you note, a birthday wish or a baby announcement. I recently learned yet another way to make your notes and invitations standout: reflect your love of all things vintage by using vintage stamps as postage.

There are endless places to shop for vintage postage, from eBay to Etsy and beyond. I’m a newbie to this process, but I’m sharing a few tips to consider when you’re buying vintage postage.

Verde Stamps
Be intentional.
There is a dizzying array of stamps available online. For example, I’m doing a year-long study of the word “love,” so I bought this vintage LOVE series, including stamps from 1943 to 1988 (Verde Studio). If you’re a bibliophile, you might be drawn to this 1977 four-cent stamp: “A Public That Reads. A Root of Democracy.” Some people customize their vintage postage to convey a cryptic personal message to each addressee. (How fun would that be?) Whatever you want to achieve, there’s a stamp out there just for you.

Be careful not to fall in love with something that breaks your budget.
Let’s be clear: vintage postage may be a classy way to reflect your personal taste, but it’s definitely not a budget conscious decision, especially for a wedding invitation, which often requires additional postage. It’s possible to buy vintage stamps economically, but if you must have a certain stamp AND it’s one that collectors find interesting, you could pay much more than the face value of a stamp. The least expensive way to purchase: buy sheets priced at full value plus one dollar or an amount that you find acceptable.

Allow extra time to plan your stamp layout.
When you buy vintage stamps, you’ll often get an assortment of values that will need to be cobbled together to meet postage requirements. This could affect the way you address each envelope. If you’re using a calligrapher, you’ll need to coordinate your stamp layout carefully to avoid obstructing the address.

Become a skilled shopper.
Unless you write precise search queries, you’ll spend gobs of time looking for vintage stamps that have special significance. Add keywords such as books, love or reading—whatever may lead you to your theme. Use sources with good search tools. Visit local stamp and coin collecting clubs or stores, where you can often buy at reasonable prices. Of course, if you aren’t worried about authenticity, you can get a vintage look when you have stamps designed at Zazzle and other online retailers.

Here are a few vintage stamp sellers not mentioned above:

If you love the old-fashioned practice of sending personal notes, please check out my Vintage Pink Sweater notecards now on sale. With each $22 purchase, you’ll be benefitting breast cancer patients who receive care, support and products through Pink Ribbon Connection.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.