How to Send Your Wedding Invitations from Bridal Veil Oregon
In the little town of Bridal Veil, Oregon stands the tiny Bridal Veil post office. A little post office that’s only still standing due to the wedding industry keeping it open for its highly sought after postmark. If you’d like to have your wedding invitations hand canceled with one of their unique postmarks and send your wedding invitations from Bridal Veil Oregon you will need to be sure to follow the directions below and not skip any steps to ensure that this great post office does not get closed down. Not only will you be helping keep a great piece of Americana history alive, but you will also have the most perfect postmark for your wedding invitations.
History of Bridal Veil, Oregon
Bridal Veil is a virtual ghost town located in the Columbia River Gorge, about 25 minutes east from Portland. It was established in 1886 during the logging boom of Oregon. As of November 2011, all that remains of this little town is the Bridal Veil Lodge, an old cemetery, and a post office.
Bridal Veil began in the 1880s with the construction of one of Oregon’s first paper mills on Bridal Veil Creek. A small number of houses were built at this time for the workers of the paper mill and their families to live. Later, a saw mill was built in Bridal Veil that assisted with the logging of timber on Larch Mountain. The Bridal Veil Falls Lumbering Company operated until 1936 until it was struck by fire and shutdown.
Legend has it that a passenger on the stern wheeler traveling along the Columbia River, Baily Gatzert, saw what is now know as Bridal Veil Falls and remarked on how it looked like a “delicate, misty bride’s veil.” As the years went by, people begun to refer to this location of the Columbia River Gorge as Bride’s Veil. When the first post office opened around 1886 and a small railroad station was put in, the community was officially named Bridal Veil.
In 1937, the entire town and its mill were bought by a company that became to be known as Bridal Veil Lumber & Box Company. This company made wooden cheese boxes for Kraft Food Company. From 1955 to 1960, the company’s president, Leonard Kraft, published a newsletter that included information on business and society information from potluck dinners to who was visiting Bridal Veil and even employees’ anniversaries. The Bridal Veil Lumber & Box Company Newsletter became a newspaper of sorts for the 100 residents of Bridal Veil until it closed its doors in 1960. Today the cheese boxes made in Bridal Veil are considered a highly desirable collectible.
In 1990, the Trust for Public Land acquired Bridal Veil and its buildings. Despite a ten year fight from the Crown Point Country Historical Society to preserve the mill houses and the buildings, the trust had them demolished in 2001. Besides the mill, the town also once had a two-story school and a church.
Bridal Veil Cemetery
The cemetery’s last burial was in 1934. Many of the gravestones standing today account for the historic smallpox and diphtheria outbreaks that swept through this part of Oregon over a century ago. On Memorial Day 2006, the Bridal Veil Historical Preservation Society held a service in the cemetery to mark gaining the deed and rights to preserve the cemetery. The Society was hoping to also gain title to the building and land of the Bridal Veil Community Church, but unfortunately time ran out before they were able to do so and it was demolished on October 27, 2011.
Bridal Veil Post Office
The original 1800s post office was relocated in the 1930s into a tiny 10×14 building that was once a tool shed for the mill. At its size, it is the second smallest free-standing post office in the US. Its closet-sized three customers at a time lobby has 60 post office boxes and a tiny service window. The beautiful Colombia River can be seen behind the post office. Every so often, the federal government tries to close this office down, but the public’s protests continue to keep it open and operating. For many years now, the wedding industry and brides wanting to be a part of a great historical tradition, have kept this little town going long after the logging industry abandoned it.
The Bridal Veil post office may be small, but their service is the best I’ve experienced at any post office. They helped me in every way and their delivery was super quick. Much faster than when I mail things out from Portland. We mailed out all of our invitations on Saturday afternoon and by Monday everyone had received them. Even those in California, Texas, and Maryland! Now, that’s service!
Mailing Our Invitations from the Bridal Veil Post Office
We had a great time during our visit to the Bridal Veil post office to mail out invitations to our destination Maui wedding. The tiny place was very cute and the woman at the counter was extremely helpful. I talked to her about some of the history of Bridal Veil and about all of the wedding invitations that went through there to get the special Bridal Veil postmark.
She weighed our invitations to let us know how much each one would cost us to ship and gave us a large selection of postage stamps to select from. She also helped us figure out which domination of postage stamps we would need to use to have the right amount on our invitations. After careful consideration, we choose the monarch butterfly, wedding cake, and wedding rings. We’d actually already purchased some of the wedding cake and wedding ring stamps, but re-purchased them to support this great piece of Americana history.
While putting the stamps on the invitations, we managed to find out how brides from out-of-town could also mail out their invitations from Bridal Veil. The woman at the counter stressed that they very much appreciated all of the brides purchasing their postage from the Bridal Veil post office since it was the revenue from those stamps that kept them open.
The woman at the post office commented on how our labels were the best she’d ever seen come through the Bridal Veil post office. That’s saying a lot considering all the thousands of wedding invitations that go through there each year. She also loved how they where wrapped in brown package paper.
Visiting Bridal Veil Falls
After getting our wedding invitations off in the mail, we off to see Bridal Veil Falls for ourselves. We drove to where the falls are located and hiked a third of a mile in to see them. In good old Oregon fashion, it started raining while we were hiking in and without umbrellas. It was still worth it! The hike was beautiful and the falls do remind you of a bride’s veil.
How to Send Your Wedding Invitations from Bridal Veil, Oregon
1. DO NOT send your invitations pre-stamped to the post office. The post office relies on your postage purchase in order to keep it open. Even though I had already purchased wedding stamps, I re-purchased them at the Bridal Veil post office to make sure I supported keeping them open and this wonderful wedding tradition alive.
2. Weigh one of your completed stuffed invitations to determine the correct amount of postage that will be required for each invitation. If you have unusual shaped envelopes, make sure to take this into consideration. Envelops that are not the standard size or shapes, such as square, will require additional postage. Also, if any of your invitations are going to other countries, also take this into consideration. Mailing to another country will cost more. Once you have determined how much it will cost, take this amount and multiply it by how many invitations you will be mailing out to know how much you will need to make your check to the Bridal Veil post office for.
3. See what postage stamp design(s) that you would like that are currently available at usps.com. Remember, you are only going to the site to look. You need to order your stamps directly from the Bridal Veil post office. Mail your order to the Bridal Veil post office by sending a note with your name, telephone number, full return address, and a signed check for the amount you figured out in step 1.
It is very important to do this step and not mail your invitations with the check. When the post office gets thousands of invitations a day to mail out, you can’t expect them to put stamps on all of those envelops for you. Don’t worry, they will mail the stamps back to you very quickly.
1 W Mill Road
Bridal Veil, Oregon 97010
4. While waiting for your stamps to arrive, take this time to address and stuff your invitations. Don’t forget to address and send an invitation to you and your fiancé. Decide which hand cancellation postmark you think will look best on your invitations. You can select from their two special postmarks of either double hearts or doves. Or you can go with the traditional Bridal Veil postmark. If you do not select a postmark, the postmaster will decide for you based on what she thinks will look the best.
5. Once your wedding stamps have arrived, take careful consideration on where to place them on the outer envelopes. Dropping it down from the top edge of the right-hand corner and in a little bit from the right side, will keep the stamp in the corner it’s required to be in and also leave the postmaster enough room to place the postmark image nicely over your postage. It’s also important to remember that the post mark needs to be on, at the very least, a small part of each stamp, if you are using more than one, it needs to be able to cancel out all of the stamps.
6. Write a note to the Postmaster of Bridal Veil thanking them for sending out your invitations and include the information they will need to mail out your invitations. Let them know what day you want the invitations postmarked for, as well as your name, phone number, and return address.
7. If you are sending more than 50 invitations to be sent out, you will need to send a check for an additional hand cancellation charge of 5 cents per envelope over 50. Even at 5 cents per envelope after your first 50 envelops for free, this is a great price. Most post offices charge over 10 cents for every envelope they hand cancel.
8. When all of your invitations are stamped and addressed, box them up using packaging supplies that will keep them from moving around in the box during shipment. You don’t want your invitations to arrive damaged in Bridal Veil. You might even consider double boxing them and wrapping them inside a plastic bag to waterproof the interior of the box, just in case. Take your package to your local post office and mail your invitations to the same address you used above. Be sure to mail them with plenty of time for the Bridal Veil post office to process them and send them to your guests in time.
If you have any questions, feel free to call the Bridal Veil post office. They are more than willing to help you figure out how much you will need to send for postage and when you should mail your invitations to them.
Bridal Veil Post Office contact information:
Postmaster Geri Canzler
9:30 am-3:30 pm PST Mon-Saturday
1 W Mill Rd
Bridal Veil Oregon 97010
Will you be sending your wedding invitations from Bridal Veil, Oregon?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.