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New issues just in time for wedding season

"Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage!"

These are the lovable lyrics of a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, and over the years we have seen U.S. postage stamps glorifying this message with beautiful designs and themes on love and weddings.

Ever since the first "Love" stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1973, collectors and the general public have eagerly sought them out, welcoming the opportunity to grace their love letters and wedding invitations with stylish and colorful designs.

Wedding stamps, however, are new on the Postal Service program. The first was issued last year. Central to the planning of any wedding celebration is the invitation. It is often the glimpse the couple gives their friends and family of the day to come.

The first wedding stamps featured elegant and elaborate script, reminiscent of the mid-19th century. Prominent on the stamps is a white dove -- a symbol of peace and love.

In June, the Postal Service will release the second in the wedding series by introducing two unique stamps. Featured are vines that form the shape of a heart. These stamps were designed especially for mailing wedding invitations and RSVPs.

The wedding stamps of 2007 will be available in two denominations to cover both the 1-ounce and 2-ounce mailing rates. Each 1-ounce stamp is intended for use on the RSVP envelope often enclosed with the invitation. The 2-ounce stamp will accommodate the heavier weight of the invitation with enclosures.

If love makes the world go round, the Postal Service sets the globe spinning with it's many stamps dedicated to love.

Some examples of recent love designs include the 2006 stamp displaying two birds nesting together and colored blue to signify happiness and fulfillment.
In 2005, the love stamp portrayed a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Art Director Derry Noyes based his floral feature on the old masters of art, such as Picasso's painting of a hand holding flowers.

In 2004, like the 2007 stamp, it illustrated candy -- two overlapping candy hearts signifying "I Love You."

Earlier this year, a 39-center emphasizing "Love and Kisses" shows a Hershey Kiss chocolate and a red heart forming mirror images of each other.

It is interesting to note that in 1984 the word "LOVE" appeared five times on stamps with the letter "V" on each word in the shape of a heart.

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