Throwing a party is a chore on its own; then you have to make your invite list, choose an invitation, send them, and keep track of your attendees. The invitations part of a party can be overwhelming, but surprisingly fun at the same time.
How can sending invitations be fun? Well with so many online invitation services available to you, what was once a “task,” has become a delight.
What’s the occasion?
There are evite services that suit any and every need. From kindergarten celebrations to weddings and even bachelor or bachelorette parties, there is a service for them all. The first step in deciding which service to go with, is to decide what kind of invitation you want, which depends on the type of occasion.
Many people use evite services for happy celebrations, but some also use them for more somber ones, like funerals or memorials. One of the best known evite services out there, and for good reason, is Paperless Post. It really has limitless options when it comes to design, and for impressing your guests, few can compare. Invitation designs on Paperless Post range from modern to classic, to floral and everything in between, making the invitations ideal for weddings, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and other parties. One of the biggest selling points of the service, is the amount of collaborators it works with to design its templates. Choose a Gatsby and 20’s era looking invitation designed by Jonathan Adler, an always beautiful polka dot look by Kate Spade New York, or any of the other designs from various designers including Oscar de la Renta and Crane & Co. You can also customize your envelope, envelope lining and the stamp to get your desired look.
Celebrations.com also offers a large variety of invitation designs, but lacks the designers touch that Paperless Post offers. Independant designers upload their designs, some even on the quirky and wackier side, which are appropriate picks for kids’ parties or school gatherings. Though the designers aren’t well known, the invitation designs are colorful, different, original, and fun, meaning each design has a “wow” factor.
For those in need of a service to send evites for a less happy occasion, check out Minted. It offers many designs and some more simple and adult-focused ones, but the best part about it is that designs are offered in multiple colors. Say you like the card but want it in simple black or white, almost any design can be changed to your desired color. This is a nice feature, as most evite sites offer few optional colors for designs.
If Giving Back is Important to You
There are also evite sites that take it further than sending evites, like donating a portion of sales to nonprofits or other organizations benefiting such causes as wildlife, or the less fortunate.
As its name suggests, Greenvelope is an evite site with a green edge. The service is already benefiting the environment by enabling people to send digital invites instead of physical, paper ones, but it goes even further. The Seattle-based company aims to save paper and preserve the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest by donating a percentage of every sale it makes to “Mountains to Sound,” a non-profit organization that maintains forests. As the tagline says, “together we can ‘invite’ a greener future.”
Another service with purpose is Pingg. Its designs come from a large community of independent designers that leads not only to many designs, but also to employment for people who may have a hard time finding it elsewhere. Pingg gives its designers a platform to give away or sell their artistic creations, and the revenue from premium designs used is shared with the designer.
If You’re Looking for “More”
Sending invitations is something that everyone needs, but some companies take the task a step further, offering features and services to make the “big occasion” experience a bit easier. If you’re looking to send evites but also for a service that will help you plan your party, be sure to look at Punchbowl. The service offers party ideas, from Disney-themed kids parties to adult cocktail parties, and even gives you clever food and entertainment ideas. The service will also help you connect to vendors, including barmen, food stands, costume rental companies, chefs and entertainers, to help you throw your ultimate party. You just put in the vendor required, your location and radius and click “search,” and the system will pull up a list of relevant service providers in the area.
While it may seem like it defeats the purpose of using an evite site, A requested feature made by frequent party throwers, is a service that can send not just digital invitations, but physical ones too. This may seem like it’s defeating the whole purpose of an evite site, but if your Great Aunt prefers good old-fashioned paper and just can’t get used to the online invitation thing, it’s a must. Redstamp offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to send both online and physical invitations using the same exact design. If you’re not sending any invitation to your more classic and old fashioned family members, consider the opposite direction and create an smartphone app specially for your occasion. YappBox is a unique approach to party and event planning. Using the YappBox website, you can create an app of your own for you and your guests. Send invitations, invite members who have the app to share pictures and news updates, upload directions to the party, the event itinerary and even social media feeds like Twitter. Creating an app for your event gives it a community feel, and offers guests a simple, easy-to-use, and convenient place to find information.
Some services go above and beyond the invitations sphere by offering RSVP tracking and other useful tools. Paperless Post allows you to see each recipient's status, whether they’ve opened the invite or not, or if they’ve responded or not. If they haven’t opened the invite, you can remind them to. You can also update any guest’s status manually for those who don’t use email or didn’t receive the invitation, send reminders about the event, add co-hosts and even exporting your attendee list to a spreadsheet, all of which be done on its website or mobile app.
Most of the evite sites work in the same way when it comes to pricing. The model is like this: free invitation designs and service features are offered, but limited, and any that go above and beyond, will cost extra.
Two sites in particular that offer a large amount of good looking and free designs, are Evite and Postmark. Evite, which is one of the most popular services, boasts 100+ million users. The reason for its popularity? The amount of free designs available. Offering free designs is so important to Evite that is displays the option to browse for free in big letters on the front page of its website. There are tons of designs available for all occasions — your husband’s 50th, a July 4th BBQ, tailgates, your niece’s pool party, getaways, and so much more.
For a slightly different need, Postmark offers incredibly affordable user invitations. Unlike party invitations, Postmark is catered towards startups and businesses who want to send emails to current and future customers to try out their product. The service is simple; you just create an email template or use the one it created, fill in the necessary details, such as the user’s name, your company name, project name, product name and a few others, and press send. Your template can be saved to use for future invitations. Pricing for Postmark works on credits, costing as little as 25 cents for 1,000 credits, but the best part is that the company gives you your first 25,000 credits for free.
Check - Evites Have Been Sent!
Now that you are aware of the most popular evite features and services, you should be able to easily choose the one that best suites your needs. From choosing a design, customizing it, and selecting an envelope, to tracking RSVPs, creating an app for your event, or using a service that connects you to useful vendors, there is a service is out there for everything.