Although I do so love all things printed, I’m really into electronic invites at the moment. My Christmas cards are my printing extravaganza for the year in my household. I don’t skimp on any aspect of them. I consider them my own personal ad campaign for my family, and that goes out once a year. So something had to give under the Plym printing costs line item the rest of the year – custom invites can get pricey with four kids! My new go-to for presh invitations is punchbowl.com, the latest and greatest in the online evite niche.
Punchbowl is a little hipper than the original evite designs. They are mailed virtually with customizable envelopes and stamps and my favorite feature, you can upload your own photo. Punchbowl is a robust party management platform – it feels like I’m on my own personal blogging platform. Naturally, that gets me excited!
Here are a few Smarty tips when considering online invites over traditional print invites:
-They are FREE – nuf said.
-Your guest list is obvious to everyone. There are no “ooops” slip-ups to friends who weren’t invited. This particularly comes into play in elementary school and older when your child’s group of friends expands every year with multiple classrooms per grade. You certainly don’t want the birthday girl or her friend to feel awkward with an “umm, you didn’t make the cut” moment.
-Make sure you enter the first AND last name of your guests on the list. See last sentence in point above. Party Planning 101.
-Your guests can carpool. This is HUGE in the birthday party circuit. They even have access to the entire guest list with the message boards. Brilliant!
-You can instant message your guests if you have inclement weather, a change of venue or a friendly reminder to bring socks. Easy breezy!
-It’s hip to go green and save a penny when you can. No killing unnecessary trees, no printing & postage expenses, can’t beat it! Let’s face it. Print is on the decline, in every category.
-You can design the invitation at your own pace. No waiting for the printer to turn around your invitations or having to pick up your envelopes ahead of time. Not when you’re designing online. You are the graphic designer and you can work on them when you feel like it, even if it’s the week before the event.
-When designing your electronic invitation, be sure to google some clever phrases depending on your theme. For example, if you’re hosting at the new Monkey Joe’s in Park Road Shopping Center (love this place and the new owners!), you may want to google “jump birthday party invitations”. You’ll get a list of cute ideas that you can hijack and cut and paste.
The only negative I can think of with electronic invites is that you don’t have that precious, perfectly-printed masterpiece to feature in your scrapbook. That’s a biggie. But, you can print your screen shot. It’s not the same, I know. Hey, we’re still in a recession – FREE is the new black!
Smarties, don’t forget to vote for your FAVES in our first-ever 2011 CSP Awards! Support Local!