A few weeks ago, my daughters were invited to a birthday party via an email invitation. That was certainly not the first email invitation they’ve received, but it was the cutest. Cute enough, in fact, that it made me rethink my preference for printed invitations. My girls said they like getting invitations by email or text. The info is at their fingertips, and they can see who else will be at the party. They are just phone people now! I had a chance to test drive an online invitation product this week and thought I’d share with you how to use Paperless Post for email party invitations.
I’ll always be a fan of getting personalized mail in my mail box. It’s just such a fun treat in the middle of the bills and catalogs and junk. And in the past, email invitation providers didn’t offer designs that were appealing – let alone themed to my event. So, choosing a printable instead of an email invite was an easy decision. But some email invitation providers are upping the style game.
I was recently invited to review Paperless Post. Before I said yes, I checked out their designs. I was so impressed. They were elegant and modern, clean and fun. There were any number of invitations I could have happily chosen for some upcoming parties, but I immediately thought about the Royal Wedding Viewing Party I’ll be hosting for a small group of friends on May 19. (I’ll be sharing my party plan for that event soon, so you can copy it for your own viewing party.)
I’d already scoured Etsy for a design that had a touch of Britain in the style of a wedding invitation, and I came up empty. But I found an invitation on Paperless Post that was perfect. And, for a small, casual brunch at my house, an email invite felt like the right way to go.
So, I thought I’d walk you through how easy it was to create our Paperless Post invitation, in case you want to try this for one of your parties.
1 – You’ll need to create an account to send your invitation. Go to Paperless Post, click the “Sign Up” box in the upper right corner, and fill out the pop-up form.
2 – Search for your invitation by designer or event, like “kids’ birthday invitations.” In the kids category, you can find character invitations, superheros, pool parties, dinosaur parties, sports parties and more. The character-driven invites are really cute and don’t look like you just bought a movie poster. I went to the Wedding section, clicked All, and then put “London” in the search field.
3 – I found 19 possible invitations, but number one was the clear winner.
4 – Click on the invitation you prefer to begin editing. I chose the black version of the skyline. You can see under “Design Variations” that several other skylines are available, as well. Now click “Customize” to make other changes.
The thing I really like about Paperless Post is how easy the interface is to use. The system walks you through each choice step-by-step. Even though you have a lot of customization choices, the system doesn’t feel overwhelming. You can also preview your invitation and go back and change your mind about your choices. You can stop and come back to your design at any time. It saves automatically.
See where it says “Free?” If you click that, you’ll get a pop-up explaining how you pay to use Paperless Post.
5 – While many cards are free, when you choose a premium design or options like the background or envelope, you’ll pay for those in “coins.” You buy coins in packages, and as you build your card, the upper right corner of the screen will tell you how many coins per recipient your card costs. You can always remove elements to decrease your cost.
6 – The first option is a background for your card. I looked for something like the Union Jack, but went with gold polka dots. Each time you finish a step, click the right arrow.
7 – Now you can edit and format your text. You also can change the font and colors. When I’m working with professionally designed templates, I assume that the designers know what they’re doing better than I do, and I didn’t make any style edits.
8 – You also can edit text on the back of the card, but I didn’t need to, so I just deleted the text you see here. I could see using the back of the card for a party that requires directions or other instructions.
9 – What’s cool is that even though this is an email invitation, you can choose an envelope and stamp. First up is the envelope liner. The system will suggest and envelope color and liner combination, but you can click “Liner” in the left sidebar to see other options.
10 – I would have left the envelope black, but I wanted to postmark the stamp, and the postmark is black, so it didn’t show up against the black envelope. But changing the envelope to white was a simple fix. Just click “Envelope” in the left sidebar and then choose your color.
11 – Now you’ll see the front of your envelope with sample text and a stamp. You won’t actually edit the sample text, because the system will fill that in automatically after you enter your guests’ information. The typeface will default to match your invitation, but you can change it if you like.
Click “Stamp & Postmark”. There is a free stamp or themed stamps that you can pay for with coins. Since the free option is a black line illustration, I liked how it coordinated with the skyline image on my invitation and just used it. Then click “Postmark” and choose your favorite. I selected a postmark from London (natch).
12 – The reply card is your next option. Mine was fine as the default, but you have loads of options, and can even link guests to a separate website, if you need to.
13 – On the event page, enter the details of your event. You have the option to use a guest list and/or comment wall.
14 – Finally, you’ll enter your guest list and their email addresses.
15 – Once your guest list is complete, you can send your invitation immediately, or schedule your invite to send at a later date and time. I’ve scheduled my invite to go out three weeks before my event.
16 – When all that is done, you can preview you entire invitation suite. You see the envelope open and the invitation pop out. It’s so cute! At the bottom, you can see how easy it is for your guests to click “will attend” or “will not attend.”
My invitation wound up costing 4 coins per guest, and since I’m only sending four invitations, I spent a whopping (ha!) 16 coins. That’s a total of $6, and I didn’t even have to leave my house. I saved over the typical cost of a printable invitation, plus I didn’t have to spend a dime on printing, envelopes or postage. If you’re looking for a way to deliver a stylish invitation and save money, I’d definitely consider an email invitation from Paperless Post.
What do you think? Are you a printed invite in the mail girl or are you all about the email invitation? Let me know in the comments below.
This is a sponsored post. The Party Teacher has received payment and/or products from Paperless Post in exchange for my honest review. However, all opinions are my own. I only promote products and companies I love.