Paper Invites Make a Return With Custom Options


Your special events are unique, so why not make them extraordinary with custom invitations? The development of free services, like Evite in 1998 and later Punchbowl in 2007, have given party planners a simple way to send out instant invites to events without the need for postage, possessing nothing more than a guest’s email address. Facebook provides an even simpler way to create an event page and send out instant invites to your list of friends with just a couple of clicks.

However, Evite especially faced criticism several years ago when it failed to update its user interface with less intrusive ads and a more streamlined invite editing process. Both Evite and Punchbowl now allow users to opt for a monthly membership or other paid premium services that unlock additional designs and features such as polls and business friendly services like logo inclusion and an ad-free experience. Some services, such as Paperless Post allow users to choose free online options that mimic the look and feel of chic paper.

However, despite the convenience of online-only invites, paper invitations and greeting cards continue to be the gold standard for the most formal of events. With the ease of design, printing, and ordering done completely online, even informal events like summer picnics and barbecues can benefit from the use of paper. Color and design options are seemingly endless and your guests get to keep a memento of the event. There are recycled paper options available too, for those concerned about the environmental cost of sending more paper out into the world.

And besides, who doesn’t enjoy receiving mail from a friend or loved one? Now that letter writing has become a rare occurrence, paper invitations show a special kind of thoughtfulness and care. For weddings or birthdays, your choice of colors, designs, photos, and fonts can really help to set a mood or atmosphere that ties into the theme of your special event. Some custom options now include foil-lined envelopes, matching personalized address labels or envelope design, free samples and proofs, and standard rush shipping. Some services, like tinyprints even offer matching partyware or favors and fabric that coordinates with your invitation design. One service, Minted, is partnering with Plant-It 2020 to plant over 100,000 trees in the next several months, which according to their site “represents nearly 7 times the amount of tree material used…” for their printing projects.

Here are some things to consider when designing your own paper invitations:

Your event’s theme: casual, formal, what/who are you celebrating, what season of the year will it take place? These factors can all be reflected in your invitation design and may influence your choice of color and theme.

The use of photos, which should be high quality (at least 300 pixels per inch). Remember, photos may look very different printed or resized than what appear on your computer screen. Consider ordering a printed proof to check the print quality. You may even want to use photo correction services built into the invitation ordering process.

Don’t forget the cost of postage: Items like inserts, premium quality paper stock and reply cards can add to the cost of postage. The best way to find out postage cost is to order a custom proof and bring it to your local post office to check the weight.

If you have a large number of invitations to manage, consider hiring help to manage replies and responses, and help check to ensure addresses are up to date. Remember, Saving Grace Chicago is always at your service to assist in managing invitations to make your event a perfectly planned success, whether it’s an intimate gathering, family reunion or wedding, business event or conference.

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