Invitations & Ecards

2013 Edition, Part 1

Ecards and Invitations

E-card designs from Oriental Trading Co.

Whether you are gathering a few friends together for a night out, hosting a holiday celebration, or planning a wedding, an anniversary, a business meeting, a fund-raiser, or trying to sell out your New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, there are web tools available to help you almost every step of the way. No two are alike, though. Some sites offer free invitations and ecards, others are full party planning sites, and some have extra tools for professional event managers (but also cater to novices).

As the winter holiday season approaches, we present a three-part series on party planning online tools and the sites that offer them.

Selected Invitation Sites

Oriental Trading Company Oriental Trading Companhy

Free cards and invitations plus a party supply store

Oriental Trading Company offers free invitations and holiday cards, obviously with the hope that you will shop from their impressive selection of holiday and party supplies. Registration gets you the free cards, shopping tools and an email newsletter.

Crosscards

Christian and other free holiday cardsCrosscards logo

Crosscards.com is a Christian ecard site that offers free invitations and templates to your party or event. The site offers ecards for a wide variety of holidays (Christian, American and, curiously, Hanukkah – but Halloween is conspicuously absent). The cards often including scriptural quotes (mostly Old Testament, mainly from Psalms), with animated cards, too.

Their invitations include a wide variety, from the usual holiday invitations, to a few for showers, celebrations, girls night out, and some unique ones, like an invitation for yogurt, or for sharing your ministry, or reminders about ending and starting daylight savings time.

A free registered account allows you to upload or create an address book, track sent and received ecards, set personal reminders for important dates, bookmark favorite cards and also download wallpapers for your computer. (They include monthly calendar and scripture wallpapers.) They also have scriptural art for your Facebook page. They also offer an inspirational newsletter as well as updates of what’s on the site.

My Invites

Free ecards, personalization, mailing lists.MyInvites logo

My Invites is an Australian party supply site that also allows you to send invitations and ecards for free, with tools for personalizing the cards and creating your mailing lists. If you are ordering supplies and your don’t live in Australia, consider the international shipping costs.

Purple Trail

Lots of free no-ad e-invitations and ecards with free event websites and mailing list and Purple Trail LogoRSVP management; or, for a fee: downloaded high-resolution cards to print yourself, or professionally printed cards, stationary, mugs, and magnets.

Purple Trail is an impressive site for invitations, ecards, and party planning with over 5000 ecard designs, each of which can be re-designed and personalized. You can send invitations via email, as well as traditional print cards and invitations. Tools include:

  • Personalization tools for ecards, e-invitations and announcements, including color, arrangement of elements, and the option to add uploaded photos
  • Change card sizes and formats
  • Option to create, design and deliver paper cards, for a fee
  • Envelope printing optional, including addresses
  • Option to have friends, family or colleagues check the design online
  • Transfer any card design to a magnet
  • Wall calendar designs
  • Contact management online
  • Collect RSVP’s and comments with an event web page
  • Invitations may include an online map of the event location, a bring along list, a poll, and fund collection (it’s not clear on the public site if they offer credit card support).

someecards

someecards
free cards and invitations, registration required for some services (Facebook registration available)someecards logo

Want some unusual, contemporary, snarky ecards and invitations? Someecards combines traditional black and white clip art with contemporary themes, including some rude ones. Actually, lots of adult themes these days. Someecards also includes new satirical, topical messages every week.

Cozy B&B someecardYou register for free to send invitations and use guest lists and RSVP’s. Includes Google Map links and the ability to leave comments. The site also has a store for various gift items. Where else can you find an “I cheat at Dreidel” T-shirt?

Manvite

Free invitations just for guysManvite logo

If you’re tired of sites with pretty cards, ladies-night-out invitations, and teas, Manvite is a site “For any guy, dude, bro, pal, or man who wants a straightforward and irreverent way to send and track event invitations.”

Manvite menu selectionsManvite offers specialized invitations for bachelor parties, poker games, beer bashes, golf games, football parties, trips to Vegas, strip club celebrations, cookouts and much more. It’s the only invitation site that offers pin-up calendars.

Smilebox

Specializes in using photos, videos and slide showsSmilebox

Smilebox has ecards and invitations, but specializes in providing tools to use your own personal photos and videos for simple cards to slide shows, scrapbooks and more. The site has downloadable software for PC’s and Macs and iPhones, and also connects with some social media sites. They also offer home delivery for printed materials, and subscription services for a monthly or annual fee.

Paperless Post

Free ecards to up to 500 people; can order paper stationary and cards, despite the name.PaperlessPost

Paperless Post offers both ecards and traditional paper stationary and cards, envelopes and stationary, created by pro designers. Some cards are free but stationary, envelopes and other premium features need to be paid for by “coins” which you purchase in quantity. Free cards do have a generous limit of 500 recipients (15,000 for the paid).

Paperless Post E-invitations include public invitation and RSVP lists for your event. Alternatively, you may add a web link in your card to your fundraising or RSVP website instead. The site requires Adobe Flash.

Socializr

Free evitesNew Socializer logo

Socializr Formerly a social media party site, it has been taken over by Punchbowl and transformed into an evite only site, but new features are said to be coming. (See more about Punchbowl in our second installment.)

Celebrate birthday

Artwork from greeting-cards.com

Other invitation and ecard sites

Greeting-Cards.com
Free ecards and invitations, mostly in cartoon style. Good for general events and celebrations, but not so much for holidays.

Atomeet
Create invitations, design a simple website, and manage lists. Not sure if the site has been updated since it was created in 2008.

Myinvites
Nice Australia-based invitation, event-management site with online store, gift registry, and tons of party ideas. The only invitation site with options to create notes with bleak Australian scenic photos. Doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2011.

Blue Mountain
Primarily ecards, the site also offers ‘net stationary and postcards which can be used for invitations and announcements. includes options to deliver by email, through Facebook, or downloaded and printed.Blue Mountain logoCare2
A nonprofit support site for nature lovers and environmentalists, they have thousands of free ecards available, including the ability to search by group or even by animal. No invitations that I could see, though. (They do have Thank You cards, though, which are always appropriate after the event or party.)

123 Greetings
Primarily an ecard site, click on the Invites menu and there’s a collection of invitations for holidays and events. They also have mailing list and RSVP tracking tools and email notifications. All free (supported by ads).

Most party and event planning sites also offer invitations. See our upcoming posts on full-featured party planning sites, and professional event planning resource on
Frugal Guidance 2.


Please share your own favorite invitation sites in the comments!


 

Sign up for our Frugal Guidance 2 newsletter at the top of this page.

Frugal Guidance 2 - http://andybrandt531.com