In Part 1 of this series, we looked at a variety of free and premium online invitation sites. If your party, celebration or event production needs go beyond sending email invitations, there are sites that can organize your entire party. Some even offer to sell you the supplies while you’re planning. We also include a couple of celebration-oriented photo sites and vendor finding resources.
Strangely, in spite of all their sophistication, none of these sites simply list what they have to offer. For that reason, Frugal Guidance 2 tries to gather and list the major features for each site to make comparison easier.
Punchbowl offers ecards and invitations (up to 500 free) and party planning tools, including:
- Date Decider and Date Announcements
- Post-event online photo and video sharing site
- Twitter and Facebook integrations, including invitations
- Reminders and to-dos
- Pot-luck dinner organization
- Guest polling
- Upload guest lists from many sources, including Evite
- RSVP management
- Gift registries
- Thank you cards
- Local vendor search for supplies and services
- Cocktail poll
- Contributions via PayPal or credit card
- Co-host friendly
- Recurring event friendly, can automatically schedule and send e-invitations
- Can add paid gift cards to ecards
- Online store for party supplies
Punchbowl also offers party ideas, personalization services, priority tech support, advertising-free invitations and yearly memberships for a fee. Impressive!
Celebrations (formerly pingg.com) is an invitation, party and event organization site based in New York City. It offers designers cards and you can add your own designs and photos. Ecards and events (with ads) are free for up to 75 recipients. An annual or single-event fee gets you ad-free and other options for up to 250. For more than 250 guests, you need a Party Pro membership.
They also offer party and event planning tools with:
- RSVP management
- Event and ecard web pages
- Ticket and payment services
- A Find a Vendor database for party services and entertainment
- A Drink Meter (to estimate how many beverages you need)
Other resources include articles, recipes, crafts, party ideas, DIY trends, décor ideas and printables. Design tools require Adobe Flash Player. You can also pay for physical, postal cards which they stamp and mail for you.
Celebrations has lots of party ideas for kids, too. Some oddities are the “100 Days of School” party ideas (which instantly suggests the curmudgeonly thought, “Nobody celebrated 100 days of school and had a party when I was young.” But I really liked the Halloween crime scene cupcakes, with red-blood-droplet-like decorations.
Greenvelope, a Seattle-based business, specializes in elegant e-invitations for weddings, business-based events, holidays, baby, birthdays, and also the full range from Christian events to bar/bat mitzvahs. They also offer:
- Ticket and donation management
- Import contact lists
- Event pages
- Corporate branding tools
- RSVP and Guest info collection
- Option to link to your own website
- Schedule reminders
- Collect survey information
SeeYouThen! helps you create a private page, called an Exchange, and invite guests to upload low- and high-res photos (can include professional photography), create photobooks, profiles, and messages. You can share duties with multiple managers.
SeeYouThen offers free basic sites with options to upgrade.
PIX ‘n’ Pals
PiX ‘n’ PaLs
Free event photo and video sharing for all your parties
Create a personal account with your profile on the PiX ‘n’ PaLs site. Then create an event and contact others. After the event, you invite your guests to upload their photos, which can be grouped together by event, tagged, commented on, and published on your profile page. You can publish many events on your profile and create “The Story of Your Life” (which begs the question as to whether your life is merely the sum of your parties). The site automates linking with members who attend the same events. Can also follow other friends registered on PiX ‘n’ PaLs.
PartyPop.com is a national (U.S.) database of party and event resources. PartyPop also includes an event cost calculator (with Bronze, Silver and Gold price levels), and lots of videos with ideas on how to use the site.
PartyPop features a directory for everything you need for a wedding or any other kind of party or celebration from birthday to retirement, corporate event, or fundraiser. The database includes listings for event producers if you need to outsource the event planning, too.
PartyPop also offers free printed wedding invitations (a nice incentive), event invitations, wedding web pages, and free online wedding and event planning software (including floor plans, seating, and guest management).
With Tweetvite you can find tweet-ups or create invitations for offline meetings of Twitter members. You can search for local tweet-ups in your area.
Snappening is mentioned here as an example of a regional event-planning site to help non-professional event planners (brides, fund-raisers, corporate assistants and others). In the case of Snappening, the area served is Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, KY.
So, if you don’t live in Indianapolis, check with your local event planners and online to see what local planning resources are available. This is particularly important when searching for venues, getting recommendations for services, or just shopping for a pro event planner to manage your event.
One other regional example is Eventup, which is specifically for finding venues in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington, DC. Any city will probably have some sort of similar service online these days.
All of which is to say that no online list can be complete, particularly one compiled by a single writer. But we can try!
More to Come
Our final post in the series will feature event planning web resources for amateur and professional event planners, including Evite, Anyvite, EventBrite and many more resources for professional event managers.
Please share your favorite party planning resources in our comments section.