Online invitations have come a long way since their introduction way back in 1998 with Evite. But twenty years (!) in the internet world is practically a lifetime—since then we’ve been able to grab cars and rooms though apps like Uber and Airbnb, swap work files on virtual clouds like Dropbox, and snap selfies and share across social media channels with hashtags like #fyrefestival (too soon?)—all with a few taps of our phone.
The point is, the world has changed in regard to how we interact with others, and online invitation services have had to keep up. While Evite is certainly credited for inventing the idea of going paperless with invitations, many Evite alternatives are breaking into the scene and making their own mark. Newer online invitation sites are stepping up their game when it comes to how they interact with guests before, during, and after the event. And a few added bells and whistles never hurt either.
Below we’ve shared some of the best alternatives to Evite and why they have the chops to exist in our current cyberspace.
The one thing that definitely makes Paperless Post stand out is their beautiful interface, where you can customize online cards, invitations, and flyers by using their designs or even uploading your own. Their invitations feature traditional stationary designs as well as stunning designer collections like Rifle Paper and Anthropologie.
They’ve definitely kept up with the digital times with their vast choice of designs, but they have also managed to keep a bit of nostalgia when it comes to the animation features. When guests receive their online invitations, the animation opens the envelope for them, not unlike opening a real envelope. It’s a small touch, but we like it.
The entire process is intuitive, and their products are highly customizable from colors to typefaces to even the lining of the “envelope.” Additional features include RSVP tracking, the ability to connect registries, and a few toggle options that you can play around with, like adding a plus one (…or not).
Takeaway: If beautiful invitation designs are what you’re after, go for this one.
It’s hard to beat Paperless Post when it comes to beautiful designs, but Punchbowl punches well above its weight in some areas, most specifically for children’s events. If your evites are intended for the younger crowd, Punchbowl has the market cornered with various Disney characters as well as other familiar favorites like Elsa, the Incredibles, Moana, Mickey Mouse, Spiderman, Peppa Pig, and My Little Pony.
But not everything is pint-sized—there are sophisticated watercolor designs as well as seamless, minimalistic invitations for adults too.
On the back-end, you can easily manage guest lists and communicate via their platform. It also has the capability to send reminders to those who have yet to give their reply. For anyone who has ever planned an event and had to deal with RSVP stragglers, this feature is a bit of a godsend if we do say so ourselves.
Standout feature: If you’re planning a potluck event, Punchbowl also has a unique feature that allows invitees to know what to bring, whether its appetizers, beverages or even party supplies.
Unlike the other Evite alternatives, Hobnob steps away from the desktop-based platform and is strictly an app-based invitation service. For those who don’t have the app on their phones, the invitations are sent via text message and invitees can also RSVP with text.
The app is fairly intuitive, and you can get super personal with it by creating custom videos to send to your guests. It’s a great central location for streamlining communication and also for exchanging photos after the event.
In addition to creating a traditional event, you can also create communities where you can communicate with your group in a private forum. But it’s probably best for small groups, as pricing kicks in after a certain number of invites.
Hobnob feature: The best part about Hobnob might also be its downfall—the native-app approach. While it does centralize all pertinent information in one spot, it might not be everyone’s preferred cup of digital tea. If you’re inviting grandpa to your birthday party, you might just have to stick with a good ol’ phone call.
Say goodbye to long email threads and the headache of group text messages with Guestboard. It is an intuitive, modular event platform that allows you to organize all your attendees in one centralized spot, perfect for conversation and ironing out all the details for your event.
An evite will land in their mailbox which shares their personalized link to join the board. While the invitations themselves perhaps aren’t as detailed as say, Paperless Post, the super intuitive platform more than makes up for it. You can easily activate (or hide) a number of features within your board as well as start discussions that help streamline your plans— like splitting car rentals or sharing good Airbnb finds.
Whether you are planning a girls’ weekend away, music festival trip, bachelor party, or even work events, Guestboard has all the tools you need to stay organized and on top of your planning game.
Guestboard’s strong point: It’s the ideal place to gather all your friends in one place—perfect for hashing ideas, figuring out details, and building excitement. Planning is half the fun, isn’t it?
Conclusion: To email or not to email?
Honestly, is it even a question? With these fantastic Evite alternatives, we’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to online event invitations that help to bring your group together.
Online invitations have come a long way in the last 20 years, and it just might be time to consider alternatives to Evite. Paperless Post offers wonderful aesthetics, Punchbowl will have little ones belting out “Let It Go,” Hobnob messages live neatly in your phone, and Guestboard will have you so excited that you’ll be counting down the days to the big event.
Whatever you decide, these online services are easy to customize to fit your gathering’s needs, leaving you more time for what you should be doing—celebrating. Cheers.