Okay, I’ll ask the question… Do you think 10 years from now we will still be sending those expensive paper wedding invitations through the mail? That is, if the postal system is still in existence! Take a look at the main way we communicate with friends and family today:
- Write a letter and send it through the USPS – are you kidding me?!?
- Email – this even seems to be on its decline
- Texting – yes, this is very popular for short, quick messages
- Facebook – most definitely the most widespread way to stay in touch, share pictures, have interactive discussions, etc.
Let’s face it, pretty much everyone checks Facebook to see what’s going on with friends and family. We have it on our laptops, tablets, and phones. Why? Because it’s fast, easy, logically organized so you can easily sort through messages and pictures, you automatically get updates when something new is posted, there’s no paper taking up space, and best of all its totally free! So isn’t it logical to think that eventually we will be migrating to totally digital communication to include save the dates, invitations, RSVPs, and even thank you notes? As much as I love the feel and tradition of a high quality wedding invitation, I think we may be in the last generation that will use them.
If you are feeling really brave and want to break with tradition early, there is a great option. Punchbowl.com is probably the most popular party planning site out there now, and for good reason. It does pretty much anything you would need to plan, organize, invite, track, and thank all your guests for any type of event. Plus, their system works on mobile devices and allows you to send invitations through Facebook private messages or wall posts as well as Twitter. The user interface is easy for both the planner and the guests. They have an amazing amount of customizable animated save the date and invitation designs for almost any occasion. Here’s a few samples.
Some of my favorite features includes the Date Decider. Since you want to make sure your guests are able to make the date of you your events, why not offer options and let them decide? Punchbowl.com makes it easy with the Date Decider:
Their RSVP feature is very easy to use. Here’s a screenshot:
And like I said, I think being able to connect the application to Facebook is essential. Here’s a screenshot of Punchbowl’s interface.
For many of you, taking the leap of going totally online with your wedding planning may be a little too much. Why not try it for your smaller events like your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even just a small party?
I think Punchbowl.com is on the right track but there are a few things that I didn’t like. The free version is loaded with ads which really takes away from the experience for the guests. You have to upgrade to the paid version to get rid of the ads. The other thing I think Punchbowl does need to work on is provide secure RSVPs so people can only RSVP with the number of guests you invite. I believe it’s important to be able to maintain control of your guest list. We designed this feature into our wedding website product. To see what I mean sign-up for a free trial and give it a try.
So, what does the future hold? I think it will be common for brides in the 2020’s to do it all online. Send out save the dates and invitations through direct messages in Facebook, accept and manage RSVPs, manage to-do lists, find vendors, gift registries, take polls about dates to hold the events, and never send out a piece of paper. Are you ready to break with tradition? What are your thoughts?