I am a Punchbowl addict. I love to entertain. I love hostessing. I love organizing events. I love potlucks. Punchbowl combines all of those things. When E-vite first came out I thought, “Wow, this is a cool idea!”. When I discovered punchbowl, I never used E-vite again. It’s user friendly, attractive, organized, efficient, and effective.
A little over a year ago, I did a post on the 5 P’s of Punchbowl, explaining why I love the site so much. Today’s prompt for BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo was about writing How-Tos, and since I sent my punchbowl out to family for Thanksgiving Dinner today, I thought – huh? What a perfect how to! If you are planning any sort of casual holiday gathering, Punchbowl is BY FAR the next best thing to a good ol’ fashioned in the mail invitation, and here’s your How-To Guide. My friends and I have used it for tailgating, girls weekends, ski trips, giant pot luck dinners… So. Many. Possibilities.
What you’ll need:
- Email addresses for the people you want to invite.
- A list of items you want people to bring if you are hosting an event that requires such.
- The who, what, when, where and why of your event.
- A computer with internet browsing capability and connection to the internet.
1. Go to punchbowl.com to get started.
2. Select Browse Invitations and follow the drop-down menu to choose the invitation that applies to your shindig.
3. Select the invitation you would like to use for your event.
4. Choose Personalize Design to edit the text, options, envelope, and event details. Or, if you’ve changed your mind, choose Back to Gallery.
5. If you chose, Personalize Design, fill in the text boxes with the information that applies to your event.
As you move through the process, the bar at the top of the navigation screen shows how much you have completed.
6. Choose Edit Message to change the text on the invitation itself; you can also change the font, text color, size and spacing.
7. Select the envelope tab and click on the indicator bubbles to change the envelope liner, stamp and postage designs.
8. After you’ve finished designing your invitation, click next in the top right of the screen to move on the the GUESTS section. Add the names and email addresses of guests to build your guest list. The more events you host, the more addresses that will be saved in your Punchbowl account. After having hosted 50+ events using Punchbowl, I almost never have to enter new addresses anymore.
9. Under the OPTIONS Section, select the customization that apply to your event. For example, for my Thanksgiving dinner invite to family, I used the potluck option under advanced features to add a list of appetizers, sides, desserts, etc. for everyone to sign up for what they wanted to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. You can also choose options to let guests add additional people, how many people they can bring and whether they can forward the invitation. You can include a message board, add a map, request contributions (handy for a girls’ weekend) or set up an automatic email reminder to guests prior to the event.
10. Before you send your invitation, you’ll have the option to review or make changes if need be. You can also preview what it will look like to your guests!
You will have to set up an account in order to send your invitation, at which point you will be asked if you want to purchase a membership. You CAN send MANY invitations for free. However, if you so choose, paying a monthly membership to Punchbowl unlocks additional invitation designs and member features. I’ve used it both with and without a membership. One perk of paying the membership fee is that you are able to add additional hosts/essess to the invitation so they get the notifications and can manage the guests and potluck lists as well.
I hope this information has helped you! Have you ever used Punchbowl, E-vite, or another electronic invitation service? What do you like and dislike?
Happy planning! I still can’t believe it’s almost mid-November!!!
Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!