Paperless Post Vs. Punchbowl: Best Online Invitation Service

In today’s digital age, sending online invitations makes party planning incredibly easy. With just a few clicks, you can create beautiful customizable invites and manage guest lists and RSVPs. Two of the most popular online invitation services are Paperless Post and Punchbowl.

But how do you decide which one is right for your next event? Here’s an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Paperless Post and Punchbowl to help you pick the best platform.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturePaperless PostPunchbowl
Design TemplatesHundreds of templates with more creative designsFewer classic template options
CustomizationAdvanced premium designer for maximum personalizationDecent basic customization, less control than Paperless Post
Guest ManagementRobust guest tools like seating charts for eventsSolid RSVP tracking and guest communication
AccessibilityWeb, iOS, Android, Facebook integrationWeb, iOS, Android access
PricingFree basic templates, $7.99/month for unlimited premium templatesFree basic templates, $9.99/month for unlimited all templates
Premium DesignsUnlimited use with Plus plan$5.99+ per invitation
DiscountsVolume discounts on multiple invitesNo volume discounts
LanguagesSupports multiple languagesEnglish only
GiftingLets you add gift linksNo gift integration

Overview Of Paperless Post

Founded in 2009, Paperless Post is one of the pioneers of online invitations. The New York-based company offers free and premium digital invitations for every occasion. With Paperless Post you can:

Paperless Post
Paperless Post
  • Choose from hundreds of designer invitation templates for birthdays, weddings, holidays and more. Templates feature stylish designs and artistic illustrations.
  • Customize colours, fonts and wording on templates. Upgrade to paid designs for even more customization options.
  • Add photos, videos and songs to invitations. Make your invites more personal and lively.
  • Manage guest lists and track RSVPs. Paperless Post will help you stay organized.
  • Send email and text message invites, reminders and thank yous. Reach guests conveniently.
  • Order printed invitations delivered to your door for premium designs. Best of both worlds – digital and physical.
  • Access web and mobile apps. Create and manage invites on the go.

The service is very user friendly. Even design novices can make beautiful invitations in minutes. However, if you want extensive personalization, the advanced editor in premium designs is better suited.

Paperless Post offers free and paid plans:

  • Free – Offers a basic selection of invitation templates. No guest management or print delivery.
  • Plus – $7.99/month or $39.99/year. Unlocks full template library, guest tools and print delivery.
  • Premium – $9.99 and up per invitation to access fully customizable designs.

The main drawbacks are the limited free templates and having to pay per invitation for advanced custom designs. But overall Paperless Post makes digital invitations accessible and fun for all.

Overview Of Punchbowl

Established in 2005, Punchbowl pioneered the online invitations market alongside Paperless Post. This California-based company offers similar digital invitation features including:

  • Hundreds of templates for birthdays, holidays, weddings and more. Contemporary designs available.
  • Customization of invitation wording, colors and fonts. Make each invite unique.
  • Photo, video and song additions to amplify invitations.
  • Guest management with easy RSVP tracking tools.
  • Email and text invite linking and reminders. Hassle-free communication.
  • Printed invitations able to be mailed to recipients.
  • Web and mobile access for on-the-go invite management.

Like Paperless Post, Punchbowl’s invitation editor is user friendly for basic to moderate customization abilities. For more advanced personalization, go for premium design upgrades.

Punchbowl also has free and paid membership tiers:

  • Basic – Free to use with limitedInvitation designs and no printing or tracking.
  • Premium – $9.99/month or $96/year for full template access, tracking, printing and more.
  • Custom – $5.99 and up per invitation for advanced designer invitations.

The main limitations are the lackluster free version and per invitation fees for premium designs. But Punchbowl still delivers an excellent online invitation experience for most needs.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Paperless Post and Punchbowl, let’s compare the key factors to determine which platform is best for your invitations.

Invitation Design Templates

Both sites offer hundreds of modern invitation templates for all occasions. Paperless Post’s designs feature more artistic flair while Punchbowl goes for a more classic and clean look.

Paperless Post has more template variety overall, with fun whimsical options for kids’ birthdays. Punchbowl has a smaller collection, but the designs are still lovely and sufficient for most events.

Template customization is easy on both, with Punchbowl offering a few more font choices but less color options. For greater personalization control, Paperless Post’s premium editor has more adjustable elements.

Overall Paperless Post just edges out Punchbowl with its expansive artistic template library and advanced design editor. But Punchbowl also holds its own here.

Customization And Integration

In terms of enhanced invitation personalization, Paperless Post is the winner.

Its premium designer allows changing everything from colors, fonts and wording to layouts, patterns, stickers and frames. Video, audio and photo integration is also seamless.

Punchbowl has decent customization for a simple invitation. But for really making it your own, Paperless Post gives you more creative control.

Guest Management And RSVPs

When it comes to organizing guests and event planning, both platforms provide stellar tools.

With Punchbowl you can add guests, share invitation links, track RSVPs and send reminders. Paperless Post offers the same capabilities, along with extra options like seating chart management and meal preference tracking for weddings.

Paperless Post just barely edges out Punchbowl here with the additional event planning features. But Punchbowl covers the core necessities well.

Platform Accessibility

In terms of accessibility, Paperless Post and Punchbowl both offer:

  • Web access for creating invitations on a desktop.
  • Mobile apps for designing invites on iOS and Android phones or tablets.
  • Email and text messaging for invites and reminders to guests.

They provide similar seamless access across devices and digital communication. Paperless Post also lets you integrate invitations into Facebook events which is a nice extra.

For accessibility, it’s nearly a tie as both deliver flexible digital invite management.

Pricing And Plans

Pricing is where the two platforms differ the most. Punchbowl offers completely free invitation templates, while Paperless Post’s are only free for basic designs.

For unlimited design access and features, Punchbowl Premium costs a flat $9.99/month fee compared to Paperless Post’s $7.99/month Plus plan.

However, Punchbowl charges extra per invitation for premium customizable designs, while Paperless Post’s are unlimited use with a Plus plan.

Here are full pricing details:


  • Free – Basic templates only.
  • Premium – $9.99/month or $96/year for unlimited designs, tracking, etc.
  • Custom – $5.99+ per invitation for premium customizable designs.

Paperless Post

  • Free – Basic templates only.
  • Plus – $7.99/month or $39.99/year for unlimited premium templates, tracking, etc.
  • Premium – $9.99+ per invitation for fully customizable designer templates.

For most users, Paperless Post’s middle-tier Plus plan provides the best value with unlimited access to all premium template features. Punchbowl’s per invitation fee for customizable designs adds up.

However, Punchbowl’s free tier appeals for very basic invites. And its Premium plan is a dollar cheaper than Paperless Post’s Plus if you’ll use minimal customizable invites. Also watch the video!

Additional Factors

A few other smaller factors that may help sway your decision:

  • Volume discounts – Paperless Post offers volume discounts if you purchase multiple premium invitations at once. Punchbowl does not.
  • International – Paperless Post accommodates multiple languages and international date formats. Punchbowl is English-only.
  • Gifting – Paperless Post lets you activate gifts through the invitation. Punchbowl does not offer gift integration.

For multi-language needs or gifting options, Paperless Post is better. But for a single language event, either works fine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Evite or Punchbowl better?

Between Evite and Punchbowl, Punchbowl is the better choice if you want online invites with more customization and guest management features.
Evite only offers basic ready-made templates with no personalization. Punchbowl has hundreds of designs to choose from that allow customization of color, font and wording. It also provides guest list organization, RSVP tracking and easy mass emailing/texting.
However, Evite is better for quickly making very simple digital invitations for free. But Punchbowl outshines it in design variety and functionality.

Is Punchbowl free anymore?

Yes, Punchbowl still offers a free membership tier with access to basic invitation templates. However, the free version is limited compared to paid Punchbowl plans and other sites.
The free membership only allows:
12 basic fill-in-the-blanks invitation templates.
50 maximum tracked invitees per event.
Manual follow-up for RSVPs and guest communication.
To unlock unlimited designs, guest tracking, printable invites and other key features, you need to upgrade to a paid Premium or Custom membership.
But the free version works well for simple digital invites on a budget. It just lacks robust functionality or much design choice.

What is the best free electronic invitation site?

The best free online invitation websites are:
Punchbowl – Offers 12 customizable fill-in-the-blank templates and basic digital guest management. Great basic free option.
Evite – Lets you make very simple digital invitations with no customization. Super easy to use but very limited features.
Greetings Island – Provides over 50 templates covering various events and holidays. More design variety than other free sites.
Send Owl – Gives 15 invitation templates with guest email/text blasting ability. One of the most functional free platforms.
While limited compared to paid services, these sites allow you to make free online invitations that are stylish and usable. Punchbowl and Send Owl offer the best features and options among the free platforms.

What is better than Paperless Post?

The main competitors that stack up well against Paperless Post for online invites are:
Greenvelope – Offers unlimited premium templates and guest tools for a flat monthly fee, no per-invite charges. Also has great eco-friendly paper options.
Mintvine – Boasts gorgeous artistic designs and completely customizable templates. Especially good for weddings.
Minted – Features trendy stylish templates and design collabs with indie artists. Seamless integration with Minted’s printed products.
iveda – Specializes in truly customizable video invite templates. Perfect for a cutting edge invitation.
While Paperless Post is very user-friendly with many great templates, the sites above provide their own unique strengths and advantages. Greenvelope and Minted in particular offer close direct competition on overall invite quality and value.

Also Read: Comparison Between Candle-lite And Yankee Candle.

The Verdict

Overall, Paperless Post edges out Punchbowl as the best online invitation platform thanks to:

  • Larger design template selection with more artistic styles.
  • Advanced premium designer for greater customization.
  • More inclusive event planning features like seating charts.
  • Potential volume discounts and multi-language support.

However, Punchbowl remains an excellent option, especially if you:

  • Only need basic invitation customization.
  • Like the savings of free simple template access.
  • Appreciate the flat monthly Premium plan pricing.

No matter which online invitation service you choose, both Paperless Post and Punchbowl make throwing stylish events incredibly easy. With beautiful designs and handy digital tools, you can plan parties in minutes from anywhere. Go forth and invite away!

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