- free/exceedingly cheap
- get people to put the date on their calendar
- direct guests to our website for more information
- request a pre-wedding questionnaire to collect address/mailing info
- simplify our event management process
- easy to use
Meltdowns are what happen when a) you're cheap b) you're incredibly strapped for time c) you're very particular about your aesthetic, d) you don't have the design skills to create your vision without serious help, and e) you are entirely unwilling to budge on any of the above listed points.
Enter Pingg, which offers a range of attractive wedding invitation and save the date templates that were simple to personalize. After deciding we didn't want to upload our own design, we gleefully explored all their gorgeous and varied save the dates and found a template with succulents. Succulents! And space to add our own photos! In about five minutes I'd uploaded a few photos (from our engagement shoot and from general adventuring) and finalized our save the date design.
Aside from chic, easy, and entirely free email invitations, Pingg also provides several other features that made it extremely attractive to us:
- Privacy settings that only allow invited guests to view and respond to our invitation and limit everyone from seeing who else was invited (you can also open the invitation to all of facebook, twitter, and your email address book, if you wanted to go that route.)
- Ability to import your address book and export RSVPs
- Management page where we can manage all communications, track emails sent, emails openned, invites forwarded, RSVPs, guest messages, total headcount and more (having done large-scale events, this sort of functionality was critical to me)
- Ability to send reminder messages
- For less tech-savvy invited guests, you can order printed copies of the invitation or save the date that Pingg will mail via USPS, for about $3 per card.
- Private messages (guests can message you or you can message your guests)
Although Pingg can be free, we decided to spend the $10 to upgrade to Pingg Plus, which means our guests experience an ad-free save the date, we got a customized URL for the website and RSVPs, and we got to include a fancy interactive envelope with our email invitations. I appreciate that Pingg offers an affordable way to class up even email invitations.
This is what arrived in our invited guests' inboxes
When invited guests click the image, it opens to reveal the save the date.
When guests click on the save the date, they're taken to our Pingg website
At our unique Pingg URL, guests can see more event details, send us a private message, click through to our official wedding wedsite (which we created for free in a wordpress blog), click through to our questionnaire (which we created and published for free in google forms), or RSVP. It makes everything easy and streamlined. We can send out reminder notices as the wedding approaches. We can track all our RSVPs in one place. We can see if anyone hasn't received/opened their email and follow up by phone. And, for invited guests who are less tech-savvy, you can even order printed copies of our invitation that pingg will send in the mail.
Although I am convinced this was the best $10 we've spent so far on maintaining our wedding sanity, I should note a few drawbacks.
- Pingg includes an RSVP option, which is great for normal invitations but slightly confusing for save the dates. However, I appreciate that many people are already eager to reply.
- Since we decided to sidestep the Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. issues for emails, we imported everyone with first names only. We now have three yes replies from various Janes, which is difficult to manage without last names in our Pingg system. If I had to do it again, I'd probably import everyone's actual full names and titles.
- We were careful to address the emails carefully, noting that people in serious relationships were addressed as "John and Guest" But because email is informal, many people without the "and guest" designation have simply assumed they all get a plus one. Ouch. We've had to send some awkward emails about that.
This is not a sponsored post. I'm just sharing the results of our wedding experience so it can hopefully assist someone else.