My new favorite way to send invitations is Paperless Post, a wonderful cross between custom invitations and a facebook invite. I've done the facebook invite thing and am over it - people don't take them seriously, don't RSVP, and the RSVP's you do get often can't be trusted for accuracy. Not a great help for a hostess planning food and drinks.
If you want a "take-me-seriously" invitation, paper is the way to go, especially with the benefit of setting a unique tone for the party's style and tone. But the cost of the invitation and envelope is just the beginning. Once postage is factored in, you've spent a pretty penny right from the get-go. Not to mention the hassle of getting people's mailing addresses.
The world of evites is tricky (many free but tasteless options), but Paperless Post has risen to the top. It's not totally free, but it is definitely affordable. To send 52 invitations for my party in June, I think I spent $10 and still have points left over to use for my next event. Once you join, you can browse hundreds of unique designs, customize text, choose an envelope (and customize it for additional points), manage a mailing list, and track RSVP's.
I pulled a sampling of my favorite cards for you, but there are many styles:
Aren't they lovely? Definitely consider them for your next shower, shindig, bash, or even just sending a sweet note. And yes, they have wedding options too... but I might still stick with traditional paper for that!
Maggie Rose was not compensated in any way for this post. Maggie is simply an enthusiastic Paperless Post customer who wants to see more pretty invitations in her email inbox.