Friday, October 30, 2009

Review and giveaway!: PurpleTrail- an online invite/party planning site

I was contacted by the folks at last week - they wanted me to know about their online invitation/party-planning website. Since having kids seems to mean throwing tons of playdates and holiday parties and birthday parties, I happily agree to check it out.

When you first enter the site you will see that it is set up to help you send customizable invitations, announcements, or e-cards. Depending on your level of time/interest, you can either design a card from scratch using their design studio, use one of the designs available on the site as is, or tweak a pre-made design and add your own picture, music and video. It did take me a few tries to realize that if I wanted to tweak a pre-made design and use it as an invite, it was a two-step process (customize and save the design, then select to use it as an invitation), but now that I have that figured out, making a party invitation is a breeze!  I made a random invitation for my husband to hang out with us tonight, and was pleased by how cute it turned out and how easy the whole process was.

I like that there are so many options for the invitations on this site, both for how they appear to your guests and for you as a host to quickly get an overview of who's coming, any messages they might leave about the event (great for those questions about what to bring to the party), the ability for guests to select an alternate time/date (if you choose to activate that option), and many many more.  And the invitations that go to your friends' email boxes are ad-free!

The basic membership to use this site is free, but if you upgrade to one of the higher plans, starting at just $14.95 per year, you will have the option of larger guest lists, animated designs, and printing a high-resolution of your invitation/announcement at home (great for sending to those few people who aren't on email!).

The other thing that I REALLY like about this site is the fact that it goes beyond just the online invitation/announcement service. When you're designing your invitation and are stuck on the wording- there's a quick link there to give you suggestions for wording! Need an appropriate quote for an occasion? There's a link on the site for that too! And they go beyond that to actual party planning help- suggestions for reasons to throw a party, party food, party drinks, party games (I always need help with that one!).

So, if you've got a holiday party coming up soon, you need to do two things. One, add me to the guest list :) and two, go check out this site. It'll make your party planning and inviting more fun and easy!

One of you will win a free year of basic membership to this site (worth $14.95). This membership includes all the designs and customizing available to the free members, but also includes priority customer service, 5 free print-at-home designs, and the ability to send out a larger number of invitations/announcements at a time, among many other extras.

To enter (mandatory entry, please leave email address in your comment or be sure it's visible in your blogger profile):
Post the link of your favorite party idea from

Extra entries:
1) Follow my blog
2) Put my button somewhere on your blog (please let me know where)
3) Blog about this giveaway with links to and my blog.  (Please leave me the link of your blog post)
4) Enter my other giveaways (one extra entry per giveaway entered)

Giveaway will end on November 20, 2009 at about 9 PM Pacific time.  I'll choose a winner with, and will email that person. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a pro membership for blogging about PurpleTrail and for displaying the PurpleTrail badge on my sidebar. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions presented here are mine and mine alone.

Also, for you other bloggers, PurpleTrail recently started a FRIENDS of PurpleTrail program, which offers benefits including giveaways of free premium memberships to PurpleTrail and even featuring your blogs and articles on the website.  To get more information, read about it at