It seems like every time I turn around there is a new digital wedding stationery and website service. I'm a traditionalist and still think wedding invitations should be on actual paper sent in the actual mail, but I get why some couples go the online route.
Sending wedding stationery via email especially makes sense when it comes to save the dates for a couple of reasons. There is urgency; you need to get on your guests calendars, you also need to get an idea of how many guests you'll have.
It's true the official wedding head count comes with the return of wedding RSVPs, but informally, once you send out the save the dates, you'll find out which potential guests can't make it because of existing schedule conflicts, etc.
Another reason for sending out save the dates using email, is that you may have the date, but not the location, and certainly not your wedding 'concept'. The venue might influence what style of wedding invitations you want to send out (sophisticated or rustic? romantic or minimalist?). You might have a high level idea (color, etc.) but you're probably in no position to order wedding stationery yet.
Enter the wedding save the date email.
If you're looking for a solution somewhere between sending out a very unspectacular text email asking people to mark their calendars, but know that you ultimately want to send out paper wedding invites, I've got the solution for you.
In a nutshell, you need to create a screenshot of a save the date design with your information and insert it into your email program and send it. It's actually pretty easy.
1. Select a Save the Date Design
So, obviously in this post I'm going to recommend you download and use an e.m.papers Save the Date PDF template. Of course you can make your own using a program or app.
I will take a moment to remind you, though, that you can download a free watermarked sample of all e.m.papers save the date templates. Just click the link below the 'TRY IT OUT FIRST' header in the product listing.
Typical save the date sizes are A2 in the US (5.5 x 4.25 inches) and A6 (108 x 105mm) for countries that use A4 sizing. You don't have to follow these exactly, just make sure that it's big enough that the image won't get pixelated or blurry when you take a screenshot.
2. Enter your information and take a Screenshot
Display the Save the Date on your laptop or desktop screen so it's either at 100% or large enough that the text and imagery looks crisp and clear.
To take a screenshot on a Mac use function + alt/option + shift + 4 to select a specific area. On a PC you can use the 'Print Screen' function to get a grab of the entire screen. Save the screen shot as a jpeg.
If necessary, use a photo editing program the free online photo editing software like Pixlr to edit your Save the Date screenshot. You may need to crop the image or add a border.
If you need to add a border to the design, create a background layer and fill it with a dark grey color or black (or whatever you want). Then, make the entire canvas one pixel larger all around. Make sure to save the image again as a jpeg.
3. Insert your Save the Date jpeg image into an blank email.
All email programs allow you to insert a photo into the body of the email. Insert your jpeg. I like to hit the space bar a couple of times so the image isn't sitting right up against the top of the body of the email allowing for some visual space.
Experiment with the email settings. Center align the image and choose a background color that compliments your save the date design. If you want to add any text to the email match the colors and fonts.
In this example I chose to leave the background of the email white, the floral imagery of the save the date design suspended in space which makes a kind of sleek impact.
If you install the fonts used on your Save the Dates on your computer, you should able to use them in your email program too. You can find the name of the fonts used in our save the date templates in the product listing text under the heading 'FONTS USED'. Google the font name, you'll find it available for free on sites like DaFont or Font Squirrel.
Let me Google that for you...
Remember if it's not immediately obvious how to change the background color of your email or install a font, Google it! Here are some examples:
You get the idea.
Send the save the date email to your partner, your parents and anyone else who isn't going to be surprised by your happy news. The more different email clients the better. Tweak your email save the date as necessary so it looks best in as many different email programs, but don't kill yourself. It will probably never look perfect in all of them.
Remember: done is better than perfect, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good, etc. etc.
If you've read this far you deserve to know this is an update of a very old post: DIY Wedding: Save the Date Email How-to. There you'll be shown how to get a code allowing you to download an printable save the date template for FREE!
You're welcome and happy emailing.