Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Save-the-date cards are the perfect  excuse for sharing one of those great photos from the engagement photo session!

The save-the-date card is a thoughtful way of notifying guests of the wedding date and location well ahead of time–three to twelve months–so they're able to plan accordingly. Although they've recently become pretty much de rigueur for just about any wedding (except an elopement ;-)),  they're especially appropriate for destination weddings and those for which guests will be coming in from out of town. Often a simple flat card, save-the-date cards can also take the shape of an elaborate program of events, travel routes, and suggested accommodations, although they are definitely not a substitute for the invitation itself.

Here's a simple yet elegant folded card using a printed vellum overlay and vellum envelope. If you're making the cards yourself, be sure to purchase vellum that's suitable for your printer (i.e., inkjet compatible). Action Envelope is my favorite resource for vellum envelopes in just about any size, shape, and color.

Since most printers don't allow you to print to the edge of the sheet, we'll use a larger sheet, then trim to give the effect of what is known as a "full bleed."

1) For a 5" x 7" folded card: In Photoshop, align the top of a 5" x 7" photo along the horizontal center line of a letter-size file (8 1/2 x 11"), then print on a letter-size sheet of heavyweight paper.

2) Remove the sheet from the printer, then flip, rotate, and reinsert into the paper feed.

3) Type the save-the-date information in the same area but on its own layer, then turn off the photo layer and  print the inside text.

4) Fold* the sheet in half and trim the sides and bottom.

5) Print the vellum overlay in the same manner, with the text on its own layer and positioned so that it falls within the photo area.

6) Fold* and trim the vellum overlay.

7) Apply a bit of glue along the top edge of the card and adhere the overlay.

*Note: For clean folds, use a bone folder to score and burnish.

Oh, and if you're a professional photographer, be sure to add your contact information (tastefully, of course) to the back of each and effective promotion!

This and many other projects are detailed in my book, "The Art & Craft of Keepsake Photography: Engagements & Weddings," available in my website shop and through online booksellers like

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