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How to Choose the Best Photo for Your Save the Dates

We all love a great photo card, especially when it’s in the form of a save the date.  In many cases, your family and friends know what you look like but they may not know your future spouse.  

A photo save the date allows your guests to feel more connected to you, and it’s a great way for them to get a little glimpse inside your relationship and personalities. Of course if your photography package includes an engagement session, photo save the date cards are also a great way to show off those beautiful photos.

Even if you don’t have professional photos to use for your save the date cards, you can still include a photo or photos on yours save the date card and below we are sharing our best tips for choosing the best photo(s) for your save the dates.

Give Yourself Options

Not all photos will work equally well on all save the date cards.  While it’s OK to have a favorite, we suggest narrowing down your options to a few top contenders.  Do you best to narrow down your options to photos that are different; how the photo is cropped, different orientations, lighting, etc.

Having a few different options in mind up front will make it easier when you are ready to order your save the dates because you won’t’ have to go searching for another photo if your favorite doesn’t quite work.

Show Your Personality

Just like the opening suggests, not everyone that will be receiving your save the date know you and your fiance as well as your immediate family does.  Consider your personality when selecting your photo(s) so everyone feels connected and has an idea of who you are as a couple. You are special and unique; be sure to show that off.

Consider Your Wedding Theme

One of the best things about save the dates is that they do not have to follow your wedding theme exactly.  Unlike most other parts of your wedding, your save the dates are your opportunity to infuse your unique personality but they can also be a great way to begin setting the stage for the wedding you are planning.

Is your wedding going to be formal or casual?  What about your color palette? Do you have a design theme?  These are all great elements to infuse in your save the dates through your photo.

Be Natural

Posed portraits have their place but they don’t really show off your personality or who you are as people.  Natural shots that feel like they were caught in-the-moment feel more real because they are. When you look more relaxed, you look more like yourself and those photos make for the best photo save the dates.

Leave Some Room

One of the hardest things to work with for photo save the dates is a photo that has been cropped too close.  Closely cropped photos can cause several problems.

The first challenge is that some designs where the photo runs off the edge of the card requires space to be cut off for the bleed.  It’s a small amount of space but when photos are cropped very close to start, it can be enough to cut a photo in a very weird place.

Another challenge a closely cropped photo can cause is it not fitting properly into the space available for the photo.  In most cases, the proportions of your photo and the proportions of the photo space are not the same. That means that some natural cropping  will need to happen to make the photo fit into the space allowed. Photos that are cropped too close, can sometimes get cropped in places you don’t want them to because there isn’t enough breathing room to work with.

Save the date cards that layer text over the photo can get tricky too.  If you don’t have room around the outside of your photo, text may layer over your faces which can be hard to read but just not look good.

Keep it Simple

Maybe you’ve got an amazing photo of a city skyline or in front of a beautiful mural.  These photos are great but for save the date cards, especially one where text is layered over the photos, simple backgrounds work best.  

Save the date cards that have text layered over a photo look best when there isn’t a lot of color variation.  Photos with a lot of color variation form light to dark make it hard to put white (or light color) text or black (of dark color) text over the photo and it be readable.

Consider More than One Photo

If you are having trouble deciding or can tell your story through more than one photo, consider using a few on your save the date card.  The key to making this work is making sure they all carry through the same theme or color palette.


Go for the Details

If using a photo for our save the date, you don’t have to use one of your faces.  Tell your storing in other ways but using a photo that focuses on the smaller details.


Just Be You

Any photo, professional or not, will look better if your photo is an accurate representation of you and who you are.  This is supposed to be fun. Enjoy the process.

Everything you Want to Know about Save the Dates

Now that you know how to pick the best photo for your save the date you are ready to find the perfect save the date design.

Or maybe you need to know when to order and send out your save the dates.

You can also browse our designs here.