DIY Postcard Save the Dates

It's hard to believe, but if you're getting married sometime next spring or summer, it's time to start thinking about Save the Dates! For my wedding last year, I made Save the Dates using a vintage postcard and some calligraphy. I chose a postcard of the lake where we had our wedding, and even found one that matched our dusky blue and blush color scheme. 

Save the Date for my wedding last summer in Skaneateles, New York.

Save the Date for my wedding last summer in Skaneateles, New York.

I thought I would share the process and some tips and tricks on how to make similar Save the Date postcards, as well as show some other examples I put together. 

First, you have to find and decide on the postcard you would like to use. I found mine on ebay, by searching for "vintage postcard" and the town name. There were a ton of options, even for the small town of Skaneateles. There are also a lot of vintage postcards on Etsy, but I've found them to be slightly more expensive there. I think mine cost $3 or so. Also, basically any antique shop or flea market sells postcards, especially of the immediately surrounding area. It takes a little more legwork than browsing online, but you can find some treasures!

You might want to consider searching for a specific venue or landmark (like the church or reception location). If it has been around a while, it's likely that you can find it on a postcard. I've also found that postcards with large solidly-colored areas (like the lake and sky on mine) are easier to use as a background with calligraphy and text on top than ones that are more complicated. 

At first, I thought I would just find an image online, instead of actually buying a postcard, waiting for it to come in the mail, and scanning it myself, but I couldn't find any images with high enough resolution - they were all only around 72dpi. By scanning an actual postcard myself, I could make sure the resolution was 300dpi. That way, it wouldn't look grainy when I printed the final product. 

Once I selected, bought, and scanned the postcard I wanted to use, I wrote "Save the Date" with my calligraphy pen, scanned it, and layered it on top of the Save the Date using Photoshop. I created a file you can purchase on my Etsy shop with fifteen different "Save the Date" lettering graphics to use in your own project. 

Downloadable Save the Date calligraphy graphics. 

Downloadable Save the Date calligraphy graphics. 

You can add other wedding details using a text box if you'd like. You can also put all the relevant information on the back of the postcard, keeping the front clean and focused on the postcard image.

Vermont Save the Date with calligraphy and text. 

Vermont Save the Date with calligraphy and text. 

Here are a few other Save the Date designs I came up with to show other ways you could incorporate the hand lettering graphics.

North Carolina lake postcard Save the Date with calligraphy. 

North Carolina lake postcard Save the Date with calligraphy. 

This postcard of a North Carolina lake at sunset has amazing colors, and the relatively simple background meant it could easily feature a large calligraphy overlay without losing legibility. I like that the letters extend beyond the actual photograph to the off-white postcard border, making it look like someone scrawled this across the front of the postcard. This is a good example of a design that would probably work best with additional information on the back. This design uses Save the Date graphic No. 6 in white from my download.

Cape Cod vintage postcard Save the Date.

Cape Cod vintage postcard Save the Date.

Another postcard featuring water! This would be perfect for a beach wedding. For this design, I used graphic No. 8 in white from my download, and tilted it slightly to match the shoreline. 

Myrtle Beach, SC wedding Save the Date. 

Myrtle Beach, SC wedding Save the Date. 

I love how this one looks with the dark background, and the moon, beach, and sailboat are the perfect nod to South Carolinian culture. This design would also look good with text in the upper right hand corner. As you can tell from these examples, white lettering tends to show up best on most background, which is why all of my Save the Date graphics from Etsy come in both black and white. 

And finally, if all of this seems too technologically complicated, I would be happy to design a Save the Date postcard for you! Just get in touch on my Etsy shop. Good luck, and I would love to see what you create!