Using Custom Images in Your Emails

Maybe you need to send an email out to your guests explaining the dinner options for your event, and you’d like to include a menu image in your email, instead of an image of you and your partner. Or maybe you need to announce the unfortunate postponement of your event to your guests, and you don’t want to include a cheerful photo in the email. It might be more ideal in cases like this to remove the photo completely, or add a generic floral or scenic image right? Makes sense. Whatever the case is, we understand, and Joy has you covered!

The emails that are sent out with Save the Date, Invitation, Change the Date, and Custom eCards are customizable, and one of the customization options you have is to choose a custom image to display in the email. While we plan to release a “photo selector” in the future, for now, we have provided the option of including a photo URL instead.

If you don’t choose a custom image, you can either remove the photo completely (by clicking on the “Paste Photo URL” and then deleting the photo URL that shows below it), or we’ll just automatically place your Event Page photo (that you assigned on your website) as the photo in the email.

In order to display a custom image, you should go to the “Edit Email” tab in the eCard editor:

Click on the purple “Edit Email” icon to the right of the email preview and then scroll down to the Photo section. Select the “Paste Image URL,” option.

After selecting ‘Paste Image URL’ you’ll need to include an Image URL in order to add a custom image to your email. Your URL may be very long, but it can be up to 2048 characters. You will know if the URL is an acceptable URL if you enter the URL, and the image appears in the email preview. If the image doesn’t appear in the preview, then the URL is not an acceptable URL that you can use.

How do I know which photo URL I can use?

Great question! Here are some of our top suggestions for finding photo URLs that you can use. (Please keep in mind that you should use a URL for a photo that you have rights to use.) 

Unsplash Photos:

Unsplash is “The internet’s source of freely usable images,” which means they provide photos that you can use for free, and you don’t have to worry about asking for permission to use them. (You can find out more about the Unsplash license and how it works on their site).

To use Unsplash, simply search through the various categories of photos on their site, and find a photo that you’d like to use. Once you have found one, click on the photo to open it. Right-click directly on the photo (do not use the “share” button as that “share” link will not work in Joy), and you should see a “Copy Image Address” option from the menu that appears:

Once you click on “Copy Image Address” you can paste the link directly on the “Photo URL” line in the email editor:

And the photo should show up in the preview automatically, as soon as you enter the link:

Make sure to click Done to save your changes!

We also encourage you to give credit to the photographer (maybe as a small note in your email). You’ll find the photographer’s name inside Unsplash when you click on the photo. This is not required, but we recommend giving credit if you can.

Search for photos on Google:

Through Google, you can search for images you may want to use. For example, you can search for wedding landscape images, and you can also ensure that the images you source from these searches are available for free use. 

To use images from Google, enter your desired search words into the search box in Google. Click on the ‘Images’ tab at the top and then you’ll see a page full of images that match those search terms:

But don’t stop there! You need to ensure that the images you choose from are allowed to be used. Click on ‘Tools’ and you’ll see a ‘Usage Rights’ option appear. Click on ‘Usage Rights’ and you’ll see an option called “Creative Commons licenses” on the dropdown. Select “Creative Commons licenses” and you’ll see a new selection of photos that are allowed to be reused by anyone.

Once you find a photo you like from this selection, click on it and a side bar may open on the right. You can either right click on the image from the side bar, and choose “Copy Image Address” from the drop down, or you may need to click on the photo again to open it up and then right click and choose “Copy Image Address” from there.

Just like before, after completing these steps, you can paste the image URL onto the Photo URL line in your email editor in Joy and the photo should appear automatically in the preview.

NOTE: Do not use the URL that you see in the browser window, as that URL will not work.

Hosting Images on Google Photos or Dropbox

There is also another option, which may help prevent the URL from changing while you are using it — you can download the image from Google by choosing “Save Image As” from the menu instead, and the image will download to your computer. You can then upload that image to a Dropbox or Google Photos account.

If you’ve uploaded it to Google, you’ll want to follow the same steps as above:

1. Open the photo
2. Right click on the photo
3. Click on “Copy Image Address”
4. Paste the URL into the Joy email editor

(Do not use the URL from the browser, as this URL will not work). 

If you upload the image to Dropbox, the process to get the link is a little different.

1. Once the photo is uploaded, open it in Dropbox, click on the ‘Share’ button, then ‘Copy Link’ in the pop-up:

2. Paste that URL somewhere. It will look like this –

3. Then this is a key step. The link above will NOT work for embedding images. You will need to alter the link slightly in order to use that URL for custom image. Delete the “dl=0” at the end of the link and replace that with “raw=1”. Your final url will look like this –

4. Paste the final link into the Joy email editor.

This option may help prevent the image URL address from changing unexpectedly as you are now essentially hosting the image from your own source that you have control over.

Be sure to click Done at the bottom of the box to save your photo changes!

Still have some questions?

Ask us directly! Click on the black and white chat bubble in the bottom-right corner of this page to ask us your questions, or you can email us at You’ll get a friendly response from someone on our team! 🙂

Updated on December 22, 2022

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