2018 // A Review, Looking Forward

Holy s**t! I haven’t posted here since the end of August, which is a testament to how insane the last half of 2018 was for me and this business. Weddings nearly every weekend, and session after session in between. 2018 was my first really full year of shooting weddings, which was a huge learning experience in so many ways. My capacity was stretched and tested more than ever, and at times it didn’t feel great! Especially when you throw a couple of kids, a very patient boyfriend, and declining mental health in the mix - it makes for some pretty crazy months. I’ll admit that there was hardly any balance and that most days in October and November were a struggle on all fronts.

With that being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that 2018 was one of my favorite years, both personally and professionally. I am so proud of the work that me and my incredible sister, Olivia, did. I’m so thrilled with every wedding, client, family, stationery suite, design project, online interaction, and connection made. This year, I had more people reaching out via social media (thanks for introducing stories, Insta!) to talk about my photography, my brand, and to connect with me as the person behind it all - and that felt awesome. It can be really isolating at times, doing all the behind the scenes work alone. So to know that I have a whole crew out there cheering me on… keeps me afloat some days!

One Photo from Every shoot in 2018

So, 2019! I’m ready as HELL for it. I’m ready to put what I’ve learned to the test, and set more boundaries so I can avoid feeling as overwhelmed as I did by the end of 2018. I’m ready to celebrate with my couples and families through some of the happiest days of their lives. I’m ready to bring my absolute best self and incorporate new ideas and creativity into every wedding and shoot. I’m ready to not just capture the things I’m “supposed” to, but to look at everything I do with a fresh set of eyes - as if it’s brand new. 2018 was about hitting my mark, and 2019 is about hitting it but in my own style!

Some updates! I’m no longer accepting stationery clients for 2019. I booked up without even mentioning that side of my business within the last 6 months or so, and I’m planning on keeping stationery a smaller portion of the work I do moving forward. To anyone getting married in 2020 who wants to be on my radar, please send me a message 1 year away from your date so I can get you on my calendar!

Availability - I have some Sundays in June, July, August, and September but for the most part I am booked for 2019. I intentionally left a lot of weekends to take on 1-hour sessions and engagements all summer because I literally forgot about leaving gaps for those in 2018. Please reach out about 2020! I already have several inquiries in every month for that year - which I’m like… in awe of. Ladies who aren’t engaged yet… get your guy and let him know that shits getting serious for most wedding vendors already - yikes!

Finally, I have some SUPER exciting news! I hired an assistant to help with some of the administrative tasks in my business. Her name is Jenna and she will be the one responding to inquiries, helping schedule things, sending files, along with lots of other things! In order to be more creative and exited about everything I take on in 2019, I needed to offload some of the things that bring me down. For now, we’re figuring out how to do all of this together so thanks for your patience! It seems to be pretty seamless right now but it’s definitely tricky to hand over such personal parts of my business to someone else.

So thank you SO much to every person who supported me this year. To my patient family and friends, an EXTRA big thank you for making is as easy as possible to do what I love. To everyone who took care of our kiddos while Dom and I both did what we were passionate about weekend after weekend, thank you for being our village. To Dom, thank you for pulling the wagon along with me, even when the wheels fell off. To my kids, thanks for understanding as much as you possibly can and for loving me even on the crazy days. To my sister, thank you for doing this by my side with love, patience, and sometimes more skill than I have. To my clients, thank you for understanding that I have a million moving parts in my business, and for being patient during this year of insurmountable growth. I hope that you always felt cared for and prioritized!

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019.

Steph + Chuck // Wedding Invitations

Today I'm thrilled to share this amazing couple's wedding stationery with you! Steph and Chuck have been amazing clients to work with, even through some design challenges that came to be with these invitations.

Every time I met with Steph about her wedding, she was laid back and just happy to be planning it. I could tell she was truly excited in every phase. During our design meeting, we talked about some specific things like font choices and color schemes but she really relied on me to extract her vision and make it a reality. Since I had been somewhat privy to her whole planning process from the beginning, I felt pretty confident that I'd nail it on the first try. I felt lots of pressure to make it better than anything before, since this is a couple I feel very connected to and excited for.

Here's the first concept:

"So Pretty!" I thought. But I was skeptical about all the floral, even though I was obsessed with the puzzle-like placement. I needed to send it out anyways, because after playing with things for so long, your brain just isn't being objective anymore and it's best to put it out into the world.

Rejected. And exactly for the reasons I knew in my heart. Pretty, but not "IT"! SO, I took to the drawing board after talking wit Steph a little more about what she was thinking. We decided to tweak the existing design to make it more modern feeling, but after doing what we both agreed would get closer to the vision - it still wasn't there. 

So I did what any student who had done a math problem, checked their work, and realized they were wrong should do.  I erased the problem and started from scratch, only using the parts that were exactly right - wording and fonts.

And this time it was right!

I was thrilled to finally get there, and now after seeing their wedding day for myself I know this is really the right way to go. SO, all of this is to say that sometimes things get approved in one shot, and other times it takes some work! At the end of the year, they all even out so I don't worry much about the extra work I need to put into getting these right. Here are some photos of the real-life invitations.

I was also lucky to be able to help these guys with some day-of items! A seating chart, a few signs, "thank you" cards at each setting, and a menu on each table.

It was such a pleasure to work with Steph and Chuck on all these elements of their day! I'm thankful for their patience with me, and their perseverance through all the design versions. I'm most thankful that they put their trust in me to get everything right!

Are you interested in having custom invitations and/or day-of stationery?

Audra + Anthony // Wedding Invitations

It's Friday again, so that means I'm sharing another stationery client's beautiful invitations! This week I have Audra and Anthony's suite. These guys met with me late last summer, where we discussed their stationery and photography. I was really excited to know that I'd have several clients this year who would be having both of my services for the wedding day!

We began our process this spring with a design meeting over the phone, since this couple lives in Chicago. When this is the case, I have them send me some examples of what they're envisioning for their stationery so I can get a better sense of the direction we should head in. When I meet with couples in person, I bring a book with past designs so we can go over font choices, types of floral graphics, envelope colors, etc. Meeting over the phone works just as well as in person, it just takes a bit of a different approach to make sure we're all on the same page.

Here are some of the examples these guys sent me:

Sometimes it can be a challenge when I get such specific inspiration photos to ensure what I show the couple is unique and not just a replica of what they've shown me. I take the general ideas of their visuals (fonts, color schemes, graphics) and combine it with what I know works best for the information they've given me. There are also some aspects of designs that I just won't do in my own work, just because of my own style or what I've learned over the couple of years I've been designing invitations. That's the beauty of working one on one with a designer - you get all their knowledge and background in your custom invitations!

Anyways,  here is what I came up with! I gave these guys some additional options to consider, since they had expressed interest in a few different things.

(Click to Enlarge)

In the end, we went with this version, which nixed the laser cut gate fold idea (too much going on!) and reversed the envelope color choices. I also played with the fonts their names are in a bit because some of the letters looked funky (those "z"s!!)

(Click to Enlarge)

I love that this suite stills feel light and summery, even though the backgrounds are dramatic and dark. Also, with some of the examples that have dark backgrounds on the RSVP cards, I don't love the white boxes where guests need to write responses. This way, the design looks intentional AND functional.

Here is what everything looked like in real life:

Audra and Anthony also had me address their envelopes to make it easier for them to get these sent out as soon as they received them (my Gold assembly package, for anyone with my price guide.) That package also included a self-inking return address stamp with their *NEW* house address on it, so they can use it in the future for thank you cards, holiday greetings... bills... Addressing can sometimes be the bane of my existence (guys, I had to get a whole new printer in the middle of printing these^^) but SO worth it because I know it makes my coupes' lives much easier. This is one of those wedding planning decisions where you spend a little extra but save a lot of time and hassle to have the pros handle it for you. (At the time you're reading this, "pro" envelope addresser is debatable because printers suck)

Thank you SO much for checking these out, and stay tuned next Friday for another gorgeous suite!

Hoping to have custom invitations designed for your wedding next year? 

Katie + Mark // Wedding Invitations

Hey there! It's been a long time since I've shared my stationery work on my blog, but I swore at the beginning of the year that I'd write more about the process and how the pretty paper that gets sent out to guests all over the country gets made. SO, I'm starting out today and will post on Fridays about all the invitations I'm making for my clients this year.

Katie and Mark have been such great clients and friends to me since the beginning of their engagement. When it came time to start this process with them, I was so excited because it meant their day was finally coming closer!

In our design meeting, we went back and forth about how much floral they wanted to include in their suite, and the conclusion was to keep it minimal and simple looking. I love when I get to photograph my stationery clients' weddings as well, because I get to see whether what I designed for them is actually true to their day! I was thrilled to find out that their invitations were a perfect representation of their day. Sweet, simple, PURPLE, and light feeling.

Here is the design concept I sent them, which shows each piece laid out and then assembled, including envelopes and the belly paper band that would go around the entire suite. Katie and Mark's wedding took place on May Fourth, otherwise known as Star Wars Day, and being BIG Star Wars fans I knew I'd have to work in the phrase somewhere, so subtly on the belly band seemed perfect.

(Click to Enlarge)

Katie and Mark approved this design without a single change, which is AMAZING, but hardly ever the case! I always make clients take an extra day or two to look it over just in case, because it seems too good to be true haha.

I almost always use florals and graphics that are created by other amazing artists who are much better at what they do than I would be. I consider myself to be great at taking a clients articulated vision and making it a reality, but not exactly a fine artist. I happened to find the perfect array of purple and green florals to match Katie and Mark's description of what they'd have at their wedding, so that's what you see here. They also told me they'd love to see some kind of organic feeling watercolor wash, so I included that in the additional cards in order to break up some of the white monotony.

Once everything was ordered, it took me about 2 weeks to get everything finished up and ready to get to Katie's mom, who lives in Auburn.

When it comes to be my stationery clients' wedding day, I love being able to share the design on Instagram, so I made sure it's photographed beforehand. Here's the final product!

Thank you so much to Katie and Mark for having me at every step of the way in your wedding planning process! It was such a joy to create these for you.

Are you interested in having custom stationery created for your wedding?

The Scoop on Holiday Photo Cards

It's certainly the season to begin thinking about the holidays! I know lots of people who have gotten a head start on buying gifts, putting up decorations, and definitely planning for their holiday cards. I absolutely LOVE that holiday cards are such a "norm", and that they usually include lovingly planned family photos. 

In years past, I have done a small amount of holiday card orders but, while I love designing for this special time of year, I'm hoping to take it slow this December. Plus, I'm obsessed with all of the options there already are for ordering holiday cards! So I've put together this post with all of you holiday card-seekers in mind so that you can find the perfect design, as well as how to choose the best photo for your card.


Where to Go

Pro Tip:

Plan on ordering your cards no later than December 13th, and getting them in the mail before the 21st for local delivery.

So, you have your family's photos taken and now you're looking for the perfect card design. There are so many awesome places who have pre-made designs where you can just drop in the photo you have in mind, customize, and order! These places usually take a week to ten days for your order to arrive, depending on the shipping options available. Keep in mind that if you want to get them into your recipients homes before December 24th, plan on ordering your cards no later than December 13th, and getting them in the mail before the 21st for local delivery.



Minted is definitely a first choice, because their designs are so modern, and the variety they have is unlike any other. Plus, the quality of the card will never be questioned! Go to Minted 

Artifact Uprising


I am a total Artifact Uprising fan. These designs are SO up my alley - minimal, modern, fun, lots of "white space". Their paper is so beautiful, and the options they have for designs has gotten much more impressive in the last few years! Go to Artifact Uprising

Paper Culture


Again, a really modernized collection of holiday cards - and with a good cause in mind! Paper Culture plants a tree for every order, which... who wouldn't feel great about that?! Go to Paper Culture



Postable is an awesome site for every kind of greeting card especially because if you plan ahead, you can use their address book feature to collect addresses year round, and then the company will send your cards right out for you! If you're one of those people who has big aspirations and small frames of time to do things in, this is for you! This is also a great option if you don't do a photo card, but ant to get cards sent out anyways. Go to Postable



You've probably heard of Zazzle, and for good reason! They not only have great card designs, but matching postage and address labels for all their card designs! Their interface takes some time to search through to find what you're looking for, but with so many options you will certainly find something you love. Go to Zazzle

Paperless Post


Paperless Post is another site filled with modern classics by designers like Rifle Paper Co., Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta (?!?) and The New Yorker, among so many more. They also have greeting cards, in case your family wasn't the most photogenic this year! Go to Paperless Post



Last but not least, the much cooler younger sister to Shutterfly... Tinyprints! She has such a great variety of photo card options with upgrades like card shapes, foil, and even matching address labels and postage! Plus, their site is very easy to use. Go to Tinyprints

Choosing the Photo

Pro Tip:
You'll probably have to shop around to find the design that fits your photo

If you've done a photo card before, you know this to be true : you have the photo you want, the card design you want, you go to "customize" your piece of art of a holiday card, and WTF, your photo looks really dumb in that card. The lettering covers your kid's face, you can't see the white letters on the light background of the photo, etc. It does not look as magical as the sample did.

Well, these companies have a large selection of stock photos they insert into all their card designs. These photos are optimized to look great in lots of designs, which is why you see them replicated in many card designs. So keep that in mind when none of your photos seem to work in the card design of your choice. But, you may need to break up with that design and find something else. That's why it's great to have a bunch of these sites in mind, because I bet you'll find something similar between each of them!

Image courtesy of Tinyprints

Image courtesy of Tinyprints

If you choose a design where it looks like your photo will just fit inside a rectangle, circle or square area then you'll probably be safe no matter what design it is. But, if you have a design like the one to the right, you'll want to make sure the photo you have leaves plenty of blank space on the right side, so your childrens' faces aren't covered by words.

Pro Tip:
Look for photos with "white space" in them where words will be on top of it, whether that's on the top, bottom, left or right

The same goes with these options from Paperless Post... Both use the same photo and look great, but keep in mind this is probably because there is lots of "white space" at the top of the photo. The second one would not look good if your faces are right at the top of the photo. Word overlays also look best with a very simple photo, with not much going on behind them.

Image Courtesy of Paperless Post

Image Courtesy of Paperless Post

Image Courtesy of Paperless Post

Image Courtesy of Paperless Post

Pro Tip:
Consider the feeling of the photo you want to use. Is is elegant, classy, casual, funny, simple, black and white? Choose a design that compliments what's going on in the photo

Finally, consider the color scheme and flavor of the photo you have in mind. Is it classy, elegant, high contrast, maybe glam? You'll want a design that compliments that, with calligraphy or classic fonts, maybe some gold foil, and a very simple design. Maybe it says just "Merry Christmas" in an elegant font, or "let your heart be light." Is your photo funny, whimsical and colorful? You'll want a design that has lots of white in it so your colors pop. Maybe a more casual phrase like "oh what fun" or "may all your days be merry." If you love the more colorful designs that feature some beautiful artwork on them, a simple photo with little color, or one that supports the color scheme of the design will be great!

Pro Tip:
Make these cards your own by adding colorful envelopes, envelope liners, ribbon, washi tape, or a loose photo print to be framed.

Lastly, don't be afraid to make these cards your own! Consider envelope colors, postage, and fun additions like ribbon, twine, envelope liners, or maybe a loose photo print that the recipient can frame for the whole year. Cards and Pockets is a wonderful resource for envelopes and envelope liners. You can find washi tape, ribbon, twine and stickers at your local craft store or my favorite - the Target dollar spot!

Still in need of a holiday card photo? Snag a spot in my mini sessions - spot are filling fast! You'll receive your gallery with enough time to order your cards, even if you sign up for the December 3rd spot. AND, I'll make sure you have just the sort of photo needed to fill in the card design!

Zach + Jenna // Blue and Yellow Wedding Stationery Suite

It has been awhile since I've shared some of my stationery in this space! I'm always keeping my Instagram followers up-to-date on what I have going on, but I'm so excited to finally start sharing some more about the work and love that went into creating these suites. 

Today, I'm starting with a suite from this wedding that I also had the pleasure of photographing in July! I just published a post with all their photos, so be sure to hop over and check it out.

When I began talking with Jenna about what she imagined for their stationery, a few key elements stood out in my mind. Something lace, definitely playing on the blue, gray and yellow in their color scheme and keeping the typography simple (Zach's request!)

I also really wanted to experiment with an all-paper belly band that was simple, modern, and included their initials and date! It's one of my favorite parts of the suite, but was such a simple addition.

To give you guys an idea of what I sent Jenna and Zach to take a look at before we went through with ordering and production, here is the client mock-up I delivered to them! (Click to view larger versions)

And then... the final product.

I was so excited to style the suite on the day of their wedding, using Jenna's own little details. Of course I forgot to bring the full suite with me, but Jenna's sister pulled through with just the invitation card. I incorporated their rings, and then Jenna's grandmother's jewelry into a few shots. (Click for larger images)

I loved the simplicity of this design, and how it's classic elements stand out against some of the other color schemes and design elements of all the other suites I've made this year. Stay tuned to see another suite!!

Wedding Invitation Etiquette // Part 1: The Invitation

It's invitation design season, friends! These days, I'm brushing up on invitation wording etiquette so I can be sure to know exactly what my couples' invitations should say - so they don't have to! There are so many great resources out there right now, and actually many couples are choosing to go less-formal with their wording, but I still wanted to write some guidelines that will hopefully be helpful as you're deciding on the wording for your invites. My couples all fill out a form that collects their invitation content, and I have a feeling they're doing some Googling to find out how they should be noting their families' names. This is for you.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette // Part 1 : The Invitation Wording // Emma Bauso Design

Your Parents / The Hosts

That first line of the invitation is used to signify who is hosting the wedding. In the days of old, it was only the bride's parents, therefore they were the only ones listed. Nowadays, there are so many different family dynamics or situations happening during the wedding planning that couples are choosing to be more exclusive. Here are some examples of wording with their proper usages:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Brides Mom & Dad request the honor of your company at the marriage of their daughter, "Brides Name" to "Grooms Name" // This is considered traditional and formal. The brides parents are paying for the wedding.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Brides Mom & Dad and Mr. and Mrs. Grooms Mom & Dad request the honor of your company at the marriage of their children, "Brides Name" and "Grooms Name" // Both sets of parents are hosting (paying) for the wedding.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Grooms Mom & Dad request the honour of your presence at the marriage of "Brides Name" to their son "Grooms Name" // The Grooms parents are paying for the wedding.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Brides Mom & Dad request the honor of your company at the marriage of their daughter, "Brides Name" to "Grooms Name", son of Mr & Mrs. Grooms Mom & Dad // The bride's parents are paying but the grooms parents are included in the invitation.
  • "Brides Name" and "Grooms Name" request the honor of your presence at their marriage // The couple is paying for the wedding. There are other variations of this, of course, and you could even change the degree of formality depending on your wedding.
  • Together with their families, "Brides Name" and "Grooms Name" request the honor of your presence at their marriage // Both families and the couple are hosting/paying for the wedding. This is also useful for when one or both sides of the families have complicated relationships, multiple last names, or you want to be inclusive. (Aka no one needs more drama!)

The rest of the wording is pretty straightforward. You need to address the WHEN (Date and Time), WHERE (Venue Name and address) and a simple line about the reception.

About the Reception

If the reception is in a different location than the ceremony, you have two options - include the venue on the invitation with the address, or add reception info to the details card. You can put the reception on the invitation if it will immediately follow the ceremony. If there will be a cocktail hour before, it's best to list the time that begins and when the reception begins on a separate card. You want your guests to be aware of the timeline in advance, especially if there are large gaps between the ceremony and reception.


Will there be a dress code? Should your guests dress casual? Is there a theme? Make sure you tell them! If you have room blocks at any hotels, the details card is a good place to list instructions for those. If you're planning any specific activities for your reception, it's a good idea to casually mention them on the details card - especially if they affect what your guests should wear or how long they should commit to staying at the reception.

The No, No

Times have changed, that's for sure! But some things don't change - and that means never include registry information on your invitation. This is reserved for bridal showers or word of mouth by the couples' family members. You could work around this by including your wedding website on the details card, but never the invitation itself.

All of this info is compiled from the following sources, which I suggest you take a peek at if you have additional questions! If you're working with me on custom invitations, I am always happy to answer your questions or do the research on your behalf! Your wedding professionals are here to make your life easier - so use us!

Wedding Paper Divas - General Invitation Etiquette

The Emily Post Institute - Formal Invitation Wording Examples

Additional articles that are really helpful with general invitation ettiquette are:

A Practical Wedding - Invitation Etiquette and The Knot - 10 Invitation Questions Answered

Next up : Addressing! 

All About Save the Dates

I'm so excited to be starting the stationery process with my 2017 clients. I have an amazing set of brides (and their grooms!) so far, who all have such diverse, exciting ideas for their special days. Some of them are beginning their stationery now, with custom save the date designs. It gets me to excited to think of how their stationery will all be cohesive and matching from start to finish!

In honor of save the date season for so many couples, I'm sharing some designs I've been working on for my clients as well as some ideas for any brides out there who need some inspiration.

First things first - when are you supposed to send these out?

Consider your guest list - do you have a lot of people coming from far away lands? If so, you'll want to give them 8 to 12 months to make travel plans. If most people aren't traveling far for your day, 6 to 8 months is fine. Far may be one or more states away, not so far would probably be within the same state or closer.

To be safe, try to get them out around 9 months from your wedding. September brides - get started now so you can have them out after the holiday madness! I think it's best to wait until after that has died down so they don't get lost in the Christmas card shuffle.

This is a save the date I designed last month that I love so much! It's minimal, sharp and features such a classic photo by this couple's photographer. Photos are a personal choice, but it could be fun to add one from an engagement shoot. People love photos and having a good one to go along with your save the date serves as a quick visual connection to your date - especially if they see it every time they go to their fridge!

I'll be working with Amy and Michael on their invitation suites, so we made sure to get the fonts right at this point so that we can carry them through the design process. We'll also plan to use other design elements in their invitations - including their wedding logo which was printed on the back side of these save the dates!

Save the dates are my favorites because they dont call for a lot of information (usually!) so the design can be really minimal and simple, while bringing in subtle hints of what is to come in the invitation suite.

A great way to make sure your guests keep your save the date within view (so they can actually save the date!) is to have the design printed to a magnet! That way guests can hang it on their refrigerator and be reminded of your date often. This is really popular with my clients this year! 

If you're planning a summer - fall 2017 wedding, have you thought about save the dates yet? It's definitely not too late! I'd be happy to get something started with you - contact me today!

Fall Macabre Halloween Wedding Inspiration

I have been having one amazing client after another, with both photography and stationery, and consider myself so lucky to be doing what I love pretty much every day! Every once in awhile I like to design just for fun, and stretch my creative muscles a little farther than usual. When a friend and local makeup artist mentioned wanting to do a Halloween bridal look, I was so in!!

I realized I could either just do stationery and then photograph her bridal look, or I could really play with this idea and do something awesome. So I aimed for the latter, and here are the photos to show for it!

The stationery was inspired by the beauty of a misty landscape, and sets the scene for an upscale but moody celebration. I have had my eye on this gorgeous satin ribbon from Tono & Co for such a long time, so I used a bit of it for the invitation suite and the bridal boquet. I love the addition of the copper wire around the invitation to bring in the warm copper color of the envelope - a color that was reflected in many aspects of the styling of this shoot.

The florals and vintage furniture and most of the tabletop objects were provided by The Flower Shop - who happens to be my mom, and such a talent at what she does! I described to her what I was thinking of for the floral design and she nailed it, using only what she had in stock that week! My favorite part about the florals are all of the dried greens and blooms, as well as the real tree branches with the burgundy leaves.

When Anastasia, who was our amazing model AND the caterer of the appetizers, showed up I was just amazed at how great of a job Lauren did with her makeup and Sierra did with her hair. Her look just solidified the whole vibe of the shoot. Her dress is vintage, which she wore to her own wedding a few years ago!

Thank you to all of the amazing ladies who helped pull this off. I just love being in a community of people who are so talented and love supporting eachother - AND who love playing within their craft just for the fun of it!

Fall Moody Vintage Hallowen Wedding Bridal Hair and Makeup

Be sure to check them all out in their various online spaces! 

Florals : Michele Ferraraccio at The Flower Shop
Hair Design : Sierra Powers at Deja Vu Salon
Makeup Design : Lauren Brewster at Deja Vu Salon
Catering : Anastasia Zygarowicz-Bartlett with Catering by Anastasia
Event and Stationery Design : Yours Truly