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  • Psalm 19:1 // The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

    Thank you for visiting our space here online! As creators of images and lovers of marriage, we get excited about documenting the stories of awesome people in love. We are digital and film photographers based out of Gainesville, Florida but love to travel to be storytellers. Taking a candid approach to photography, we focus on photographing raw, organic moments to tell stories as the day naturally unfolds. We aim to capture love stories as well as build genuine relationships with our incredible couples. So, take a look around and feel free to reach out! We would love to share a cup of coffee with you. Our hope is that you’d allow us to photograph your day or moment and reflect the beauty of the story…

    the work of His hands.

Gainesville City Guide | 48 Hours in my city!

What to do in Gainesville

 

While I never intended to live in Gainesville, Fl past my Gator undergrad years, I have grown to love the people and places this city has brought me in the last 12 years. I’ve done the most growing in this town. Gainesville gave me the season of dating Wayne, meeting some of my best friends, Molliner Photography, Ethan, more depth in my relationship with the Lord and it is where I learned what true community looks like. Learning to love this city was difficult at first, as I grew up a city girl, but the pace of Gainesville has offered my heart a kind of peace like no other city.

I don’t know how long the Lord has us here, but I do know that wherever you are planted there is purpose there. Take in what the Lord is offering from that city and season in your life. Some of that took intentionality in exploring Gainesville and making memories. As I have embraced this town like my own, I wanted to share several favorites this town has offered.

Things to do in Gainesville

I would ONE HUNDRED percent say that Depot Park is my favorite spot to spend time with my family! A long time ago, this park was an old railroad transportation hub and now it is a Gainesville staple for activities for the kids and kids at heart. When the city was designing the space, they even kept some of the original railroad tracks as part of the landscape design. Here are some of my favorite things about this place:

  • There’s a splash pad for the kids on site. We live in Florida which means that our summers are brutal. We love heading to the splash pad to cool off for the afternoon. The best part about the splash pad is that there is a covered pavilion right next to it for the parents to sit and watch as the kids play. This is gold!
  • Several times a year, they have movies and concerts on the lawn. One night, we took Ethan to watch Moana! They even had popcorn and snow cones! 
  • Their playground is the nicest and most diverse in terms of age group. Plus, the majority of their playgrounds are covered.
  • The Pop A Top Boxcar is a perfect little spot to grab a snack, popsicle, cold beverage (kid and adult-friendly *wink*) or a toy for the park (think frisbee!). Right outside of the train boxcar is an area where local food trucks will pop up. It’s the perfect space to grab a bite to eat. 

Kids playground in gainesville

Boxcar social area

playgrounds in gainesville

Things to do in Gainesville

Hands down, my go-to spot for an iced coffee in town is Patticakes. While their downtown location is closing soon, they are my spot for both coffee and community.  I have enjoyed sipping many cups of coffee here, perched up at their counter meeting with potential brides, or spent my days editing away. This shop is also one of my favorite spots to spend time with the Lord. I love this location because:

  • The baristas are some of my closest friends. They really do cultivate community with the way they interact with each person who walks through the door. You’re family at Patticakes. 
  • They have these garage-style windows that open up next to their bar top counter. They make you feel like you are outside, while still enjoying the cool AC! This is where I love to sit reading the Word or people watch. As cliche as it sounds, I love the sounds of the city or the fresh air blowing in. 
  • Cafe con leches. Enough said.

My favorite Gainesville activity is the Union Street Farmer’s Market! The Market takes place every Wednesday afternoon from 4-7p in the heart of downtown. I’ve spent many afternoons here with Ethan, grabbing wildflowers from my favorite floral vendor or having a snack before dinner. 

One summer marked my very favorite farmer’s market moment. It was one of those rainy summer evenings in Florida and the public were hiding out under the tents to stay dry. Ashley, Ethan, and I went to the middle of the plaza and danced in the rain to the jazz band that was playing on the stage that night. It was the perfect summer scene! The farmer’s market, rain or shine, will forever be my favorite evening activity in Gainesville. 

  • When I’m pursuing the Market, the first booths I’m likely to visit are the pretzels at LEJ Pretzels, the gorgeous wildflower bouquets from Swallowtail Farm and the empanadas from Grab N Go Lunch.
  • This is another great family spot! Every week, this generous Gainesville citizen brings a bag of bouncy balls and hula hoops for the kids to run around and play with. It’s so much to watch Ethan run around the space, meeting new kids and playing with them. 
  • It’s a perfect spot to sit and picnic with a friend. Many evenings, I have thrown a blanket down as the sun sets over the trees.

There are so many great options for date nights in this city. I feel like every week, a new place is popping up. Date nights for Wanye and I look very simple in this season. Between being pregnant, chasing around a toddler and Wayne’s school schedule, we just don’t have a whole lot of energy or free nights. We have more quiet, quality time date nights at home during this time, but when Wayne and I get the opportunity to sneak away to a local restaurant, these are my favorites:

  • The Top. Located downtown, this hip restaurant has yummy burgers, corn nuggets, Pesto Gnocchi, and sweet potato fries. Those are my jam. Right around the corner, you’ll find my favorite Gainesville art wall. The local artists are so talented! 
  • Civilization. I haven’t actually taken Wayne here yet, but I visited this restaurant for a girls night and it’s so, so good. The menu is unique and they serve locally sourced food. I’ve heard their brunch is their best menu, so I’m hoping to visit with Wayne before baby girl comes!
  • Cilantro Tacos. They’re a family-owned business with locations in Tioga, downtown and several food trucks (they are often at the Farmer’s Market). I love that they are a business who really cares about the sources of the ingredients they use. They only purchase local and fresh. Friends of ours hired them to cater their wedding reception and Cilantro Tacos served the best elote (street corn) I have ever had. Probably my favorite wedding food to date.

The Top Restaurant

The Top Restaurant

tioga town center

tioga town center

things to do in gainesville

If you have visited us, most likely we have taken you to Satchel’s Pizza. This restaurant is DEFINITELY a Gainesville staple. It is the most eclectic spot with tons of unique spaces to enjoy a pizza. Here are a few reasons to love Satchel’s Pizza:

  • The famous Satch Salad is one of the few things I do not like to share. I always, always, always order a large portion and give a quick side-eye to anyone who suggests sharing. It is THAT so good. There are not enough words to say that can recommend it enough.
  • On-site, there is a unique junk shop called The Lightning Salvage. This shop is filled with the most random assortment of gifts and toys. Pretty positive most of these items you could not find anywhere else. It’s located in one of their two indoor seating spaces, which is an experience in itself. Almost all of their tables in this space have nostalgic items under a glass topper (think, cassette tapes, flip phones, classic comics, coins, and baseball cards).
  • My favorite thing about this funky Gainesville gem is their outdoor seating that displays a wide collection of trinkets. I’ve had pizza in their Volkswagon van, the greenhouse, under an airplane and in their old treehouse table (no longer there). 
  • In order to order dessert, you have to look through an old-school red View-Master toy. As you flip through, you will see photos of their yummy dessert options, from buckeyes to vegan pie. So unique and yummy! 

Satchel

ecclectic restaurants

THINGS TO DO IN GAINESVILLE

While I am not much of a dessert lover, I highly recommend the following places in town. Uppercrust is the perfect spot to pick up an afternoon treat on your way home from a long workday or to meet up with a girlfriend. 

Uppercrust Productions

This is a small little French bakery that serves wine, coffee and pastries. Funny story, for Ashley’s birthday one year, I popped into Uppercrust to buy her a little treat. She loves these almond cream-filled pastries that are drizzled with chocolate. I purchased two, one for me and one for her. I started making my way to her house and ate mine on the drive over. Confession: It was so good I ate both of them on my drive over (side note: her house is exactly a mile away)! I felt so guilty that I told her and then showed her the empty box! In disbelief, she kindly asked that in the future, I do not tell her if I accidentally ate a pastry I had intended for her. LOL! 

  • The owner is actually from a small town outside of Paris. Which tells me, I can trust their pastries!
  • My favorite pastry is a tie between the raspberry cream rose or Nutella croissant.
  • On Saturdays at the shop, they have wine and cheese tastings! This is quite the experience, you get to try all types of cheese and wines and mingle around the delightfully little shop. They even have the cutest selection of cards and gifts. You can find Rifle Paper Company products here!

The Hyppo.

The Hyppo is a popsicle shop that originated in St. Augustine, Florida. I am so glad they decided to open up a location here in town. They are great to pop into (pun intended) when you need to cool down in the summer.

  • Since the popsicles are all-natural, I feel like Ethan isn’t eating as much sugar as the popsicles that are found in a grocery store.
  • My top two flavors that I love are their watermelon hibiscus and sangria pineapple pops. 

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Amy & Hunter | Ocala Wedding Photography

Amy and Hunter are two of the kindest people. Their personalities compliment one another so well,  which made their wedding day so sweet and easy. The minute I arrived on the gorgeous grounds of Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, I could tell how valued both of them are by their families. The morning was calm, as all of the ladies got ready in a house on the property. They hung out in the cutest matching Plum Pretty Sugar PJ sets, while the guys hung out in the men’s lounge area, spending their morning playing poker.

Amy is the epitome of a classy and graceful bride, with her traditional A-line wedding dress, cathedral veil, Kate Spade heels, and perfect up-do. Her bridal shoes were probably my favorite detail with that pretty little bow at the front of it. Sophisticated in style and attitude. The wedding was definitely one of simple southern elegance.  They even left their reception in a red Ford truck! Pretty sure it doesn’t get more southern than that!

One of my favorite moments from the day was watching Amy walk down the grand staircase to meet her groom down the aisle. It was so regal! She stopped at the top of the stairs that overlooked the entire ceremony site, and passed taking in the ceremony. Because the staircase is so long, it allowed Hunter plenty of time to just take it all in as he watched his bride walk toward him. This is my favorite part of weddings at Golden Ocala.

Whenever I am hired to take photos for a couple’s wedding, its an intimate glimpse into the couple’s life. One I hope never to take for granted. It is such a blessing to witness some of their most intimate moments – watching their first look (well-taking photos of it), hearing heartfelt prayers and witnessing emotions that potentially will only be felt a couple of times in a lifetime. Amy & Hunter’s wedding day was no exception, every moment of their day was heartfelt and genuine, just like the two of them.

Kate Spade ShoesKate Spade Bridal Shoes Plum Pretty Sugar Bridesmaid RobesPlum Pretty Sugar RobesPlum Pretty Sugar Robespeony bridal bouquetGolden Ocala WeddingGolden Ocala Wedding Ceremony Golden Ocala Country ClubJust Married TruckPink Wedding Cake Sparkler Exit

Vendors 

Cake | Miz Kathi’s Southern Sweetery

Dress | Maria Farbinni

Dress Shop | The Collection Bridal

DJ | DJ Live Productions

Florals | Floral Architecture

Groom’s Suit | Vera Wang

Hair & Makeup | Kristy’s Artistry Design Team

Invitations | Kraft Wedding Papers

Planner | Jennifer Argus

Rentals | Beautiful Moments Party

Shoes | Kate Spade

Venue | Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club

 

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