If Paris is for lovers, Florence is for artists…And husbands who love to eat.

Things and Places we loved: Gustapizza. Every. Single. Day. Twice a Day? Maybe. It’s that good. 

Antique Market at Piazza Santo Spirito. We stumbled upon this trying to find a place to sit and eat our margherita pizzas we had just picked up from Gustapizza. I was giddy about all the treasures to find, and Andrew was giddy about the food vendors. Come to find out, the market is held on the second Sunday of every month and is mostly a local market. We ended up frequenting this little Piazza as it was one of our favorites for people watching even when the market wasn’t there. 
Museo Bardini + Bardini Gardens (this a secret little garden that is tucked away and often overlooked. When we came, we felt like we had the whole garden to ourselves.)

* Boboli Gardens 
* Watching the Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo 
* Listening to buskers at night near the carousel at Piazza della Republica
* Visiting the Artisan shops 

Gelato. Every time you see a shop, stop in for a different flavor. I’m really not exaggerating here. Your’re doing enough walking that it will even itself out. Our favorite flavors were mascarpone, pistachio, grapefruit, and whipped chocolate chip. 
Watching the artists at Piazza della Signoria 
Window shopping at Caffè Gilli- a beautiful little candy shop!
Tamerò – the best Pasta we tried! Located in Piazza Santo Spirito
The one “touristy” thing we did that we found invaluable: booking a one hour walking tour. Florence isn’t a large city, but with all the winding alleys and cobblestone streets, it can be confusing. Our first day there I (Mashaida) may have been a little stressed… and I’m not very much fun when I’m stressed. We decided to book a tour the next day, and it made all the difference for the rest of the trip. I highly recommend avoiding the mistake we made and book a tour for the first day you are there. Taking a 1 hour walking tour the first day really helps you get your bearings. Florence is also a city with so much history and culture- to appreciate it, you really need to do this!
Exploring the quieter streets of Oltrarno: the cities left bank. Later we found out this is the more authentic and less touristy part of Florence, which made sense. Almost everything we enjoyed: artisan shops, eateries, and historic places were on this side. Next time we visit, this is where we will be looking to stay. 
All in all, remember that you are NOT a tourist; you are a guest to this amazing place. The best way to embrace any culture is to observe the people, respect the land and be as polite and reasonable as possible. Be kind and be present. The first day (when I was stressed) we walked into a book-making shop to get away from the crowds. The lovely woman said she was closing up shop, but if we wanted, we could follow her to her other store. She ended up giving us so much advice, leaving Andrew and I refreshed and warmed by her kindness. Our last day in Florence we went back to visit her and as we bought a few gifts, she slipped a package into our bag and told us not to open it until we were on the plane. The little package was a small book to record the memories of your child growing up; she had been sad at the news that we do not yet have children and kept saying how beautiful our babies will be someday. Haha! I’m not saying that every interaction you will have will be profoundly kind or that politeness equates a gift; but our favorite travel memories have never been the ones on the itinerary, but rather experiences that have come from being kind, and being present. 
If you are heading to Florence just for fun, or if you are going there for a wedding, we hope you found these tips helpful. If you are planning a destination wedding, proposal, engagement, or anniversary and interested in us as your photographers, send us an email and we’ll start the conversation for your custom quote. We promise to take you to all our favorite spots… and more than likely we’ll enjoy Gustapizza with you too. 

A Traveler's guide through florence


“Our rapport was so good, our friends couldn’t believe that we had just met, and even thought they were part of the wedding party.”

"Andrew and Mashaida are hands down the best photographers imaginable, and the outcome of our wedding photos turned out to be the definition of perfection. They made us look like our best selves by directing us on poses that made us feel natural and comfortable. Andrew and Mashaida go beyond just capturing photos. They don't think of their clients as clients - they care for them as friends and it shows. We continue to stay in touch to this day, and I know we aren't the only ones who had such a positive experience."

Elise and Zach, after their Chateau Wedding in France


“I remember thinking to myself ‘WOW, these are pictures my grandchildren will one day have.’”

Andrew and Mashadia have such a keen eye for interesting poses and settings. Their creativity and direction they took everything was magical and all the credit goes to Andrew and Mashaida. They are true artists. They put so much love and care into their craft, which resulted in pictures we will hold onto and cherish forever."

Alexa and Benton


“Andrew and Mashaida have such a beautiful editorial eye, helping us relax and feel natural while being able to capture our personalities flawlessly.”

"I’ll just state the obvious —Mashaida and Andrew are incredibly, insanely talented. The way they capture every moment is so beautiful and intentional, capturing every detail without you ever noticing they’re there. Not only that, but they genuinely make you feel so elegant, which is such a comfort because the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to look. Naturally, 
I will always think our wedding photos were the best, but what I found surprising was how many friends, family members, even distant coworkers went out of their way to tell me how much they loved our photos as well!"

Katie and Morgan, after their Paso Robles Hammersky Vineyard wedding.


“They are true artists that are extremely knowledgEable and know how to capture images in a very elegant and timeless way.”

“As a professional wedding planner and decorator I have worked with Andrew and Mashaida not only for a client’s wedding but for my own wedding as well! They are not only professional, but extremely kind people that will make sure their clients are comfortable throughout the entire process. I can’t thank them enough or explain how much we loved our wedding photos."

Bahar and Sekandar, after their destination wedding in Lake Como, Italy


“When we look at our pictures now, it’s like we are reliving that day. The emotions that the images evoke are so real.”

"Andrew and Mashaida truly captured the essence of our day and it's so fun to see it through their eyes. Everything from the candid photos that capture our joy to the posed portraits and detail shots that capture the elements of our day were just perfect.  In the end, the tangibles are priceless, but they truly provided us with an experience that we won't soon forget. We started the wedding journey looking for a vendor to take pretty photographs, and walked away with priceless legacy worthy tokens and dear dear friends whom we'd open our home to any time."

Charlotte and David, after their Washington D.C. wedding

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