Saturday, March 1, 2014

Vendor Spotlight - Amanda Allen - MMD Events

One of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding is designing the floral and decor! One of our favorite floral and decor vendors is Amanda Allen, owner of MMD Events. Amanda and her husband, Matt, founded MMD events in 2005 and are located in Tampa, FL. With her amazing ability to create the PERFECT design for your event in hear head, it is always SO fun to work with Amanda. With no further delay, it's time to shine our Confetti Spotlight on Amanda Allen from MMD Events!  

picture courtesy of Limelight Photography

K: "What is your floral/decor background and how did MMD get started?"
A: "I have a BA in psychology and studio art – growing up I learned to take care of flowers from my mother who is a floral designer specializing in non-profit events. She always entertained at home, often elaborately, and I learned a lot about hospitality from her. Matt and I met and got married nearly 11 years ago, right around the time the wedding industry was beginning to change dramatically. We were living in SoCal and it was amazing to watch the new heights to which floral, décor and weddings were rising. Our own wedding was very progressive (back then we paid $18 per chair for a chivari!) We had to rent red linens from a place in LA – everything was white, lol – our centerpieces were giant bonsai trees.  We really made it us and we got bit by the bug. We started our company in CA originally offering custom stationary (nearly non-existent at the time) décor and planning.  When we moved to Tampa nearly nine years ago we focused on planning and décor, then six years ago we started to phase out planning – with our last planning client ending right around 4 years ago.  By then, we were already a full scale design and décor company – which is who and what we are today!"

K: "How do you stand out from other decor companies? What do you feel sets you apart?"
A: "It’s easy to answer this generically – obviously we feel like we are the best and we do everything better than everyone else – we are artists, if we didn’t think we were superior we would never survive. But more than all that we have a unique process we have developed over the years that ensures quality and perfection for our clients. We believe it makes us better and makes our clients more confident in our ability to produce what they want – we are very transparent also – nothing is a giant secret! I want to explain to a client how it’s going to happen and then make it happen -  not just promise big and under deliver.  We also stand out because we have a large, well trained staff that gets everything done, on time and done right – that is worth its weight in gold!" 

K: "What is the most unique quality of MMD?"
A: "I think that we have a very unique sense of creativity. Even though we celebrate beauty and glamour – we love a sense of fun, playfulness and humor. Life should not be so serious – design should make happiness bubble up. That’s how we really came up with our painted animals. I spray painted my first deer in April of 2011 for a publication – I was hooked after that!"

K: "What keeps you passionate about event design?"
A: "I’m just really visual and I love to travel and see things. I come from a very innovative family – my floral designing mother, my sister is an amazing trained chef (and many women in my family are amazing untrained chefs). My dad pioneered modern road construction and my brothers, who are engineers, carry on his legacy.  We grew up talking to each other about making things great – and that’s what we talk about at work and now what Matt and I talk about at night in our own home."

K: "How would you describe your personal style?"
A: "Edgy but pretty. I like feminine curvy silhouettes, but I always want to have some type of subversive element – I think that’s’ why I love tattoos. I love high end designers but I always have to mess it up somehow. I’m never preppy – it feels like a costume to me!" 

K: "What should every bride bring to their first meeting with you?"
A: "Pictures – even if it is something they hate. A bride with no pictures is so tough for me – Pinterest is great – not because we just do everything on the board – but it gives me what we call “a visual frame of reference.”  Without it we have to show them pictures, then they have to judge what they like and don’t like in front of us – something that is uncomfortable for both parties because it’s usually pictures of all our weddings! They feel bad saying I hate that and we are like “just give me something to work from!”  When a bride brings her own pictures we can know key things right away – fluffy vs pointy flowers, low vs. high, colors, feelings, atmosphere – then we go from there, show them pictures that apply to them and create something unique." 

K: "What is the most challenging aspect of your job?"
A: "The lack of work – life – balance – when you have a job that you are passionate about – it’s hard to set boundaries – I’m always crossing the boundaries I set myself, lol!"

K: "What is your favorite part about helping a couple plan the decor of their wedding?"
A: "Getting to know them and helping them find something fun that reflects them and makes them feel like the wedding really is about them."

K: "Are you seeing any emerging trends in the coming year?"
A: "Wedding trends are slow to emerge – unlike clothing fashion – they don’t change season by season (nice because it would be really hard to keep up!) The color palette of the year really continues to be blush, gold ivory – but we are seeing brides trying to make it their own by adding another stronger color shade like dusty rose, coral or peach. Personally, I’m loving gold, lavender and peach this year – soft, but goes really well with the modern geode/crystal theme happening in home fashion. Gowns are going to get big again, which makes me happy and glam is back in a big way! #glam" 

K: "What is the number one thing a couple should avoid when deciding on floral and decor?" 
A: "Décor is more important overall then floral.  Crappy short linens, ugly chairs  - if that’s what you have in place, but each centerpiece is $250, you will never see the money you spent on flowers, it will all look like crap."

K: "What is a common mistake you see couples make?"
A: "They forget their own sense of personal style when they are planning their wedding. I used to always say that brides and grooms should stand side by side in a full length mirror and really look at themselves as a couple before they start picking style features – if you are a city kid who hates sand, why are you having a beach wedding?  We once carpeted an entire 30’x80’ section of beach so the bride and groom never had to touch “gross sand”…epic fail, lol"

K: "What is the best advice you could give brides who are still searching for floral and decor ideas?" 
A: "Think about the color and style of your venue. Truly the best looking weddings have a cohesive fit with their venue style and décor style."

K: "What are 5 things you could not do your job without?"
A: "Pilot Precise V5 Rolling ball ink pens, kind bars, my husband Matt, our dog Batly, my amazing team!"

K: "What is the most satisfying part of your job?"
A: "Having fun every day – even when I’m tearing my hair out!"

K: "Anything you'd like to add?"
A: "Planners like you ladies make our jobs more fun and enjoyable and easier!  We love you!"

 -Written by Kaylea Frantzis, Lead Coordinator

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