Like millions of Americans, Amanda Allen sets New Year’s resolutions. Unlike the masses, she actually enjoys hers. Rather than committing to something torturous (purge the pantry of sugar, set the alarm for 5 a.m. spin class), the owner of MMD Events in Tampa, Florida, treats early January as a period of creative renewal. She pores through her Instagram feed (which is populated with upscale floral, fashion, interior and event designers from around the world), taking screen shots of looks that excite her and texting them to her second-in-command, Amy Willoughby, who weighs in and responds with her own inspirational images. Together, they curate a handful of wedding styles for “the ultimate client” — one who appreciates bold and unexpected designs, recognizes her vendors’ expertise, grants them freedom to work their magic and pays handsomely for it.
Abiding by Walt Disney’s mantra — “If you can dream it, you can do it” — Allen started this exercise in January 2015. It came on the heels of five straight years with 150-plus events (the bulk of which were weddings). “It was crazy with a capital C,” she said, recalling the challenge of storing and transporting flowers and props and staffing for simultaneous parties. “Plus, who wants to work every single weekend? That’s valuable family time and your chance to recharge.”
Determined to regain her sanity, Allen abandoned her original business model (take everything that comes through the door), choosing instead to focus on high-end brides. In 2017, she did just 54 weddings, averaging $50,000 a pop, for a total of $1.3 million — nearly double what she made when she handled three times the volume. “Absolutely thrilled,” she said of those results. “We have found our sweet spot!”
Read more about how Allen and other florists with strong wedding segments are cashing in on couples ready to spend big, in this month’s issue of Floral Management.