A New Wedding Style: Shipwreck Chic

By Amanda Allen

The sun is bright, the temperature is just right, and the beaches are phenomenal. However, over the years the thought of producing yet another beach wedding in one of the premier destination areas of the country for such events had grown tiresome. That’s when we got an idea for something new.


Some background: When we located ourselves and our  company, MMD Events, to Tampa from San Diego, we thought: “Yay! Starfish! Sand dollars! Seahorses!  This is so much fun! We love beach weddings!”  But a few years passed and many weddings later and it was: “More starfish, sand dollars and sea horses? We can’t want to do another beach wedding…”


The reality is that the beaches in Florida are stunning and the Tampa Bay area is a veritable water world.  Our winding coastal region has so many inlets, which means that nearly every event space in our 100-mile average work radius has water views if not also sand-in-toes beach access.  So gradually in our own way we’ve shaped a different kind of beach style to combat our creative fatigue – it’s a style we call “Shipwreck Chic.”


The most entertaining part of this design concept is pitching it to our clients. I always tell them that I picture this young Spanish bride – newly married in her stunning gown, put on a ship with her dowry bound for the new world with her dashing older husband – when tragedy strikes!  Storms hit, their ship pulls apart and they wash up on the driftwood studded beach covered in sea grass and creatures, with their finery strewn about; a stunning mess…doomed yet romantic.


I can tell right away which couples will love this and we move forward. However, not every shipwreck can actually take place where ships go. This is due to another prevailing theme here in Florida — Mother Nature does as she pleases. And so, you get what you see below — a couple’s shipwreck chic Jewish beach ceremony not on the beach but on the inner courtyard of the hotel.


Our new inspired beach wedding style has set us apart. Couples have started realizing that if they wanted something other than the typical starfish and sand dollar wedding, they can come to us. In the last few years as vintage glam (which we tie closely into our shipwreck chic look) has really heated up and since we’ve started pulling more and more furniture on the beach.




The sun is still bright. The temperature is still just right. The beaches are still phenomenal. Only now, we have rekindled our love for Tampa’s beach wedding scene. With this newfound treasure that has washed up on our shore, we found a new market for clients as well.


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Amanda Allen started MMD Events in Tampa, FL with her husband Matt in 2005. MMD Events is an event design and production company specializing in highly detailed weddings and events. In 2010 Amanda was a finalist for Event Designer of the Year for Event Solutions magazine. In the same year MMD Events launched I Heart Vintage, a vintage furniture rental company that became a finalist for best new product of the year according to BizBash magazine. In 2012 Amanda launched her private design label Amanda Allen Designs and that year had the privilege of designing the private office for the Speaker of the House, along with a 6,000 square foot private lounge for the House of Representatives, (built out by MMD Events) during the RNC. In January 2013 MMD Events designed an Inaugural Ball in Washington DC and was also named a finalist for Event Company of the year for Event Solutions Magazine. Amanda is proud to say the she accomplished much of this with pink hair and tattoos.

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1 comment on “A New Wedding Style: Shipwreck Chic

  1. […] Matt Allen from MMD Events in Tampa. Sean is on the DesignDawgs board and he, Matt and Amanda are contributors. Additionally, they all presented phenomenal session at Catersource/Event Solutions. Over dinner, […]

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