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FACES of MMNC – Meet Tonya Morris

Welcome to FACES of Marry Me NC! Behind every successful business is a FACE. And, let’s face it (pun intended), people want to do business with people, someone they can trust and personally connect with. We are thrilled to introduce YOU to these wedding professionals through this special Q&A blog series!

Meet Tonya Morris – owner of ABBA Design


Tell us about your wedding business in 5 sentences or less.

ABBA Design is a full service event planning team specializing in carefully curated events. We also offer services outside of the event industry such as floral subscriptions, home planting services and holiday decorating.

How did you get started in the wedding industry and what inspired you to specialize in your particular area of expertise?

I was inspired by my Dad, at a young age, to become an entrepreneur. In 2009, I started the journey of understanding what that means. I helped a friend plan and design her wedding and after that I knew this was something I wanted to expand on. As far as specializing in what ABBA does; that inspiration comes from so many places and people!! Since we are a true full service company, it would be impossible to list all the areas we draw inspiration from.

What is the most unique or memorable wedding you have ever been a part of and what made it so special?

Oh wow, this one is so difficult to answer! So many weddings come to mind, but what I remember and value most is when you are a part of a couple’s journey that really “gets it”. They are so in love, work as a team, place importance on their vows, and want to give their guests the best experience possible. Those are the weddings that stay with you.

Can you share a funny or heartwarming anecdote from one of your past weddings?

Ok – so this is one, kinda both. We had one wedding when the bride and groom did their “first look” and the groom started crying uncontrollably. So, that was heartwarming but then he couldn’t stop!! So much so it put us a little behind schedule – like every few minutes, it was uncontrollable sobbing. Maybe it’s my sense of humor, but after a while it became funny.

What is one of the most NOT-so-funny things you have experienced at a wedding and how did you handle it?

We have had two separate occasions where people have passed out during the ceremony due to medical conditions. We called for medical assistance and helped to transition everyone back to the focus of the day.

What is your favorite part of working with couples on their wedding day, and why?

I love being their person! Making sure all they have dreamed of comes to fruition. It is very fulfilling to be an intricate part of making sure everything goes as planned.

What are some current wedding trends or themes that you find most interesting or exciting?

We are not much for trends around ABBA, but we are enjoying the recent spike in couples’ desires to have brighter colors used on their wedding day.

What advice would you give to couples who are just starting the wedding planning process?

Find people|teams of people you connect with; then, trust and allow them to do what they do best! Start with a planner; otherwise you will likely become very overwhelmed researching the endless options.

What are some common mistakes or pitfalls that couples should avoid when planning their wedding?

Determine what is really important to you as a couple first. Make your guest list – don’t guess – put it into a spreadsheet. Everything relates to how many people you are inviting. Oftentimes, we see couples that have booked a venue that doesn’t properly accommodate the number of people that the couple would like to invite.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job, and how do you overcome it?

People. Funny right? We always say “weddings bring out the best and worst in people”. It’s so true. We all have different ways to perceive and process information. It’s about knowing who you are working with and how to best serve them.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time when you’re not working on weddings?

I love being with my family. I recently got engaged! James and I have a sweet little boy, Morris. In the summers we enjoy the pool and beaches and in the fall it’s the mountains of TN – Go Vols! I am a foodie so I always enjoy a great culinary experience – if it’s paired with wine or bourbon, even better!!

To learn more about ABBA Design, visit their personal profile here.

Are you a wedding professional interested in being featured in FACES of MMNC? Email for more information.

Photos courtesy of Liz Grogan Photography 

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