Even as a little girl, Abby (Towner) Wempe always loved weddings, and she says watching her two older sisters get married was so magical. “Plus my dad, Randy Towner, is a golf pro, so I grew up seeing Alvamar Country Club (now The Jayhawk Club) in Lawrence put on weddings and events,” she says. “I just fell in love with the hustle and bustle of everything
that was happening behind the scenes to pull off these events.”
Since she didn’t believe she could make a living out of planning events (at the time, a career in event planning didn’t seem feasible), she instead took a corporate job straight out of college. Eventually, in 2013, she found her way back to it. “I was the CFO at Colbert Hills Golf Course [in Manhattan] and did their events as well, and that’s when I knew, 100 percent,
that planning events was what I was supposed to be doing,” says Abby.
With her company, Along Came Abby, she combines her passion for events with the experience she has garnered over the years. She and her team, Bre, who runs events in the Manhattan area, and Mackenzie, who runs the events in the Lawrence and Kansas City market, know what it takes to execute successful parties.
“There's really two big pieces to pulling off great events,” she says. “Making the plans - that’s the piece most planners are good at - booking vendors, budgeting, making timelines, etc. What sets us apart is how we handle the other part of event planning – when something doesn’t go as planned. As experienced event planners, we look ahead to keep the problems
that do come up small, think on our feet and use our resources to make the best of any situation that might arise on someone’s wedding or event day. Our goal is to solve the problem before anyone realizes there is one.”
Abby wants people to know that she and her team are more than event planners. “We are event managers, and while of course we do the planning piece of it, we’re also on hand from the setup through the full execution of the event,” she says. They even stay through the tear down, making sure everything is as it should be before they leave.
With all details, big and small, being addressed by Along Came Abby, the hosts of the party can actually enjoy their event and spend time with their guests. The team can also assist with what the company calls Month-of-Wedding Coordination. “That's where the client makes the plans and we come in 30 days ahead of time to help execute them,” says Abby. “A lot of planners offer day-of-coordination, and from our experience, it’s just too little, too late. The month gives us time to address any concerns and get them fixed.”
While about half of what they plan are weddings, Along Came Abby handles many different types of events such as corporate parties, charity galas, and other celebrations.
Her team can handle any size party, big or small. “We like to work with clients who want to impress their guests, regardless of how many guests they have,” says Abby. “Being a smaller company, we get to be really flexible to help our clients however they want to be helped.”
If someone doesn’t need or does not have the budget for an event planner, but would like to have access to all the items that make an event shine, such as table linens, décor or furniture, he or she can utilize ACA Event Rental in Topeka, a sister company to Along Came Abby that opened four years ago.
“It gives non Along Came Abby clients an opportunity to use our products,” she says. “And, they still can get Bre or Mackenzie's input without necessarily booking an event planner.”
With the holidays here, these items also come in handy when the team does corporate decorating. “We’ll go into a company around Thanksgiving and decorate it for the holidays,” she says. They will also then return and take everything down once the holidays are over.
When not planning events, Abby loves spending time with husband, Scott Wempe, who is the Head PGA Golf Professional at Praireband Casino & Resort, and with their sons, Hayes, Knox, and baby Crew and their Cavalier King Charles, Heidi. The family, who recently moved from Manhattan to Topeka (most people in the area, says Abby, know her as a Manhattan girl) also loves to travel and finds any excuse to head to the beach!
To find out more about Along Came Abby and how its team can help you plan your next amazing event, go to www.alongcameabby.com.