How to Plan a Wedding When You Don’t Like Weddings

How to Plan a Wedding When You Don’t Like Weddings

When I was a kid, my dad told me he’d pay me $10k to NOT have a wedding so he didn’t have to walk me down the aisle. We had a deal! Unfortunately Andy, my mom, the rest of my family, and my in-laws were not in on it. Thus, planning commenced for the Gaebel/Dorn Wedding.

I do not like weddings. Obviously I love the meaning and significance behind them, but I do not get excited over the hubbub of details, the planning, and of course the COST.

I’ve told Andy about 579 times since we got married that I’m so grateful we never have to plan another wedding. But for any of you out there planning one, here are a few pieces of advice from the resident anti-wedding expert.

Pick 3 priorities.

What we prioritized:

1. Good food.

I married into a family of beef connoisseurs, so hiring someone to buy and cook our meat was just not going to work. My brother-in-law is a cattle buyer, so he hooked us up with some Prime New York Strip loins, we set up our tailgate grill, and put Jake in charge of the cooking crew. (Oddly enough, there were plenty of volunteers to skip the wedding to cook instead. 🤔)


All of our sides (and the pie!) came from the local diner. We kept it simple with pasta salad, potato, and veggie. We’re STILL getting compliments on the beef and pasta salad.

2. Good drinks.

Our hope was to offer a completely open bar; however, the bar contractor told us we could expect to spend about $17/guest. Yeah, no. That wasn’t going to work. So instead we offered keg beer and wine and purchased a few drink tickets to hand out to close family and friends who are non beer and wine drinkers. Don’t worry, we still racked up quite the bar tab.

3. Good entertainment.

One unforeseen advantage to starting our wedding planning close to the last minute was that the good local bands and DJs were already booked. Thus, we got creative. Andy and I actually met at a piano bar, so we thought it would be awesome to have dueling pianos as our entertainment. It was a bit pricey, but the quality was top notch, and people of all ages had a heckuva time. We used Fun Pianos, and again, are still getting compliments.

Side note, If you invite our friend Jonny Diamondz to your wedding, we do not recommend giving him a turn with the mic.

What was NOT prioritized:

1. An expensive dress.

You guys, you wear this thing ONE TIME. Some of the price tags on these dresses make  me sick. In addition to that, I do not enjoy shopping in stores and I REALLY do not enjoy trying clothes on in stores. After sending out an Instagram poll, I got a few recommendations to check out Lulu’s.

Andy and I were hauling some cows to pasture and I scrolled through their site a bit on the way back. I found one I liked and showed it to him as he was driving. I thought about it all that night and without telling him, bought it. The dress arrived in the mail a few days later. It fit like it was made for me and was so beautiful and flattering. It hung in the closet for the next 7 months without him ever knowing I bought it or that it was the dress I’d shown him. The best part? It was $72.

2. A bridal party.

Andy has about 500 friends and I have about 5. I had no clue how we were going to sort that out. On top of that we’d both been in a few weddings that ended up costing a pretty penny. We wanted our friends to be able to come and celebrate with us and have a good time without feeling a financial burden. So, our BFF Mae was by our side through the ceremony instead and all of our friends were still able to be a part of our celebration.

3. Awkward wedding traditions.

We’re the people who purposefully show up to wedding receptions after the cake cutting, first dances, toasts, speeches, and any other wedding games are done and over with. So awkward. So uncomfortable. Guess what? Nobody says you HAVE to do any of that. So we didn’t. And nobody even missed it!

4. Flowers.

I’m not a cut flower person to begin with, so the thought of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cut flowers that would die in the next week was unbearable. I asked our local flower shop to create a bouquet, boutonnière, and hair piece (for me and the pup) using succulents and greenery with the intention of potting them all once the wedding was over. Joy’s Floral in Minden absolutely NAILED it. Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in keeping the succulents alive (I blame the blizzard they traveled through), but there is one succulent from my hair piece still hanging on!

Wedding planning can be as stressful as you make it. We were blessed with LOTS of family and friends who were over the moon excited to help us get ready to celebrate. There are too many people to name, but most importantly we couldn’t have done it without our parents, especially my mom who was willing to write out a few more checks than I’d hoped. 🤑


  • I LOVE this! Best wedding ever! Weddings should always be a reflection of who you are – so proud of your personalized, bold decision to be who YOU are as a couple!! Plus it was a great time 😉

  • It was beautiful. I love that the young man that hates me taking his picture loved my mints😊
    So many memories, the wedding, the rehearsal supper with Andy’s sisters awesome charcuterie board and the great steaks, the fun reception with dueling pianos and the beautiful snow afterwards.

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