How to Stay Warm at an Outdoor Wedding

The invitation to the wedding of our nephew informed us that the event was to be semi-formal.

The wedding was also at the Red Pine Lodge in Park City, Utah in March, at the height of the ski season (which equates to snow and cold weather). The event was to be outside. At 6 PM.  Oh, and did I mention it was at the tip-top of a mountain, so that we would need to take a 10-minute gondola ride to reach the location?

My first thought?  What am I supposed to do with that? What can I wear in the semi-formal range that will keep me warm?  Velvet? I don’t have anything velvet.  Long-sleeves? Most semi-formal dresses tend to have less material, instead of more material. I could envision myself shivering. And shoes?  Nice little strappy sandals weren’t going to work. 

So I headed off to town to shop. One of my least favorite things in the world to do, but it had to be done. I had absolutely nothing in my closet that would work for this event.

I tried visiting my favorite stores; Kohl’s, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack. Nothing. So I had to ‘up my game’ and visit more high-end stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and small boutique shops. Again, nothing. I started these shopping expeditions a month before the wedding, but having found nothing suitable, I was getting desperate as the wedding day grew closer. I took another look at my closet.

There was one dress that could work. It wasn’t a favorite of mine. It’s one of those dresses you keep just in case you need it, until you can find something to replace it with. But I was at the point that I needed it.

We were driving from California to Utah for the wedding – a 12-13 hour drive. So our plan was to drive 6 hours to Las Vegas, spend 2 nights, then continue on to Utah.  My husband and I aren’t gamblers. We are early-to-bed people, so don’t go to the shows either. Honestly? What we like to do when we go to Las Vegas is shop the Outlet Malls there.  (This is the ONLY time I enjoy shopping – when I have all day and am on vacation.) So I took along my emergency-dress, hoping to find something to replace it with during the one day of shopping that I had.

I found nothing.

My emergency dress it was. I finally accepted it. But I had a plan. 32 Degree Basics. I love these thermal-like tops and leggings that are silky and thin but keep you ultra-warm. They would be perfect under my dress, and no one would even know I was wearing them.

Shoes? That was a bit more difficult. I found some closed-toed shoes that would work. Not exactly my preference to wear with this dress, but the dress was long and I doubted anyone but I would be looking at my feet.

The 6 PM outdoor wedding, in the snow, was cold. But blankets and hand-warmers were provided for the guests.  We all wore our coats, whether they were fancy or not. And we were warmed by the beautiful ceremony and the absolute joy of the bride and groom.

It all worked out beautifully. Despite my worries.

We had to take a 10-minute Gondola ride up the mountain to the Red Pine Lodge, where the wedding was to be held. Here is a snapshot of our view, followed by a few-seconds video of the ride itself.


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Comments (12)

  1. Michelle

    Oh wow!!!! Loved reading the story…and the shopping experience plus the lovely photo of you way up on the mountain. I’m not so sure if I would have made it up in the gondola…Definitely a beautiful view! Congratulations to your family.

    March 6, 2020 at 9:44 am
    • Karen

      The gondola ride was a bit scary, I admit. But it was beautiful!! Thank you!

      March 13, 2020 at 6:35 am
  2. DeLoris Musick

    Look at those sexy legs! Whoo Hoo! What difference did it make what your dress looked like? You had your coat on! LOL What a unique idea for a wedding. Bet you don’t for get that one! I loved your story!

    March 6, 2020 at 10:46 am
    • Karen

      LOL! Thanks. I took my coat off at the reception (which was inside). It was nice and toasty in there!

      March 13, 2020 at 6:34 am
  3. Steph

    I am sure it was a unique wedding that you will remember. Did you stay warm?

    March 6, 2020 at 10:49 am
    • Karen

      Definitely one to remember, Steph! Yes, I was warm! With what I was wearing and the blankets they provided, I did just fine. (Except my feet, they were a bit cold.)

      March 13, 2020 at 6:33 am
  4. Gail Dahn

    WOW to all of it. Beautiful, cold, romantic……

    March 7, 2020 at 10:49 am
    • Karen

      It was, Gail! All of those things!

      March 13, 2020 at 6:32 am
  5. Judy

    Reminds me of an October wedding we attended in Steamboat Springs, CO, a few years ago. It was planned to be outdoors. The day started out beautiful and about 70°. By wedding time it was actively snowing, so was moved indoors. Still a beautiful wedding. lax you had fun. Love your outfit.??

    March 7, 2020 at 8:59 pm
    • Karen

      WOW! That’s a BIG change in just a few hours!!!! I hope the bride wasn’t disappointed.

      March 13, 2020 at 6:29 am
  6. Barbara S

    Great story – and somewhat familiar for me. My cousin just got married in Killington, Vermont. Thank goodness it only snowed a couple of inches while we were there, and she did have the ceremony in the hotel at the bottom of the ski runs. Love your outfit and I sure could have used those leggings – LOL

    March 20, 2020 at 6:04 pm
    • Karen

      Ahhh… then you definitely understood my plight! Yes, 32 Degree clothing is awesome.

      March 28, 2020 at 9:36 am
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