A Long Weekend in Utah

A black tie wedding in Ogden, Utah

This April, H and I traveled to Ogden, Utah for H to be a groomsman for one of his childhood friends. We took just enough time off work to fly in for the wedding, but since neither of us had been to Utah before we squeezed in some sightseeing too! This weekend was a whirlwind of canceled flights, gorgeous mountain vistas, a black-tie wedding, new friends, and as much vegan food as we could eat. I’m so glad we could be there to celebrate H’s friend’s special day, and we had a great time exploring Utah!

Getting There

We had planned to leave for the airport after work on Thursday, but on Wednesday night our flight was canceled because of bad weather and we had to rebook in a panic. We ended up taking an earlier flight and arriving in Salt Lake City at 7 PM. I was so excited when I got my first glimpse of the mountains around Salt Lake City from the airport! H and I shared one suitcase, so I packed as lightly as I could without leaving behind any of the dresses, shoes, or outerwear I needed for the wedding and wedding-related events. To save space, I wore the athleisure I had brought to hike in for our travel day: a comfy white t-shirt, this pink sweatshirt (one of my favorite travel pieces), green leggings, and pink running shoes.

What I wore for our travel day
What I wore for our travel day

We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel, which was nearby since we had originally planned to arrive in Salt Lake City much later on Thursday night. Our SLC hotel was pretty much a standard-issue Marriott, but I loved the boho-chic décor in our room and the view of the mountains from our window. We made the most of our newfound time in Salt Lake City and snagged a table at Zest, a vegan restaurant that the bride and groom had recommended, for a late dinner. The restaurant had a cool downtown vibe and the food was great—we had a mountain of vegan nachos and delicious fruity prosecco cocktails. It was an unexpectedly warm night, so for dinner I wore this fun floral blouse with puffy sleeves, skinny jeans, and gold lace-up sandals.

Zest in Salt Lake City

Friday

The next morning we did a quick workout at the hotel gym, then took the shuttle back to the airport to pick up our rental car. The wedding was in Ogden, which is a forty-minute drive from Salt Lake City, and we had planned a detour on the way there to visit Antelope Island, one of Utah’s state parks. The drive north was gorgeous, with towering snowcapped mountains everywhere we looked, and before we knew it we were driving over the Great Salt Lake toward Antelope Island. We parked at the Ladyfinger trailhead and hiked to the top of a rock formation for an awe-inspiring view of the lake and surrounding mountains. It was so different from anywhere I have ever been before! We clambered down to the beach, enjoying the sun (and, in my case, getting mud all over my shoes), then made our way back to the car. For Antelope Island and the drive to Ogden, I wore the same leggings and sweatshirt I had worn on the plane—I love this color combination for a spring outdoorsy look!

Hiking at Antelope Island

After our Antelope Island adventure, it was only a few more miles to Ogden, which turned out to have a cute downtown with art deco buildings and amazing mountain views! The bride and groom decided to get married in Ogden even though they live in Salt Lake City because they love the outdoor activities in northern Utah, and the town has a rich history—25th Street, the main drag, has tunnels underneath it that were used as speakeasies during Prohibition. Everything was within walking distance, so it was only a ten-minute walk from our hotel to the wedding venue, and the rehearsal dinner was even closer. Once we got into town, we had a late lunch at Slackwater, a hipstery pizza place near our hotel with a massive beer menu. 

After lunch, we headed to our hotel to unpack and get ready for the rehearsal. Our hotel was another regular Marriott but our room was surprisingly nice—we had plenty of space to spread out and a stunning view of the mountains (waking up Sunday morning and watching the sunrise from bed was one of my favorite moments of the trip)! We met the rest of the wedding party in the lobby and walked to the rehearsal venue, which was one of the aforementioned historic speakeasies on 25th Street. I chatted with the other groomsmen’s dates while the party walked through the ceremony for the next day, and then we had dinner and played a round of trivia about the bride and groom. 

Ogden mountain view at sunrise
The view from our hotel room in Ogden

For the rehearsal dinner I wore a light blue midi dress with spaghetti straps and a full skirt, paired with these comfortable gold high-heeled sandals that I borrowed from my mom and have worn to basically every event I’ve attended in the past year. I brought a tiny brown crossbody bag for essentials and draped my favorite camel coat around my shoulders in case I got cold on the walk back to the hotel. I had considered a few different outerwear options for this trip and decided this short camel coat would work best with my outfits for the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and Sunday brunch. I love the wide lapels—they felt very Western! 

What I wore to a rehearsal dinner at a speakeasy

After the rehearsal dinner, the party moved to Alleged, another bar on 25th Street with a rooftop terrace. We ran back to the hotel and changed into warmer clothes first, since it had gotten chilly. The rooftop was delightful, with a view of downtown Ogden, heaters, and plenty of seating, and we got a chance to mingle with the wedding guests who hadn’t been at our table during the rehearsal dinner. We were enjoying ourselves, but since our bodies were still on East Coast time we only lasted an hour before we were ready to go back to the room and get some sleep for the big event the next day. For the afterparty, I wore a white t-shirt, jeans, brown ankle boots, and my camel coat.

The rooftop bar at Alleged

Saturday

On Saturday morning we were up early—H had breakfast with the groomsmen, and I headed downstairs with him and ended up going to breakfast with two of the other groomsmen’s spouses at a cute café. Afterwards I walked over to Union Station, the historic train station in Ogden (not to be confused with the actual train station) that is now a museum for trains, antique cars, and firearms. I started with the Browning Firearms Museum, which was all about the Browning family and their innovations over the years, and as I walked out of the exhibit H called to ask if I could come help the groomsmen set tables for the reception, so I hightailed it to the venue to help with the napkins and silverware. For my morning exploring Ogden, I wore the same t-shirt and jeans I had worn to Alleged the night before.

Historic Union Station in Ogden

Once we were finished setting up, I headed back to the hotel in search of lunch and ended up going to the same place we ate lunch on Friday. I hadn’t tried the pizza the day before, and it did not disappoint! Afterwards I seized my chance to try the gigantic hot tub at the hotel where some of the other wedding guests were hanging out. It felt amazing after all the walking I had already done that day, and I had to drag myself out when it was time to start getting ready for the wedding.

H got ready with the other groomsmen, so I took my time showering and primping and then walked to the venue. The wedding was upstairs in a big industrial space with gigantic windows on every wall, and they had decorated for the wedding with murals that the groom had painted himself. The ceremony was lovely—the bride looked beautiful in her mom’s dress, and the couple wrote their own vows for each other. H was with the wedding party taking photos for most of cocktail hour, and when he came back it was time for dinner. Since the bride doesn’t eat animal products, everything they served was vegan, so it definitely wasn’t your typical wedding food! After dinner all of the guests were out on the dance floor—it was such a fun evening.

What I wore for a black tie wedding

The wedding was black-tie optional, and since H was wearing a tux I went with this navy off-the-shoulder gown from BHLDN. It was perfect—I love the color, and it’s versatile enough to wear for other special occasions. I wore it with the same gold high-heeled sandals I wore to the rehearsal dinner (when I saw how good they looked with both outfits I decided to just go with it) and a gold clutch. For the walk to and from the venue, I wore my short camel coat, which worked better with the gown than an overcoat would have.

Sunday

On Sunday we went to the farewell brunch at Cuppa, a vegan coffee shop with a fun vibe that the bride and groom had discovered while they were in Ogden planning the wedding. I was glad we got to say goodbye to all our new friends and talk to the newlyweds about where they were headed for their honeymoon! For brunch, I wore a green and blue patterned chiffon dress with bell sleeves, styled with brown ankle boots and my camel coat. 

What I wore for the farewell brunch

After brunch we checked out and headed back to Salt Lake City, where we did the Ensign Peak trail. It’s a short but steep hike that starts at a trailhead near the Utah State Capitol and ends at an overlook where you can see all of Salt Lake City. The trail wasn’t too crowded since it was still early, and the view was incredible! After that, it was time to turn in our rental car and fly home. For the hike and the return flight, I wore a matching sky blue hoodie and leggings with running shoes and a light down jacket.

The view from Ensign Peak

Not only was I so glad that H could be there as a groomsman for his friend on his wedding day, it was also a fun weekend getaway. We never would have visited Utah otherwise, and I’m happy that we had time to explore Ogden and Salt Lake City. I know there is a lot more hiking and backpacking (hello, every national park in Utah) that we didn’t have time for on this short weekend trip, though, so we’ll have to come back!

Have you been to Utah? Would you ever visit Ogden? Let me know in the comments!

The mountains around Salt Lake City

2 thoughts on “A Long Weekend in Utah

  1. Never been to Ogden, and only driven past SLC. But when we lived in NV, we drove to Brian Head , a ski resort in Southern Utah several times to ski. It is perhaps the only place I have been able to make the first ski tracks in new powder on a whole slope. That’s memorable…but I must admit I skiied better on packed powder! Hope you get to do that, too! Cheryl T.

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