that time I got married in a ghost town…

by Kaylah Stroup

Two Guns Wedding, ghost town wedding

I don’t even know how to start this post. There’s so much to say about our wedding and honestly, so much I just want to keep private. I’m straddling this weird line between sharing something I’m proud of and excited about and keeping it all to myself because it really is so special. Either way, this is going to be a long, photo heavy post and I’m sure as soon as I hit “publish” I’ll think of a thousand other things I wanted to mention but here we go…

Jeff and I live to travel. It’s such a huge part of our relationship. Neither of us care for traditional weddings so it was a no-brainer we’d have a destination wedding. Based on our travel history and the fact we’ve made it an annual tradition to go there, the desert was also a no-brainer. We’ve spent the most time in Arizona, California and New Mexico but aside from Cisco, UT where he proposed there was only one other spot that we loved as fiercely – Two Guns, Arizona. I had always half-jokingly suggested we should get married there but never really thought it could actually happen or put too much thought into what the logistics of that would look like.

Shortly after proposing Jeff mentioned “So, I was thinking Two Guns?” I was too emotional to talk about it but I couldn’t believe he was actually suggesting it. I finally stopped crying for long enough to have a conversation where we decided that yes, Two Guns would be the perfect spot to get married but before we officially made the call we wanted to make sure our families were down to travel. I was worried that it would be asking too much. Much to my surprise, everyone was totally on board. Not a moment of hesitation from either side.

Seven months later a grand total of thirty people, including Jeff, myself and our photographer, made our way out to Arizona. Each group took their own route, came in on different days, and did a variety of different things leading up to the wedding but all eventually met up at one of our favorite places in the world, Two Guns!

Two Guns is a ghost town outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. It has a long, kind of wild history but currently just sits baking in the desert sun. The property contains many ruins, including old cottages, a campground, a service station and even a zoo! Can’t forget to mention the cave either. (Heck yes we got photos in the cave!) Truly a playground for Rt. 66 travelers!

It’s actually for sale! If anyone would like to give it to us as a wedding gift, that’d be rad.

Like a lot of the abandonment in the desert, it’s not really a big deal to visit. There are no fences to hop to access the property, and it’s literally right off a highway exit. We figured we’d just show up, get married and leave after we were done. We had no plans to decorate. It’s seriously perfect as is! Since the ceremony was going to be super short we didn’t even bother with chairs. We did however end up choosing a spot with lots of objects to sit and lean on which worked out very nicely. It was essentially a wedding flash mob.

One of my brothers officiated the ceremony. He got ordained just for us, and spent a good deal of time practicing by marrying my niece’s stuffed animals because he was so nervous (mostly just because he didn’t want to cry!) So sweet.

On June 9th, 2018 at 9 am Jeff and I got married on top of an old crumbling building in the ghost town of Two Guns, Arizona.

It was nothing short of incredible. I spent so much time stressing about everything from the dress to if we should decorate or not but it was legitimately perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I’d change. It was so perfectly ~us~. We’re both just over the moon.

I will not say this is my favorite photo because I could never choose but you guys, I am LIVING for how fierce I look up there. Was I just married or am I ready to go into battle?

All photos in this post are by Madeline Barr. Finding the right photographer was the biggest task in planning this wedding. Jeff and I were both really stressed about it. I cannot express how happy I am that we hired Maddie! She is a blast to be around, made us both feel super comfortable in front of the camera, and gave us the wedding photos of our dreams. I seriously can’t believe these are photos of us! I’m already plotting what excuse we can make to fly out to San Diego and have her photograph us again. She’s amazing, hire her!

more details
dress + topper –BHLDN
pink underskirt – Amazon
shoes – Palladium Boots
flowers – Sutcliffe Floral
pants + vest – Express

Most of these photos were just part of the preview that our wonderful photographer sent over the night of the wedding (what!?) and somehow she’s already finished up the rest of the photos. I’ve pored over them so many times. I’m completely obsessed!!!

At this time I’m not sure if I’ll be sharing many more photos. The day before the ceremony Jeff and I were sitting at a cute little coffee shop and we started talking about how the whole idea of a wedding was super weird. It’s such a personal thing. Even though we had only invited the closest people to us, it still felt like too much. Looking back on it now, I love what we did and I’m happy everyone who was there was there but I can’t even imagine how we would have been able to deal with a bigger or more traditional wedding.

When we went through all the photos Maddie had sent us, I felt that same way again – just like this is SO personal, how could I ever share these with someone else?! I want to hoard them away for just us. Does that make sense? Did anyone else feel like this? I never thought that I would and maybe I’ll end up feeling more comfortable about it all after it’s not so fresh. For now, I’m happy just sharing these.

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