A Spooky Love Story: Glam Goth Elopement at Centralia's Shady Lady Wedding Chapel

Elopements are a unique and intimate way for couples to exchange vows and celebrate their love. Imagine a Halloween elopement in the heart of Centralia, Washington, where vintage vibes meet glam goth aesthetics. On October 31st, at the Shady Lady Wedding Chapel, a love story unfolded that blended eerie elegance with a touch of history. Join us as we journey through the enchanting elopement of Michael & Kylie Evans and explore the charming backdrop of Centralia's downtown, featuring the Lewis and Clark Hotel and the Olympic Club. Based on the couple's appreciation and understanding of the small town's history, their special day also provides a unique opportunity to also highlight glimpses of stories into Centralia's history as their marriage is also a token of appreciation to the stories that have come before their own.

216 N Tower,
Centralia, Washington

Meet the Owner & Designer

Holly Phelps & Jay Ryan

Nestled in downtown Centralia, the "Shady Lady Wedding Chapel" is a hidden gem that exudes vintage charm. Its name alone sets the tone for a love story filled with mystery and allure. The chapel's quaint atmosphere, adorned with antique furnishings, gold framed mirrors, glam chandeliers and an intimate setting, provided the perfect backdrop for our couple's elopement. Just outside the double doors of the chapel you'll step into the Centralia's Bordello Museum. Often lovingly referred to as the "Shady Lady Bordello Museum," this space offers a captivating journey into the town's colorful history. This museum is housed in a building with a storied past, once operating as a bordello/brothel during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Bordello Museum is on a mission to preserve Centralia's red-light district history, ensuring that this unique chapter of the town's past is not forgotten. The Bordello Museum offers guided tours that delve into the fascinating history of Centralia's red-light district. Knowledgeable guides share stories and anecdotes related to the area, providing a unique and educational experience. I was fortunate to have an exclusive tour by our bride, Kylie who has contributed to our town's tales as a guide for Centralia's 'Ghost Tours' (offered weekends in October). From her I learned about the history of this unique space and the efforts of it's current owner. Inside the museum, you'll find a treasure trove of exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia that shed light on the lives and history of the women who worked in Centralia's once a functioning bordello during the town's heyday. Visitors can explore rooms that have been meticulously restored to their historical appearance, showcasing the living conditions of the time. Guests can also gleam a deeper understanding of the area's history through the museum's guided tours.

Checkout the links below for more details!

"Shady Lady Wedding Chapel" & "Shady Lady Bordello Museum"

Local Newspaper Article


The Shady Lady Building in Centralia, WA, is a site with a fascinating and unique history. Originally established around 1915, this building has been a part of Centralia's history for over a century. The most intriguing aspect of the Shady Lady Building is its past as a brothel, which has now been transformed into the Shady Lady Bordello Museum. This museum was opened in October 2015 by Holly Phelps, who aims to honor Centralia’s past while acknowledging how far the town has come since its early days​​.

The museum provides a glimpse into the lives of the so-called "soiled doves," women who have been part of Centralia's history since as early as 1890. These women were part of the working women industry, a business that was both a means of survival and a reflection of the hard economic times. The museum showcases not only the history of the building and its occupants but also pays homage to the strength and resilience of these women. Interestingly, the museum also highlights the story of Madame Ruth Rucker, who was in business from 1945 to 1966 and married to the local police chief, Otto. This period was marked by a tacit understanding and tolerance of the industry, reflecting the complex socio-economic dynamics of the time​​.

The Shady Lady Bordello Museum is more than just a historical site; it's a testament to the unique and sometimes hidden aspects of Centralia's past. It offers visitors a chance to step back in time and understand a different facet of the town's history, one that combines elements of hardship, resilience, and the human struggle for survival.

Groom's Attire

Bride's Attire

Bridal Details


Groom's Attire

Bride's Attire

Bridal Details



One key element of any wedding is the groom's attire. Grooms can turn to Doria's Centralia, a local boutique known for its impeccable selection of men's attire. Whether you're envisioning a classic look or a more unique and themed style, Doria's Centralia has options to suit every groom's taste.

Groom's Attire

Bride's Attire

Bridal Details



Let's not forget the bride! Sparrow Bridal, provides stunning bridal gowns. Whether you're dreaming of a vintage-inspired gown or something more contemporary, Sparrow Bridal has a range of options to make brides feel like royalty on their special day.

P.S. Did you see our bride's Betsy Johnson shoes?!

Groom's Attire

Bride's Attire

Bridal Details



Special mention goes to Jordy Stylezz and love.jolashes for their exceptional hair and makeup artistry. They transformed the bride into a vision of gothic beauty, highlighting her natural features and embracing the essence of glam goth.

Groom's Attire

Bride's Attire

Bridal Details



For the finishing touch to any special occasion, consider the floral arrangements from Benny's Florist, a beloved florist in nearby Chehalis, Washington. Benny's Florist is known for their exquisite flower designs that can elevate the beauty of any event. From bridal bouquets to table centerpieces, their floral creations add a touch of natural elegance to your wedding decor.

Michael & Kylie Evans

Meet Michael and Kylie! As they prepared to exchange vows and embark on this new chapter of their lives together, the get ready prosses was filled with emotions as Michael read his love letter from Kylie while waiting for her arrival as she traveled from the salon. Upon Kylie's arrival, she looked like a Hollywood superstar excitement and anticipation was high; she was ready to marry her best friend!

Their ceremony was nothing short of emotional. As they stood before each other, their love and connection were palpable, bringing tears of joy to the eyes of everyone in attendance. It was a moment of pure love and authenticity, a testament to the power of two souls coming together to create a lifelong bond.

From the get-ready process to the emotional ceremony filled with love and tears, Michael and Kylie's wedding day was a celebration of love, unity, and the unique charm of Centralia, Washington. The touching love story of Michael and Kylie includes both of them contributing to sharing tales of this charming historic town by providing guided tours through the Centralia Ghost tours, which includes a stop at the Bordello Museum. The location they chose to say I-Do in was more than fitting for their love story to begin! Their knowledge of the town's history and their passion for storytelling added an extra layer of enchantment to this unique elopement.

Getting Ready Process

The Ceremony


Exploring the Museum

The Tapestry of Time: Centralia's Storied Past

Nestled in the heart of Washington, Centralia's history is as rich and varied as the tapestry of America itself. Founded in 1875 by George Washington, the biracial son of a slave and a white woman, Centralia stands as a testament to resilience and diversity.

The town, originally named Centerville, underwent a name change to avoid confusion with another locality. This marked the beginning of Centralia's unique journey. The early economic landscape was painted with the gritty strokes of coal mining, the lush green of logging, and the pastoral hues of agriculture, setting the stage for a community both robust and dynamic.

As the 20th century dawned, Centralia became a crucible of labor struggles. The Centralia Massacre of 1919 stands out as a particularly dark chapter, a violent clash between the American Legion and the Industrial Workers of the World. This event, steeped in the complexities of labor rights and social justice, added a poignant depth to Centralia's narrative.

Through the years, Centralia has woven its past into the fabric of its present. The city's historic charm is a living museum, showcasing its ability to adapt and evolve. From the pioneering spirit of its founder to the hard-won battles of its workers, Centralia is a story of endurance, a city that mirrors the broader American experience in its own unique way.

Join us as we delve deeper into the pages of Centralia's history, exploring the layers of time that make this Washington town a microcosm of America's storied past.


Centralia, WA

As Michael and Kylie's special day unfolded, there was a magical interlude after their preparations and their heartfelt ceremony. The time was spent walking hand in hand through downtown Centralia, moving from one shoot location to the other. The historic streets of Centralia, steeped in rich stories of the past, provided a picturesque backdrop for capturing the essence of their love. With each step, they were enveloped in the town's unique charm, from the quaint storefronts to the historical landmarks like the Lewis and Clark Hotel and the Olympic Club. It was a journey that mirrored their own path— filled with surprises, adventures, and a deep appreciation for the beauty of life's moments.


Walking down the street, we passed by Doria's (where our groom found his attire). This space has an interesting history that reflects its commitment to fashion and the local community. The boutique, known for its range of women's fashion from formal wear to everyday clothing, was established by Tami Perman in 2000. Tami named the shop after her grandmother, who was a significant inspiration and contributor to her flair for fashion.

The store, located at 302 N. Tower Ave. in Centralia, opened its doors to the public in 2012. Before moving to Centralia, Tami Perman ran a store in Olympia for 12 years. The decision to relocate to Centralia was influenced by the city's charming character, more space, and the availability of free parking for customers, which was a significant advantage over her previous location in Olympia.

Doria's is well-known for providing formal wear for various events such as weddings, proms, military balls, cruises, and other special occasions. The boutique also includes a Doria's line of dresses, and Tami Perman personally involves herself in alterations and beadwork, ensuring a unique and personalized service for her customers. The store's large open dressing room creates a communal and interactive shopping experience, distinct from other stores.

The boutique has become a popular destination, drawing customers from places as far as Seattle and Wenatchee, indicating its reputation beyond the local community. Tami Perman's dedication to her customers and her passion for fashion makes Doria's more than just a boutique; it's a place where customers can expect a fun and satisfying shopping experience.

For more details about Doria's, you can visit their website and read the article from The Daily Chronicle.

The Lewis and Clark Hotel

One of our stops was picturesque street front of The Lewis and Clark Hotel in Centralia, WA, has a storied history that adds a unique charm to the city's landscape. Built in 1927, this hotel was once the largest and most luxurious hotel between Seattle and Portland, highlighting its significance in the region during that era. The grandeur of the hotel is indicative of the architectural and cultural ambitions of the time, providing a luxurious stopover for travelers and locals alike.

In its original form, the Lewis and Clark Hotel boasted 110 rooms. However, the building underwent significant changes over the years. It was converted into a 53 unit senior living apartment complex, a transformation that reflects the evolving needs and demographics of the Centralia community. This adaptation of the building’s purpose is a testament to its enduring significance in the city.

The restoration efforts of the Brumfield family, who purchased the Lewis and Clark in 1999, have been instrumental in preserving the building's historical and architectural integrity. Their work to restore the building to its former glory is a notable example of preserving historical landmarks for future generations.

The architectural design of the Lewis and Clark Hotel was the work of Robert Chambers Reamer, an architect known for his significant contributions to the architectural landscape of the Pacific Northwest. His involvement underscores the building’s architectural importance and the aesthetic styles prevalent during that period.

Today, the Lewis and Clark serves not just as a living space but also as an event center, continuing its legacy of being a central part of the community's social and cultural life. This ongoing use of the building ensures that its historical significance is not just remembered but actively experienced by residents and visitors of Centralia.

For more detailed information, you can explore the Lewis and Clark Event Center's website and the Pacific Coast Architecture Database's entry on the hotel.

The McMenamins Olympic Club

The highlight of our downtown experience was a walk down to The McMenamins Olympic Club in Centralia, where we were granted permission by management to capture some fun moments. Originally built in 1908, it was known as the Oxford Hotel. This historic establishment boasts a fascinating past that includes not only serving as a hotel but also as a gathering spot for local loggers and miners. Its early days featured a barber shop, shoeshine stand, cafe, bar, card room, pool room, and cigar counter, designed to entice its clientele to spend their earnings in leisure and relaxation​​.

The Olympic Club was acquired by McMenamins Pubs & Breweries in 1997, and they changed its name to reflect the new ownership. Today, the hotel is recognized for its 27 European-style guest rooms and a brewpub movie theater, maintaining its historic charm while offering modern amenities​​. Over the years, the Olympic Club has evolved to become a notable part of Centralia's cultural and social landscape, hosting various musical acts and events.

This rich history makes the Olympic Club not just a place of accommodation but a historic landmark, offering a glimpse into the past while serving the community and visitors in the present day.

Dear Mr & Mrs Evans,

As you embark on this beautiful journey together as husband and wife, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to both of you. May your love continue to grow stronger with each passing day, and may your life together be filled with an abundance of joy, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

My hope for you is to always find strength in each other's arms, support in each other's dreams, and comfort in each other's love. Your love story is a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of two hearts joining as one.

Here's to a future filled with endless adventures, shared dreams, and a lifetime of happiness. May your love shine brightly and inspire all who have the privilege of knowing you both.

Congratulations, and may all the good things in life be yours!

With love and best wishes,