Just before a total solar eclipse obscures the sun on Aug. 21, one Missouri couple will exchange their wedding vows.
Samantha Adams and Cameron Kuhn, of Kansas City, Mo., will get married during the total solar eclipse in a starry, galaxy-themed wedding ceremony. Missouri happens to be one of 14 states in the eclipse's path of totality, and the wedding will take place in St. Joseph — the location recommended by experts to offer the best eclipse views in the state.
According to Adams, the 15 to 20-minute ceremony will start at 12:30 p.m. local time under an outdoor pavilion at an events center. Following the ceremony, the bride, groom and guests will don eclipse glasses and watch the eclipse as it reaches totality. The peak view is expected to take place at 1:08 p.m.
"It'll be a really awesome experience," said Adams, 28. "To have 150 family and friends to experience it in one place — it will probably set the mood for the rest of the reception. I hope it's all smiles and appreciation of each other." The couple's eclipse-themed wedding plans were first reported by local publications and then picked up nationally over the past week.
The total solar eclipse was on Adams' mind long before the prospect of a wedding. Before she got engaged last September, the space enthusiast was already looking forward to the celestial phenomenon. When Kuhn asked her to marry him, she realized a wedding during the eclipse would be perfect.
Adams' passion for space dates back to third grade, when she wrote a book report on Jupiter. Learning about the planets and solar system, she realized she "wasn't just a little kid in a classroom."
"I was a small portion of a bigger thing," she said. "It humbles you, even when you're 7."
As Adams grew up, so did her fascination with space. Determined to be an astronaut, she studied science and math and joined the Army ROTC with hopes of becoming a pilot in the military and eventually leaving Earth to explore the universe. However, she tore her knee, and realized after seven surgeries that it "wasn't in the cards" to be an astronaut. Now, she works as a production artist at a printing company, though her passion for space remains strong — Adams even has a tattoo of a simplified version of the Voyager spacecraft on her arm.
The wedding, apart from offering guests a prime look at the solar eclipse, is themed to be out of this world. Adams will wear galaxy-inspired high heels and star-shaped jewelry and will paint her nails with a galactic theme. On Thursday, she had her hair dyed blue, purple, pink and green to emulate galaxy colors. Even the dessert is space-themed: the wedding cake will have a galaxy airbrushed onto it and the cake topper says "to the moon and back."
The eclipse on Monday will be the first one Adams has seen. The couple plans to honeymoon in Colorado, where she's hoping to star gaze without being impeded by light pollution.
Adams is already looking forward to the next total solar eclipse crossing the U.S. in 2024.
"I'm hoping to have a little kid or two to take to the next one," she said.