First rule of any wedding: Never eclipse the bride.
Unless, that is, the bride-to-be is Samantha Adams — age 28, a master’s degree in industrial education to her credit, and who is so enthralled with all things cosmic she recently got a tattoo of the space probe Voyager inked on her left arm and has chosen to get married outside at a special time: 12:30 p.m. Aug. 21 in St. Joseph.
Only those with their heads in the clouds don’t know by now that that it is the precise day, the place and approaching the precise time (1:07 p.m.) when the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States in nearly 40 years will enter its totality — with the moon blocking the fiery face of the sun — directly overhead.
“I couldn’t think of a more dreamlike wedding for myself,” said Adams, originally from Platte City and now living in Overland Park.
Cameron Kuhn, 27, her accountant fiance, said he is good with whatever makes Sammy happy.
“I’m pretty laid-back,” he said, glad to support his future spouse’s passion, which has become the theme of the wedding.
The couple’s save-the-date cards: diagrams of the alignment of the sun, moon and Earth. Her invitation sent out to 200 guests? It’s a photograph of the solar eclipse in the phase known fittingly as the “the diamond ring,” with a burst of sunlight erupting like the jewel from the eclipse’s luminescent corona.
Various “galaxy crafts,” including mason jars filled with lights, are planned for the tables. The wedding favors are solar glasses for every guest. Adams has already booked an appointment for a stylist to dye her hair in “galactic” colors: fuchsia, dark blues, turquoise, “maybe a kind of cool orange,” Adams said.
The 12:30 p.m. wedding plan:
“The bridal party (five bridesmaids) will start walking down the aisle. Then my father and I will follow,” she said. “Once we get to the altar and he gives me away, then we’ll lead the rest of the guests out from under the pavilion.”
They’ll put on their solar glasses, taking them off at precisely 1:07 p.m., just as the moon obscures the sun turning daylight to twilight. If the day is clear, stars will briefly shine. Street lights will spark to life. The wind often picks up. The temperature drops. Birds quiet.
Soon after the totality ends, 2 minutes and 40 seconds later, with sunlight returned, Samantha and Cameron and the rest will walk back to the pavilion. The couple — she, the daughter of a retired Army officer; he, the son of a retired Naval officer — will say their vows, beginning a new chapter in a story that started years ago.
Together, they’d attended Platte County High School but had been a grade apart. In college, at the University of Western Missouri, they’d become friends, and then more. They dated for years.
Although the wedding theme may be fun, it is hardly frivolous for Adams. A third-grade report on Jupiter sealed her fascination. She’d once dreamed of being an astronaut until multiple knee surgeries changed her path.
When Kuhn proposed nearly a year ago in August, Adams’ mind flashed to the perfect day.
Now, and for the rest of their lives together, they will honestly be able to say that they were wed on a day when the moon and the sun and the Earth and their hearts were aligned.
“I told her,” Samantha’s mother, Julia Adams said, “ ‘Sammy, the universe is going to be celebrating your wedding.’ ”