As the light grew long, shadows deepened and the world took on a hazy hue, Nathan Mauger and Connie Young said, “I do.”
The couple, who live in Hong Kong year-round, flew to Spokane to get married at Manito Park on Monday. At 8:30 a.m., on the morning of the total solar eclipse, they recited their handwritten vows and sealed the ceremony with a kiss.
Afterward, the wedding party of about 15 donned darkened glasses and watched the eclipse alongside about 50 others in the Manito Rose Garden.
The two were married by Ralph Fishburn of Ralph’s Regal Weddings. In 2011, Ralph and his wife, Karen, presided over a wedding at the starting line of Bloomsday.
“As we watch the moon move over the sun, we will be struck by the symbolism, appropriate for today, in which the two become one,” Fishburn said during the ceremony.
Mauger was born and raised in Spokane. Young, who is from Los Angeles, said the chance to be married during an eclipse, and in Mauger’s hometown, was too much to pass up. Her parents traveled from L.A. for the ceremony.
“Ninety percent is good enough for us,” Young joked. “We don’t know if we’ll see this again in our lives.”
Mauger’s stepfather, Larry Luton said, “It gives you an easy day to mark on the calendar.”
“We ordered the authentic eclipse glasses over a month ago,” Mauger said. “We wanted people to be blinded by love, not the sun.”
Nearby the wedding party, Sean and Karen McGee, of Hilliard, Ohio, sat on a bench next to a woman they’d just met: Barbara Zago, of Twin Falls, Idaho.
“We’re here accidentally,” Sean McGee said.
Sean and Karen McGee planned a trip to Glacier National Park months ago. When they realized they’d be in the path of the eclipse, they decided to stay and watch from Spokane.
“I can’t imagine a more beautiful spot,” Sean McGee said of the Rose Garden.
There they met Barbara Zago, who was in Spokane for work and decided to watch a once-in-a-lifetime event together.
“We’re all in transit,” Zago said.
Kat Butler was also a woman-in-transit on Monday. Normally, Butler lives in South Africa. But she’s in Spokane earning her master’s in education, while living with her parents.
She reflected on how the eclipse can still produce awe and unity in jaded humans.
“(The universe) can bring us all out together and stun us all,” she said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.