Ms. Turek, a 30-year-old tax lawyer, and Mr. Dutton, a 39-year-old contracts negotiator for the Air Force, were married in the Kathryn and David Kossove Garden just outside the Kaminski House, a museum about 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach that stood directly in the path of a solar eclipse, which was treated by the couple as an invited guest.
“It’s come a long way, from Lincoln Beach, Ore., to Charleston,” Mr. Dutton said of the eclipse’s path across the country.
“Marriage grows out of loving, caring and sharing ourselves with another,” the bride’s younger sister, Katie Turek, said at 1:32 p.m., a minute after the bride had been walked down the aisle by their father, Dr. James Turek, as the 37 guests watched.
Katie, a notary public from South Carolina who served as the wedding officiant, went on to tell the couple that “marriage is not magic.”
“It will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments Chris and Kelly have made to each other, both large and small, in the days since they first met and recognized their connection to one another,” she said.
At 1:40 p.m., the bride’s older sister and maid of honor, Christina O’Brien, spoke to the couple and their guests, some of them already sporting their safety glasses. “As you hold the hands of your best friend, these are the hands that will hold you, comfort you, wipe your tears away, hold your children, give you strength when you need it,” she said. “Lastly, these hands even when they are old and wrinkled, will continue to hold you.”
At 1:44 the couple sealed their union with a kiss, and by 2:18 they were posing for pictures on the lawn of the nearby Stewart-Parker House, where a moon-themed reception included Space Dust and Blue Moon beers, Moonshine liquor, and MoonPies for snacks.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this,” said Trish Fenderbosch, a longtime friend of the couple who, like everyone else, was now keeping one eye on the newly married couple and another on the slowly vanishing sun. “This is epic.”
At 2:32 the groom sneaked his bride a kiss, and they began sun-gazing along with their guests. At 2:37, with the moment of totality ever so close, voices began shouting, “Whooo!” and “There it is!”
“Look, there’s Jupiter,” someone said.
At 2:46 the totality had finally arrived, and day became night.
“All right, America!” Mr. Dutton shouted above thunderous applause. “All right!”
That was the moment that Mr. Dutton envisioned back in June, when he decided to boldly go where no man had likely gone before by booking the wedding date and venue before proposing to his future wife.
“He gave me six weeks to plan a wedding,” said Ms. Turek, who took it in stride.
“I knew this was something that the two of us, who are both science fiction nerds, could fully appreciate,” she said. “It was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
They met in December 2013 at a get-together arranged by a young-professionals club at a bar in Murrells Inlet, S.C.
“I didn’t see anyone there that I knew,” Ms. Turek recalled. “Then I saw this sexy man sitting all alone in a corner, who was way too cute to be sitting by himself, so I went over and started talking to him.”
They quickly bonded over a shared interest in space-related phenomena, including the solar system and “Star Trek,” and fell in love at warp speed.
He promised her the moon and the stars and delivered on that promise night after night beneath the twinkling skies on Pawleys Island — about 10 miles from Murrells Inlet — where they lay wrapped in a beach quilt, getting acquainted and marveling at meteor showers, shooting stars and majestic sunrises above the Atlantic.
He proposed in June during a helicopter ride above Murrells Inlet, where Ms. Turek was born and raised, and Pawleys Island, home to Mr. Dutton’s mother and stepfather, Victoria Castle and Wallace Castle, a home builder and contractor.
They also flew over Huntington Beach State Park, where they had spent some days kayaking and some evenings gathering shells and stargazing some more.
Ms. Turek, one of three daughters of Patricia Turek and Dr. Turek, a family practitioner in Garden City Beach, S.C., graduated from Wofford College in Spartanburg and received a law degree from the Charleston School of Law. She later earned a master of laws from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Mr. Dutton, an only child who joined the Air Force as a contractor in 2000 when he was 22, was born in Akron, Ohio, and moved around Florida a bit before his mother planted roots on Pawleys Island. He has two bachelor’s degrees, one in criminal justice from the University of Akron and the other in international business from Coastal Carolina University, from which he also received an M.B.A.
When he met Ms. Turek, Mr. Dutton, who was working for Air Force Central Command at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, had just returned from an 11-month assignment in Saudi Arabia.
“For me it was just like coming home and relaxing after that long deployment,” he said. “Then Kelly walked into my life.”
Mr. Dutton will soon begin a new assignment — and a new life with Ms. Turek — when he reports next month to Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., which is largely considered one of the best stargazing destinations in the country.
“When it comes to watching the moon and the stars and the sun, well, it’s just out of this world,” Mr. Dutton said. “We can’t wait to get there.”
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