HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Flying high above hundreds of people who came to Casey Jones Distillery to view the total solar eclipse, Mitch and Dana Moore, formerly Dana Cannon, shared their wedding vows Aug. 20 floating in a tethered hot air balloon.

The Hopkinsville couple was well aware that most of their guests were there for another rare phenomenon, but competing with the eclipse was never their intent.

“I couldn’t care less about tomorrow,” Mitch said. “I’m more excited about tonight.”

He and his bride decided to get hitched in the balloon because Dana had never been up in one and the distillery announced the rides on Facebook. After that, their plans for a small, intimate wedding foiled. Tradition went out the window as well.

Instead of a best man, Mitch’s “best woman” was his youngest daughter Rachel Moore.

The 15-year-old was a ball of nerves before the balloon went up, but she was determined to stand by her father’s side.

“I am doing it,”?Rachel declared. “I am strong, independent and I got the rings — I’m more scared I’m going to drop the rings out of the basket.”

Along with Rachel and the balloon operator, the couple was accompanied by Dana’s mother, Mitch’s parents and the officiant, Phillip Lee.

“The bride knew if I was asked, I would do it,”?he said. “If it had been on a roller coaster I?still would’ve done it — well, I would have preferred it to the balloon really.”

Lee was anxious about not having enough light to read during the ceremony.

“There’s a lot of unknowns about it,” he said, “but there’s a lot of excitement.”?

The couple went up just after 7:30 p.m. as the sun set in the distance. Flares of fire glowed inside the 140,000 cubic square feet balloon as the preacher read the script.

The 90-feet-tall balloon and its basket were built in the Czech Republic. The rides were operated by Doug Robertson of EHot Air balloons in Bowling Green. Visitors could go up for $25 per person at the distillery, but the regular price is $195.

Robertson’s staff said it was the first time a couple got married in the balloon, but there have been 19 engagements.

Dana said it was “pretty cool” that people from all over world were unintentionally a part of their wedding.

They’ll have a story to take home with them too,”?she said.

Lee said he didn’t know any Biblical implications of getting married before an Eclipse. He was more concerned that Mitch and Dana take marriage in stride.

“I hope the spectacle of doing it this way doesn’t overwhelm the reality of the relationship,” the retired chaplain said. “I’m hoping that the relationship is what holds this together — not the fact that we did it in a hot air balloon.”

As the couple came down, it was clear the Moores would be just fine.

Mitch sang “To Thine Be the Glory” to his new wife and kissed her as onlookers clapped and cheered.


Information from: Kentucky New Era, http://www.kentuckynewera.com