Union Station Wedding DC
Matt Mendelsohn Photography
Home »

Union Station Wedding DC

Blame it on the father of the groom.

As I was pondering how to sum up the gorgeous wedding (and gorgeous weather) of Ryan Coyle and Kate Coyne at Union Station, I kept drifting back to the beautiful toast given by the bride's dad.

As you can imagine, I've heard a lot of toasts over the last twelve years of shooting weddings, usually evenly split between the categories of "good" and "too long." But every once in a while one stands out from the crowd, and there was definitely something strikingly poignant in the toast given by Mr. Coyne. As he stood in the grand East Hall of Union Station, a cathedral if ever there was one to locomotive transportation, Kate's dad artfully deconstructed exactly what was at the heart of train travel. It came down to this, something few of us have probably pondered so eloquently upon: two parallel steel tracks, like two human hearts on the same course, connected by an infinite number of ties--family ties--along the way.

I can't, in paraphrasing, do justice to his metaphor, though I will tell you it landed sweetly back at the station we were in, Union Station, as the luck of names would have it.

(Mr. Coyne could have added another ingredient into the mix if he had wanted: fragility. Union Station was built in 1908--designed by the legendary architect Daniel Burnham, he of the Flatiron Building and the Chicago World's Fair--and was, bewilderingly, allowed to fall into a state of total disrepair by the 1970's. Another station, perhaps the greatest example of turn-of-the-century architectural magnificence of them all, New York's Pennsylvania Station, was demolished in 1963, when I was just one. A photo of one of the statues that sat atop the old Penn Station lying in a landfill in New Jersey actually haunted me as a child. But I digress.)