Couple stop traffic for their Dubuque wedding

DUBUQUE – An Iowa couple stopped traffic for their wedding Saturday at the base of the Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque.

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported Corin Metz and A.J. Cogan thought the top of the short, steep scenic railway was too small to hold all the friends and family they’d invited. So, with the approval of city officials and merchants, the couple gained permission to close Fourth Street at the base of the railway.

The scene left bystanders impressed.

“I wish I would have thought of it,” said Heather Coenen, of Dubuque. “It’s pretty cool.”

The couple rode down the historic railway to the spot where the wedding ceremony was held. Minutes before getting started, both were a bit nervous.

“Right now, it’s kind of surreal,” Corin Metz said. “I don’t really know what to feel at the moment.”

Her groom agreed. “It’s definitely nerve-racking,” he said.

Although the hourlong event went well, don’t look for more weddings on Dubuque streets.

When Cogan first spoke with city officials about the couple’s idea, she was told to simply fill out a special events permit application.

But City Clerk Kevin Firnstahl said officials later determined a permit shouldn’t be issued because events for a private purpose are prohibited from using the public right of way.

“Due to the time frame of the event and that the citizen was previously told it was an allowable activity, (City Manager Mike Van Milligen) granted a one-time-only request,” Firnstahl said.

Firnstahl said the clerk’s office has been advised not to approval similar requests in the future.