My dad was an inveterate Wedding Weeper. I mean, to be fair, he also cried at funerals, baptisms, patriotic songs and sports movies. When my cousin Bill got married years ago, Dad literally woke up early to cry the day of the wedding. Then he cried when we arrived at the venue. When the music started. When the bride walked down the aisle. When the vows were exchanged. And when the newlyweds left the church. And cousin Bill isn’t even technically our cousin. He’s mom’s college roommate’s second son. It’s almost a good thing that Dad didn’t make it to see any of his own children’s weddings, because we would have had to hook him up to an IV just to keep him hydrated.

I was thinking about this because my cousin Emma got married this past weekend. I’ve never cried at a wedding before, but as soon as she came into view and started the walk down the aisle, the heavens opened directly onto my face. Thank god I was wearing a mask, because a) it was absorbent and b) it hid the fact that my mouth was all gross and crumpled. (I am an ugly crier but at least I didn’t ruin my cousin’s wedding photos!)

I cried because she looked so beautiful, and because I love love, and because the officiant (Aunt Nancy, who is not technically an aunt, but whatever the relation is when her aunt and my grandmother are the same woman) had a lovely speech. I cried because, well, I guess someone in the family has to be the new Wedding Weeper and apparently it’s me. I cried because the flower girl was adorable and because the music choices had a lot of violin strings in them and, yes, I cried because I was seethingly jealous that her dad got to walk her down the aisle, which was something I never thought I wanted until suddenly it was no longer an option.

I’m also a little jealous because Emma has acquired the millennial dream trifecta of a husband AND a house AND a horse; but I feel bad for my jealousy because Emma’s just about the sweetest person on the planet. She and Matt (the newly minted husband) met their freshman year of college and have been together ever since; now they will be together forever in perpetuity. During the ceremony, the happy couple kept giggling, I assume in some combination of nerves and delight; personally, I thought it was incredible romantic, but then again, I tend to think of inside jokes as a high point of being in a relationship.

I knew the wedding would be stylistically perfect when we got a “save the date” card that came with a tiny container of mints that said “Emma & Matt: mint to be” on it. The only thing better than puns are free snacks. And it was. The venue was the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. Pro tip: if you’re driving out to there, write down directions to and from, because there is no cell service. I got there fine, but on my way home, my GPS stopped working, so I had no choice but to pick a random direction and drive until I got a signal, which happened when I arrived in Fryeburg. I was not planning to go to Fryeburg. Also I was almost late to the wedding because I got stuck behind a tractor and couldn’t pass it because the road was so hilly and winding that there were no safe spots.

So yeah, Brownfield’s way out there. But my god, it’s gorgeous; the fall foliage was almost in full bloom, and even though it was a gray and overcast day, it totally worked with the wedding party because all the groomsmen were wearing gray suits. And the venue itself is like a series of Instagram pictures come to life, but in the absolute best possible way. I’m talking exposed beams; twinkle lights everywhere; stained glass. Beautiful and fancy, but not intimidatingly formal. Also they had someone stationed at the front door to actually check vaccine cards, with a little pen light and everything, like a real bouncer!

All in all, it was the first wedding I attended as a real grown-up, and as a sober person, and I was utterly honored to be there. In fact, the only complaint I have is the fact that now my mom won’t stop looking at pictures of wedding dresses on the internet. So congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Wagner, from your weird cousin. And thank you.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:
Twitter: @mainemillennial

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