Wedding Day

Upon waking, I was remarkably at ease with the world as all the stress and strain of the previous week in particular blew away with the coastal breeze left over from last night's storm. The weather, slightly overcast and cooler than usual, was absolutely perfect and it was a great relief to not have to worry about the rain which had been forecast all week.

Oli and Hayley picked me up (I was originally going to go by myself but thought that some company would be much better) and we arrived at the British Embassy shortly before noon alongside Neil and Gillian, Mum and Sandy, and Kathy, Adam and Robynn. I was the first through security and into the embassy gardens which were prepared beautifully. The flower people did a fantastic job and the harpist proved to be a lovely touch. Once the glasses and fizzystuff were on the side table it was just a matter of waiting for Larissa to arrive with her sister Sarah, whose amazing patience, understanding and support over the last week was, for want of a better phrase, a godsend.

When Larissa arrived, we had a few minutes together alone (we talked about this the day before and decided it was the best thing to do) before making our way to the gardens to start the ceremony. I'll always remember the nervous excitement I felt as Larissa and I stood together, clutching hands, smiling at each other and repeating our wedding vows. It was such a lovely, intimate moment and I'll never forget it.

From the embassy, the wedding party made their way to the Chedi hotel for photos and then the meal. The details of the meal are escaping me already but my memory of the afternoon will always be of great banter and food, Sandy's poem and my speech which went down brilliantly despite my apprehension beforehand.

After the meal, the next stop was a dhow boat cruise near at the marina near Muttrah. The guitars were out and everyone was extremely relaxed and chilled as the boat cruised along Muscat's coastline with a cool breeze blowing through the deck.

After the cruise, it was time for everyone to go their separate ways. The journey back to the Chedi hotel for Larissa and I (courtesy of Gillian) was dominated by a reasonably drunk Neil providing the best stand-up-potential laughs of the night. At the Chedi itself, we came back to find we had been upgraded to one of the best rooms in the entire hotel. It really was a magnificent spectacle of a room which I don't think I'll ever see the likes of again. Larissa was adamant that we take some photos of it before retiring which was when I got this unplanned-but-perfect blip for the day.

There were so many other little details not mentioned here that really made the day, but I can't think how to write about them, suffice to say that all the hard work and planning we put in really paid off. To quote a friend from back home who had some advice for me prior to the day about his own wedding day, it was the best party I've ever been to.

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