On the 14th March, on the beach of Byron Bay, my good friend Matt got married, to the enchanting Emma.
I was honoured to be selected as one of three groomsmen plus a best man, which I only realised too late was Matt's cunning way of punishing me, as I stood out in the roasting sunshine, layered up in a shirt, waistcoast, and suit. Perhaps it was in revenge for making him wear a kilt at my wedding. (In actuality though, it was far less sweaty an experience than I expected.)
It was my first beach wedding, and it turns out they're a little different from church weddings. Lots of sand for a start. And you get the occasional unexpected interloper.
It's also a lot more difficult for girls to walk in high heels - the entire audience was holding their breath watching the bride and bridesmaids walk up the aisle. With the sea and sky in the background, the ceremony was simple and effective, and with Matt and Emma's sometimes boisterous two-and-a-half year old, Xavier, on angelic form (he has been known to throw his toys around in anger, which might have disrupted proceedings).
All the bridesmaids dresses, I'm told by Danielle, were lovely - I trust all my fashion assessments to Danielle. Hilariously, entirely by coincidence, three of the four partners of the groomsmen all wore very similar orange dresses, and were dubbed by Emma as the "backup bridesmaids".
After the ceremony came the reception, at a beach cafe. There were a series of speeches, touching and hilarious, and then - as all good weddings must have - a ton of drinking and dancing. Danielle and I had an excellent time: it was an excellent wedding.
And now we must leave Byron Bay after almost a week. No doubt, we're rather sad. I don't often get charmed by beach towns, but Byron Bay has charmed me. It has giant prawns and lighthouses, and we've been lucky to have a fun and sociable time. It feels like a holiday within the travels. But now the hard work of travelling must recommence.
Finally, for connoisseurs (for I believe there are some) of the relationship that Matt and I have together, one of our famous photos taken when we first met, just over ten years ago in South Korea, was of the night we decided to become "excellent smokers".
We lasted one night before we realised it just made us sick. But specially for the wedding, we pulled out a sequel, with cigars, and equally as greasy as the original.
Cheers Matt, and cheers Emma.