Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - PAGE 35
IF YOU’RE looking for a unique and memora-
ble wedding experience, then local marriage cel-
ebrant Sarah Oxley has a proposal for you.
Sarah is offering one couple the chance to be
married on stage at the upcoming Loch Roch Fes-
tival on Saturday, March 11.
“I have a celebrant friend who did a wedding at
the St Kilda festival,” Sarah said.
“She had great success with it. I only moved
down to Loch from Croydon eight months ago,
and I’m loving South Gippsland. The festival will
be the first community event I’ll attend since be-
ing here. The idea is a bit quirky and interesting,
so why not?”
Sarah’s passion for romance and for interest-
ing, funny stories is what drives her as a celebrant.
“I’m a primary school teacher by trade, but I’ve
always been a bit of a hopeless romantic,” Sarah
“This is an interesting way to get my name out
there, and to show my quirky side.
“I know that there are certain legal phrases in a
ceremony that are bit archaic, but your wedding
doesn’t have to be. It can be fun and interesting.
“So if there is a couple who are into rock, and
are a bit quirky, and who would be interested
in getting up there and having their own rent-a-
crowd at the festival, get in touch!”
Sarah will be providing the ceremony for free,
as well as $250 for the couple to spend for the
rest of the day at the festival.
“The wedding will be prepared for them; all
they have to do is turn up. It would be great if we
could find a fun, local couple.”
Due to legal paperwork that needs to be submit-
ted for the wedding to take place, a willing couple
would need to get in contact with Sarah by close
of business on Friday, February 10.
“If we can’t get someone by this date, but there
is still a couple interested, I’m happy to conduct
a ceremony at the festival, and the legal ceremony
on a later date,” Sarah said.
If you’re a loved-up couple looking for a unique
and memorable wedding, contact Sarah on 0404
429 992 or via email at sarah.oxley@outlook.
For more information, visit Sarah’s website at
Indulge your loved one at Radius
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Monday, February 13
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Don’t forget Valentine’s Day
AS VALENTINE’S Day approaches, lonely hearts
should be on high alert for scammers when look-
ing for love online.
Victorians lost more than $4.2 million to ro-
mance scams in 2016 – up by around $200,000
on the previous year.
Nationally, more than $24 million was lost was
lost by Australians to romance scams in 2016,
with more than $2 million in February alone.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz
said romance scammers tend to follow a formula,
generally meeting their victims on dating sites and
quickly suggesting they instead talk over email,
text or instant messaging in order to avoid detec-
“These dodgy con artists prey on people search-
ing for love with empty promises of a happy future
“Don’t be fooled by these fraudsters. They are
experts at spinning elaborate webs of lies to win
sympathy and fool people into handing over their
hard earned money.”
Often based overseas, they groom targets over
weeks and months, often making plans to meet
and sharing grand declarations of love.
Once a sense of trust and intimacy is estab-
lished, the requests for money begin – legal and
medical emergencies, important business invest-
ments or wanting to buy a plane ticket to visit are
all common themes.
By this point, the person may be so invested in
the relationship they do not even question whether
something could be amiss.
Tips for avoiding romance scams include:
• Be extremely suspicious of anyone who avoids
meeting face to face, asks you a lot of questions,
but is vague when talking about themselves,
makes over-the top expressions of love or a mar-
riage proposal or who quickly tries to move the
conversation away from an online dating site.
• Never send money or share your bank details
with someone you have not met in person.
• Use Google’s reverse image search function
to check if their photos appear elsewhere on the
“The fallout from a romance scam can be emo-
tionally and financially devastating. If you think
you’re being scammed, report it as soon as possi-
ble so we can stop these criminals in their tracks.”
You can report a scam by calling Consumer Af-
fairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or online at www.
Click with caution this Valentine’s Day
Say ‘I Do’ at Loch Roch
Marriage Celebrant Sarah Oxley is looking for a fun and funky couple to marry on-stage
at the upcoming Loch Roch Festival. She is pictured here at her home in Loch with her
dog Teddy. ms200617
ACCORDING to data from the Australian
Bureau of Statistics, civil celebrants have
overseen the majority of marriages since
1999, with 74.9 per cent of weddings con-
ducted by a celebrant in 2015.
Sarah, who originally hails from Yorkshire
in the UK, changed from being a teacher to
a celebrant after being inspired at a friend’s
“My friend had an awesome celebrant,”
“She was just so bubbly and bright, and it
made the ceremony so beautiful.”
With business booming, Sarah loves being
a part of a special day in the lives of loved-
up couples. “Apart from the actual day and
seeing everyone’s smiling faces, I think my
favourite part of the job is getting to know the
couple,” Sarah said.
“You ask them questions and that lets me
get to know them a little better. I find out what
they’re like, who proposed and how, and
it’s often those stories that are the funniest,
and allows me to make the ceremony really
unique to them.”
So, with more and more people getting
married with a celebrant, how does one be-
come qualified as a celebrant?
“You need to do a certificate in Celebrancy,”
“You can do that in a number of ways, such
as face to face in a course, which will take you
a couple of weeks. Or you can do it online at
your own pace. I did it within a year online.
“It is quite tricky, because there are a lot of
legalities that I have to witness. It’s a very legal
thing you have to do, and you have to be very
“At the end of it, though, you get to be a part
of a couple’s life, which I love.”
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