Valentines Day - Did ya do it?

Valentine's Day What does it mean to you? Do you Love it or hate it? Is it an obligation? Do nothing, feel nothing and don’t care?

I heard some alarming stats on the radio a few mornings before the big V day.

One in four will do something for their love on Valentine's Day but, 50% of those one in four, do it out of obligation.

I thought to myself noooooo that can’t be right! Actually I didn't just think it, I yelled out in my car, by myself NOOOOOOO.

So I'm sitting at the hairdressers that very evening of ‘those stats’ when I receive an sms from one of my brides, a little chit chat back and forth we go, I ask her what she had planned for Valentine's Day, she didn't have any, she asked if I had plans...

Silliest question ever, of course I had plans, I had booked us gold grass tickets at the Moonlight Cinemas in the Royal Botanic Gardens to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we watch this movie every year but this year it is to be in the great outdoors, my bride responded “that is so romantic we should do something, it will be my first time as a wife” OMG! she was a statistic!!

I didn’t always feel this way inclined for Valetines Day, In fact I pooh poohed it for years, I called it a massive retail had, then I met my true who love love love loves Valentine's Day so I had to conform and jump on board...

And my love for Valentine's Day was reborn.

This year, I made my famous prawn rolls, packed them along side the champagne, fruit, chocolate and pringles. We snuggled up on the bean beds and had the most beautiful time watching a true romantic classic although for it’s time, it really was off the scale, we had a prostitute, a gigolo, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, theft, underage marriage and the list goes on. Anyway back to Valentines Day.

Did you know St Valentine was a real person. The story goes he was a 3rd century priest who was arrested by the Romans, as he was performing under the table marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry because they were scared to fight for the risk of their wives becoming husbandless back home, he was sentenced to death, beaten with clubs and stones, then beheaded on February 14. Saint Valentine supposedly healed the daughter of his jailer, before his execution he wrote her a farewell letter signed, Your Valentine .

I know romantic hah! There is so much more to Saint Valentine and his history, don’t even get me started on how cupid got involved, ok maybe next year.

I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday regardless of your couple-dom or single-ness (yes I just made those words up, I’m a celebrant I can do that you know).

Until next Valentines day here is my famous prawn roll recipe.

500 Gms best quality cooked prawns chopped into thirds, mixed with a good lashing of Kewpie mayonnaise, strong dash of tabasco, healthy squeeze of lemon juice and all the dill your taste buds desire.

Pop your grill pan on hot hot hot, cut your 2 Rolls (I use the Vietnamese rolls from Coles but any rolls will do) in half but not all the way through, spread some butter on the outside and inside pop on your hot hot hot pan for about 3 minutes either side.

Spoon your prawn mixture into crispy hot rolls fill with snow pea tendrils.

I let them cool down for a little bit then wrap them individually in baking paper, twisted at the ends then tied with string either end, that makes it so easy to eat in the park without loosing one single ounce of the delicious prawn.


Love Sharon The Celebrant x


Marriage Celebrant - how I arrived here

Apart from always loving a bride and romance it was totally by accident - it goes a little bit like this...

Three and a half years ago my almost-love (my absolute true love now) and I were heading to Daylesford for our first weekend away, about the halfway mark of our 1.5 hour journey we hit Woodend and see a gorgeous old pub holgate brew house and decide we need a snack and a glass of wine before part two of our drive.

Eleni (the almost-love) receives a phone call "did I just see you walk into a pub in Woodend?" from a Cathy "yes, we are in Woodend so you must have, come by and have a drink with us" Oh dear! one month in and on our first dirty weekend away and I'm meeting friends.

We are chat chat chatting away and as it turns out Cathy was on her way back from a rehearsal, thats why she was wearing her pearls, she says, she is now a marriage celebrant and that her husband comes along to her weddings as her "roadie" and that she absolutely loves it, and is really busy. The money Cathy and hubby earn pays for their holidays. Well as soon as the word holiday was thrown into the conversation Eleni pipes up "you have to do this honey, you would be perfect and we can use it for holidays" 

After our weekend away, yes it was absolutely wonderful for the record. I researched the industry, the courses available, other celebrants and so on. It was put on the back burner for the time being, although, it wasdiscussed regularly.

A year later I started the research all over again, I was definitely going to go through with it this time, the encouragement from absolutely everyone I had mentioned it to, was astounding, did I miss something at career guidance? Why did everyone think I would be so good at it? I'm still baffled actually.

"The clincher" I finally came across this fabulous, young, spunky & professional celebrant, Sally Hughes from Melbourne, I proceeded to social stalk her for awhile until I finally sent her a message introducing myself and any guidance she could offer would be so appreciated. Not only was the response quick, in detail and so incredibly positive Sally offered to mentor me. I was beside myself with excitment.

I went to watch one of her weddings at the Royal Botanical gardens in Melbourne and I have to say, at that point, I kind of chickened out of the idea, Sally was so wonderful to watch that I thought, how on earth could I ever do that? So on the back burner the idea went again, but only for a little while this time.

The following year was to be the year. I was booking into do the course, I was handing over my cash, I was going and I was on fire The Celebrants Training College here I come.

A smidgen more than a year later, including two extensions and two weddings booked in, I had finally finished my Certificate IV.

Then for the application for registration to the Attorney Generals Department process, that alone was no walk in the park, they don't hand out these registrations without you working damn hard for it I tell you!

A month after submitting my application I was appointed a COMMONWEALTH REGISTERED MARRIAGE CELEBRANT (yes I'm yelling), that was two months earlier than I expected.

The journey from beginning to end was three and a half years….with all the champagne and nail polishing, as seen in the below photos, no wonder I took so long, well I just want you to know I was very thorough in all of my assignment research and writing, application process and nail polishing.

PS. Over the three and a half year process the idea has turned into "lets do this for holidays" to wanting to make this my full-time career.

I honestly believe timing is the key to everything.

Love Sharon the Celebrant x

My First ceremony with the gorgeous Renata & Cam