Singaporebrides | Essentials
A Guide for Virtual Marriage Solemnisations During the Time of COVID-19
Find out how you can get married during the COVID-19 global pandemic here.
Updated 18 August 2020, 12.20 p.m.
As we enter into a time of a global pandemic, the way we go about our daily lives and activities has changed due to stringent measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, including how we get married and celebrate this important milestone in life. Wedding plans came to an abrupt halt as couples were not able to get married due to the social distancing measures that were imposed during the Circuit Breaker period in early April, and this left many couples who were ready to embark on their marriage journey disappointed. To help these couples, the government has come up with an alternative way for those who wished to get married during the Circuit Breaker period via virtual solemnisations.
Three Ways To Get Married During COVID-19Cindy and Stan’s Stunning Wedding at Changi Cove Hotel’s Command House by Ivan Seah Photography
To help couples who wished to get married during COVID-19, independent wedding vendors and the government have stepped forward to offer a helping hand by offering flexible terms and alternative ways of getting married during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help those who wanted and needed to get married during the Circuit Breaker, the government made it possible for couples to get married virtually via video correspondence. Civil and Muslim solemnisations and marriage registration will be allowed to take place virtually, including all the key processes and checks that are usually done in person under normal circumstances.
Since the solemnisation ceremony will take place virtually via a video link, the couple, their witnesses, licensed solemniser, kadi, or naib kadi do not need to be physically present in the same venue, which is in line with social distancing measures. They will, however, all need to be physically present in Singapore for the virtual solemnisation to happen.
As we exited the Circuit Breaker on 2 June 2020, in-person solemnisations are now allowed to take place with some restrictions to abide by the social distancing measures that are still in place. From 19 June 2020 onwards, in-person solemnisations at the ROM are limited to a maximum of 10 persons while those that take place outside the ROM are allowed to have up to 20 persons, excluding the licensed solemniser, in Phase 2.
You’re also allowed to hold your solemnisation ceremony in your own home, or in the home of one of your immediate family members. The ceremony can involve up to 10 persons, excluding the Licensed Solemniser, and vendors (kept to a minimum) allowed to resume operations for your solemnisation.
The couple and the homeowner are responsible for the safety of all guests attending your solemnisation, so do comply with safety measures such as taking the temperatures of your guests, ensuring everyone wears a mask, maintaining safe distances, and reporting contact details of each guest to your solemniser at least 1 day prior to your event. Read more about other COVID-19 wedding regulations here.
What You Need to Prepare
To help you prepare for your preferred choice of solemnisation ceremony, here’s a quick summary of what you need to do or have for the respective solemnisation options.
Virtual SolemnisationsClaire and Darryl’s Blissful Wedding at Tamarind Hill by Kevin from Dapper Pictures
To qualify for a virtual solemnisation, you’ll have to check your eligibility for two things:
1. Whether you qualify for the Verification of Documents and Statutory Declaration (VD/SD) to be done via a video link
2. Whether you qualify for a virtual solemnisation via a video link
To be eligible for the VD/SD to be done via a video link, you and your groom must:
1. Both be Singaporean Citizens or Permanent Residents
2. Only have Singapore-issued documents, including identification documents (NRIC only), divorce certificate or death certificate of an ex-spouse (if applicable)
3. Have filed a notice of marriage at least 21 days before your intended date of solemnisation
4. Be physically in Singapore
5. Be above 21 at the point of solemnisation
If you do not meet one or more of the above criteria, you will not be able to qualify for your VD/SD to be done virtually. However, you can still have it done in person at the Registry of Marriages (ROM).
Next, check if you are eligible for a virtual solemnisation via a video link. You are eligible if you meet these criteria:
1. At least one party must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
2. The bride, groom and their two witnesses must be physically in Singapore
3. Both the bride and groom must be above 21 years old at the point of solemnisation
4. The couple must have completed VD/SD, either via video link or in person at ROM
5. The couple must have a valid notice of marriage filed at least 21 days before the intended date of solemnisation.
In addition, you, your groom and two witnesses must have internet access and your own internet-enabled device (e.g. laptop or tablet) with access to a web camera, and be able to access to the video conferencing platform as required by your solemniser.
Once you have verified your eligibility for a virtual solemnisation, you have to search for a solemniser who has the necessary technical requirements and is able to conduct the ceremony via a video link.
If you meet the criteria for both the VD/SD and virtual solemnisation to be done via a video link, please click here to submit your interest, if both you and the groom are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. If you are not eligible for the VD/SD to be done via a video link but are eligible for the virtual solemnisation happen via a video link, click here, if at least one party is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, to submit your interest.
For more information and details on the virtual solemnisation and its processes, please visit ROM.
In-person ROMTrixie and Steve’s Ethereal Wedding at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa by Andri Tei Photography
As we enter into the post-Circuit Breaker reopening, couples are allowed to solemnise in person from 2 June 2020 onwards, if they wished to, with safe distancing measures in place.
You will proceed as usual to register your marriage by first applying for a notice of marriage, if you have not done so. You will later be invited down to ROM for the verification of documents and statutory declaration a few days before your intended date of solemnisation.
During Phase 2 which commences on 19 June 2020, you are limited to a maximum of 10 people at your solemnisation ceremony, excluding the licensed solemniser, if you are hosting your ceremony at the ROM. A licensed solemniser will be assigned to you on the day of your solemnisation.
You may also choose to have your solemnisation done outside of the ROM at a venue of your choice with no more than 20 persons in attendance, excluding the licensed solemniser. You will have to look for a licensed solemniser on your own if you are having your solemnisation outside of the ROM. You should also prepare a token of appreciation to thank him or her for taking time and effort to officiate your wedding. If he or she is driving to your venue, do offer them a parking coupon to waive off any charges.
All parties involved are to wear masks at all times, and should not enter the venue more than 15 minutes before the scheduled time of solemnisation. If you and your guests do not come from the same household, all of you should observe social distancing rules by keeping at least one metre away from each other.
There is no doubt COVID-19 has altered the way we get married and celebrate this important milestone of our lives, but don’t let it stop you from tying the knot. As we slowly move into a post-Circuit Breaker reopening phase by phase, a gradual ease on social distancing measures, when possible, will allow more flexibility in the way we can celebrate weddings. So, don’t feel discouraged and use this extra time to plan for a wedding of your dreams in the near future.
We will update this article as new measures on how weddings can be celebrated as we move into the different phases of the post-Circuit Breaker reopening, so stay tuned for more updates!
Credits: Feature image from Linette and Joshua’s Autumn-Inspired Bohemian Wedding at Hotel Fort Canning by Androidsinboots
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