Singaporebrides | Weddings 101
12 Essentials You Need To Know About Phase 3 Weddings in Singapore
You can now have up to 250 attendees at your weddings from 24 April 2021 onwards. Read on to find out more about the current and upcoming regulations regarding weddings.
When you dreamed of your wedding day, never in your wildest dreams would you have thought you’d be saying ‘I do’ amidst a global pandemic. With the COVID-19 safe management measures in place, weddings have become just a little bit more difficult to plan. But, don’t worry; we’re here to help!
On 24 March, Singapore’s COVID-19 task force announced that marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions can have increased capacity limits from 24 April onwards, but with one caveat: Pre-event testing must be implemented for all attendees (including the couple) if there are more than 100 guests, except for those who have taken both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before the wedding.
While we wait for more details of this new regulation to be released and for it to become official, we’ve pulled together 12 essentials you need to know about current Phase 3 regulations for weddings in Singapore for your easy reference and understanding. We will be updating this article once we have more details on the new set of regulations, so do remember to check back for the most updated measures.
1. Where am I allowed to have my solemnisation/wedding during Phase 3?
In Phase 3, couples are allowed to have their solemnisation at home, at the Registry of Marriages (ROM), at a place of worship or at an external venue with permission to open for operation. They can also host a virtual solemnisation at any of these venues for family and friends who are not able to join them physically.
Additionally, couples are allowed to have one wedding reception at venues with permission to open for operation, such as hotel ballrooms and restuarants, and where proper safe management measures can be observed. They are not allowed to hold their wedding reception at the ROM or a place of worship. It can either be held on the same day as the solemnisation ceremony or on a separate day, subject to prevailing safe management measures.
2. How many guests am I allowed to invite?
For home solemnisations and wedding receptions, the maximum number of attendees allowed is 10 persons or eight visitors in addition to any residents to the home where the solemnisation or wedding reception is held, whichever is higher. This cap includes the wedding couple but excludes the licensed solemniser, the interpreter (if any) and vendors engaged to provide authorised services for the occasion (kept to a minimum), such as wedding photographers or videographers.
That means, if there are five residents currently living in your household, they and an additional eight visitors can attend a solemnisation in your home, resulting in a total of 14 persons present at the solemnisation, including the wedding couple. Or, if you choose to hold your solemnisation in the home of a friend or relative who lives alone, then you and nine other persons can be attend, excluding the head count of the solemniser and relevant vendors. However, do take note that once a place of residence has received eight or more visitors entering on that day, then no more visitors are allowed to visit that household for the day.Cleo and Paul’s Minimalist and Ethereal Art Gallery Wedding by Iki Company
For solemnisations or wedding receptions held outside the home, such as places of worship or hotels, the current maximum capacity of the celebration allowed is 100 attendees, or the safe capacity of the venue, whichever is lower. Likewise, this cap excludes the licensed solemniser, the interpreter (if any), and vendors engaged to provide authorised services (kept to a minimum). To be sure, do remember to check with your venue on the maximum number of attendees allowed and if there are any other conditions to be met before you make arrangements.
However, from 24 April onwards, the maximum number of attendees for solemnisations and wedding receptions may be increased to 250 persons with pre-event testing. This includes the wedding couple but excludes the licensed solemniser and vendors. For solemnisations and/or wedding receptions with a maximum of 100 attendees or lesser, pre-event testing will not be required. However, pre-event testing will be required for the bride and groom who are unvaccinated for solemnisations with more than 101-250 attendees. Pre-event testing is also required for all unvaccinated attendees at a wedding reception or a combined session of solemnisation and wedding reception.
Couples who are planning to wed at an external venue should also take note of the zoning requirements when planning the seating of their guests. You may find more details on the zoning requirements below in Point 10.
3. Are my vendors and solemniser included in the permitted headcount?
As mentioned, your licensed solemniser and vendors engaged for the solemnisation or wedding reception are not included into the head count. You are, however, encouraged to keep the number of vendors on-site to a minimum.
4. Do I need to make any declarations to the Registry of Marriages or my vendors?
Yes, during your verification of documents and statutory declaration appointment at ROM, you’ll be required to declare your guests and vendors to ROM. For solemnisations and wedding receptions at external venues, you’ll also be required to declare your guests and vendors to your solemniser at least a day before the event. This list must also be available on-site for verification and checking, and should be kept for 14 days after the event.
5. Can we remove our masks/face shields during the wedding?
For solemnisations, all attendees have to keep their face masks or face shields on throughout the event. Attendees are only allowed to remove their face masks or shields if they are eating or drinking during the wedding reception.Jane and Rob’s Intimate COVID-19 Wedding at The White Rabbit by Hong Ray Photography
An exception is made for the wedding couple – only the bride and groom are allowed to remove their face masks or face shields temporarily for key moments of the solemnisation, namely the exchanging of vows, rings, the highly anticipated ‘You may kiss the bride’ moment, and during march ins and outs, and for photo-taking. They must, however, put it back on immediately after. While they have their face masks or shields off, the bride and groom must maintain a 2-metre distance from the rest of the attendees of the solemnisation or wedding reception.
6. Am I allowed to serve food and beverage during the solemnisation ceremony?
Unfortunately, food and beverages are not allowed to be served as part of the solemnisation event, which means if you are planning to hold your solemnisation at a church you frequent, you won’t be able to include a short reception after the ceremony. However, you are allowed to hold a reception at an external venue on the same day or on a separate day.
For solemnisations and wedding receptions that happen back-to-back in the same location, the attendees of both events must remain the same and capped at a maximum of 100 persons or lower based on the venue’s capacity. However, if your solemnisation and wedding reception are held separately, the attendees of both events need not be the same 100 people. Nevertheless, you are encouraged to keep your number of social contacts to a minimum to reduce the risk fo large clusters forming.
7. What about religious rites that involves food and beverage, such as the Chinese tea ceremony? Is this permitted?
According to GoBusiness, religious rites that involves food and beverage, such as the Chinese tea ceremony, are not allowed to be conducted as part of the solemnisation ceremony, and should only be held either before or after the solemnisation while taking into account the prevailing national guidelines for that activity.Lalu and Chris’ Bright and Colourful Sapa-Inspired Backyard Wedding by The Love Co. Studio
Couples are, however, allowed to hold their tea ceremony as part of their wedding reception at home or at an external venue, subject to the safe management guidelines for receptions (e.g. no intermingling between the wedding party and other groups of guests or between groups of guests).
Do take note that the tea ceremony can only be held amongst the ‘wedding party’ of 20 persons as part of the reception, and must take into account the prevailing national guidelines for that activity. For example, if you are having the tea ceremony at home, no more than eight visitors are allowed to attend the ceremony. For more details on safe management guidelines, refer to Point 9.
8. Can I take photos with my guests during the wedding?
Yes, you can, but only if you abide by prevailing safe distancing measures. You may hire a photographer to take photos of the solemnisation or wedding reception, but the photographer has to maintain a 1-metre distance between himself and the subject(s) of photography at all times.
Only the wedding couple is allowed to cross zones for photo-taking with their guests. Guests should not cross zones and there must be no intermingling between the wedding party and the guests. Table-to-table photos should be avoided, and masks may be removed momentarily for photo-taking and must be put on immediately after. At least 1-metre distance safe distancing must be observed between the wedding party and other groups, as well as between groups, at all times.Shauna and Rainer’s Dreamy and Intimate Wedding at Spago by Annabelle Law Productions
9. What are the safe distancing measures I should take note of and include?
For home solemnisations, all guests to the place of residence where the solemnisation is held must wear masks for the duration of the solemnisation. The bride and groom may choose to wear face shields instead of masks for the duration of the solemnisation, and may remove their face shields/masks for key moments. Meanwhile, other guests must maintain a 2-metre distance from the wedding couple when they are unmasked. The wedding couple and their guests may temporarily remove their masks for photo-taking, and put it back on immediately after.
All attendees have to maintain a safe distance from those who are from a different household. The wedding couple must also declare the guest and vendor list to their licensed solemniser at least one day before the solemnisation. This list must be available on-site for verification and checking, and must be kept for 14 days after the event.
You are responsible for ensuring that all attendees observe the necessary safe management measures, including checking their temperature and ensuring that they are feeling well before they attend the solemnisation. You may also wish to encourage your guests, especially if they are more vulnerable, to refrain from attending the solemnisation in person. Instead, they can join in the celebrations safely by using witnessing the solemnisation virtually through a video link.
Solemnisations at ROM, ROMM, Places of Worship and External Venues
Solemnisations at these venues are subject to similar safe management measures. All guests must wear masks for the duration of the solemnisation, while the bride and groom may remove their face masks or shields for key moments and during march ins and outs, as long as they maintain a safe distance of at least two metres from others. Both the guests and the wedding couple may remove their face masks or shields momentarily for photo-taking and must put it back on immediately after.
All attendees must take their temperature, check in and out via SafeEntry before entering the premises, and download and activate the TraceTogether app for the duration of the solemnisation.
For solemnisations with more than 20 attendees, attendees must be spilt into a designated core wedding party comprising up to 20 persons (including the bride and groom, and the two witnesses), and groups of up to eight people for the remaining guests. If the total number of attendees is between 50 to 100 guests, then attendees must be split into multiple zones of up to 50 persons in a zone. All attendees, including the wedding party, must be assigned to one zone only, and there must be no entering of unassigned zones. Only the wedding couple is allowed to enter an unassigned zone briefly to take photos.Samantha and Jarred’s “Love You To The Moon And Back” Minimony at Open Farm Community by Justrealle Photography
The same safe management measures mentioned above apply to wedding receptions. In addition, there must be fixed seating for all attendees, and all food and beverages must be served to minimise unnecessary mingling or crowding, and to reduce the interaction amongst different groups of guests. Sharing of dishes or platters is strongly discouraged, and staff-served food lines or self-service buffets are not allowed. Instead, you can arrange with your venue to offer individually plated food for all the attendees.
If there is an emcee, he or she may wear a face shield in lieu of a face mask when speaking on stage, if they are standing in a fixed position and maintaining at least 1-metre distance from all other persons, in line with MOH’s guidelines for the use of face masks and shields issued on 1 June 2020. This applies to any person making speeches on stage, including the bride and groom.
10. What are the zoning regulations required at the wedding?
Guests have to split into zones of up to 50 persons with a 3-metre gap and partition between zones, or staggered timings of up to 50 guests per time slot with a 30 minute cleaning time slot in between the staggered timings. This cap includes the couple and the wedding party, but excludes the solemniser (for solemnisation), vendors engaged for the solemnisation and/or wedding reception, and the venue’s staff (to be kept to a minimum).
All attendees must be assigned to only one zone or staggered timing, and are not allowed to cross into an unassigned zone or time slot, except for the wedding couple and their designated wedding party. Both the wedding couple and their designated wedding party are allowed to stay for different staggered timings, but only the bride and groom are allowed to cross briefly into unassigned zones, for example, to take photos.
You must also make arrangements to ensure that guests from different zones do not meet each other at entrances or exits, and refrain from intermingling or mixing between the ‘wedding party’ and other groups of guests or between groups of guests within their own zones.
11. Am I allowed to host a gatecrash?
If you are only hosting a gate-crash without a home solemnisation, the same rules for visiting a different household applies if you are planning for a gatecrash. Only eight visitors are allowed to a place of residence in a day, including your wedding vendors, so you might need to work with a smaller bridal party than usual.
If you plan to have a gate-crash just before a home solemnisation, then the same cap for home solemnisations apply, which means you can have a maximum number of 10 persons or eight visitors in addition to any residents to the home where the gate-crash and solemnisation are held, whichever is higher. This cap includes the wedding couple but excludes the licensed solemniser, the interpreter (if any) and vendors engaged to provide authorised services for the occasion (kept to a minimum), such as wedding photographers or videographers.
However, do take note that once a place of residence has received eight or more visitors on that day, then no more visitors are allowed into that household for the day.Joleen and Clement’s Dreamy and Intimate Wedding at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel by The Perfect Statement
12. Can I have live music at my wedding?
You only can have live music (except for the playing of wind instruments) at your solemnisation when it is held in an indoor venue. Outdoor solemnisations are not allowed to have any live performances that including live music as these venues are not enclosed and can easily attract crowds or spread droplets to people who are close by or passing by the area, which increases the public health risks of the event. All live performances in solemnisations will be subjected to the prevailing Safe Management Measures for live performances.
Live performances such as live music are not permitted for receptions because attendees will be un-masked when food and drinks are served, and there is a tendency for attendees to speak loudly to be heard over the music, which increases the risk of transmission. Similarly, solemnisations held in a place of worship are also not allowed to have live music performances.
Credits: Feature image from Jane and Rob’s Intimate COVID-19 Wedding at The White Rabbit by Hong Ray Photography