Singaporebrides | Weddings 101
Latest COVID-19 Guidelines For Solemnisations and Wedding Receptions
Catch up on the latest regulations surrounding solemnisations and wedding receptions here!
Updated 25 November 2021, 16:53 p.m.
On 6 August 2021, as part of the government’s four stage road map to a new normal of living with COVID-19, the multi-ministry taskforce announced an adjustment in measures as we prepare to move forward towards a new normal where the economy and social activities can resume safely in stages.
From 22 November 2021, Singapore officially enters the Transition stage where measures governing the maximum group size for dining in and social gatherings, as well as for large scale events such as solemnisations and wedding receptions, will be relaxed in accordance to the government’s four stage road map to live with COVID-19.
With the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape and safety management measures, we know it can be hard to keep track of all the changes and regulations when you are trying to plan the happiest day of your life. So, we’ve put together a list of the latest COVID-19 guidelines for solemnisations and wedding receptions during the Transition stage. We will also be updating this article when new measures for solemnisations and wedding receptions are announced in the near future.
1. Where am I allowed to have my solemnisation/wedding reception during the Preparatory Stage of Transition and moving forward?Brenda and Matthew’s Romantic Wedding at Sinfonia Ristorante by Andri Tei Photography
During the Preparatory Stage of Transition and moving forward, couples are allowed to have their solemnisation at home, at the Registry of Marriages (ROM), the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM), 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 restaurants, and where proper safe management measures can be observed. They are not allowed to hold their wedding reception at home, 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 to my wedding solemnisation?Joanne and Russell’s Magical Horseback Wedding at Capella Singapore by Pixioo
For home solemnisations, the maximum number of attendees allowed is 10 persons. This cap includes the wedding couple and any residents in the house, 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 five visitors can attend a solemnisation in your home, resulting in a total of 10 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 present, excluding the head count of the solemniser and relevant vendors.
However, do take note that once a place of residence has received five visitors entering on that day, no more visitors are allowed to visit that household for the day.Evangeline and Joels Ethereal Impressionist Monti Wedding by Trouvé Photography
A different cap on the number of attendees applies for solemnisations held at an external venue such as the ROM, ROMM, place of worship or venues with permission to open and host a solemnisation. According to GoBusiness, from 19 August 2021, a maximum of 10 attendees is allowed for solemnisations held at the ROM or ROMM.
For solemnisations held at an external venue, under the Vaccination-Differentiation Safe Management Measures (VDS), a maximum of 50 attendees is allowed with no VDS requirement or a maximum of 1,000 attendees is allowed with VDS requirement which requires the attendee to obtain a negative supervised antigen rapid test (ART) or a valid pre-event test obtained within 24 hours prior to the event, unless the attendee has a cleared status. Please refer to Point 6 for a better idea of what “cleared status” means, and please refer to Point 8 to learn more about Vaccination-Differentiation Safe Management Measures VDS).
Regardless of the size of your solemnisation, all attendees must be grouped in groups of five. Special provisions for children aged 12 and below who are not currently eligible for vaccinations under the National Vaccination Programme will be made. If there is more than one child in the group, all children must be from the same household. Other vaccinated individuals can be from different households as the child(ren). For large-scale events such as solemnisations and wedding receptions, the number of children is capped at 20% of the total event size.
The above-mentioned cap for solemnisations 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.
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 14.
3. What about wedding receptions? How many guests am I allowed to invite?
To date, home wedding receptions are not permitted. However, from 19 August 2021, wedding receptions at external venues, excluding places of worship, are allowed to have up to 250 attendees with VDS requirement which requires the attendee to obtain a negative supervised antigen rapid test (ART) or a valid pre-event test obtained within 24 hours prior to the event, unless the attendee has a cleared status. The cap for children aged 12 and below remains the same for wedding receptions. All attendees are to be seated in group sizes of five, a special exemption for wedding receptions to allow larger groups including members of the same household to be seated together for the reception.
4. Am I allowed to hold my solemnisation and wedding reception on the same day?Yolande and Choon Kiat’s Intimate Rooftop Wedding at Artemis by Pixioo
If your solemnisation and wedding reception are held in the same room or space without any break in between, the entire event will be considered a wedding reception and be subject to the wedding reception safe management measures, including the attendance limit of a maximum of 250 attendees with a negative supervised ART or have a valid PET obtained within 24 hours prior to the event required for all attendees.
However, if your solemnisation and wedding reception are held separately, you are advised to have a reasonably long break between the two events. The maximum cap for both events will apply respectively and the attendees of both events need not be of the same group of people. Nevertheless, you are encouraged to keep your number of social contacts to a minimum to reduce the risk of large clusters forming.
5. 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.
6. Who are considered fully vaccinated and what does “cleared status” mean?Sheena and Vivegan’s Stellar at 1-Altitude Wedding with Bold Florals by Thomas Tan Photography
According to gov.sg, an individual is considered vaccinated if he/ she has been fully vaccinated with the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.
On GoBusiness, attendees with a cleared status refers to who:
- Is fully vaccinated (an individual is considered vaccinated if he/ she has been fully vaccinated with the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.)
- Has recovered from COVID-19 and can provide a valid PET exemption notice for the duration of the event.
- Has a a negative supervised ART or have a valid PET result for the duration of the event.
You and your guests can check on your vaccination status on the TraceTogether app two weeks after you have completed the full regimen of your designated COVID-19 vaccines.
7. What is Pre-Event Testing or PET?Antoinette and Terrence’s Dreamy and Modern Pre-Wedding Shoot in Singapore by Bridelope Productions
A ‘Pre-Event Test’ (PET) refers to a COVID-19 test taken by an attendee who wishes to enter a premise where certain events, businesses, or activities are being held. This attendee must obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within a specified period of time, before being allowed to enter the venue.
From 1 October 2021, individuals aged 7 years and above who need a valid negative COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result for entry into venues that require a negative Pre-Event or Pre-Visit Test may book an appointment at any Quick Test Centres (QTCs) for a self-paid ART.
Weddings and solemnisations involving 101 to 250 attendees, PET will be required for all attendees, including the wedding couple. The PET must be done at before entry to solemnisations or wedding receptions, and at most 24 hours before the end of the event. The cost of PET can be borne either by the wedding couple or guests, and can be done on-site or at one of the many MOH-approved clinics islandwide where PET is available. Read up more about the cost of PET and where you can get tested.
8. What do Vaccination-Differentiation Safe Management Measures (VDS) refer to?
Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures enable vaccinated individuals to resume higher-risk activities such as taking part in selected activities and events or visit selected premises in a safe manner as Singapore progressively open our economy and community.
Since 10 August 2021, Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (SMMs) have been implemented for a number of activities, events and premises, with more added to the list from 13 October 2021 onwards. Where vaccination-differentiated SMMs are required, event organisers, which in the case of a wedding would refer to the bride and groom, must implement processes to carry out the necessary verification checks on the eligibility status of individual event attendees in addition to existing safe management requirements.
For solemnisations and wedding receptions that require VDS requirements, only these categories of individuals are allowed to attend:
- Fully vaccinated individuals (an individual is considered vaccinated if he/ she has been fully vaccinated with the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.); or
- Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, i.e. less than 270 days of first positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore; or
- Individuals who have registered at an MOH-approved COVID-19 Test Provider to take a COVID-19 ART or PCR test no earlier than 24 hours before the expected end of the wedding and obtained a negative result; or
- Children who are 12 years old and below, who are unvaccinated, are also eligible for vaccination-differentiated SMMs and may be included in a group of up to 2 persons for higher-risk activities, including large-scale events. For large-scale events, the total number of children is capped at 20% of the actual event size; or
- From 1 December 2021, individuals who are certified to be medically ineligible for all vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme that currently include Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna and Sinovac- CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines will be eligible for vaccination-differentiated SMMs. To be certified as medically ineligible, individuals may, from 15 November 2021, visit a doctor familiar with their medical condition, or alternatively, any clinic or hospital to obtain a hardcopy doctor-certified memo.
For more details on the Vaccination-differentiated Safe Management Measures, please click here.
9. 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.
9. Can we remove our masks/face shields during the wedding?Cleo and Paul’s Minimalist and Ethereal Art Gallery Wedding by Iki Company
For solemnisations, all attendees have to keep their face masks on throughout the event. Attendees are only allowed to remove their face masks if they are eating or drinking during the wedding reception. Face masks may be removed momentarily for photo-taking and must be worn immediately after.
As of 22 November 2021, the wedding couple can be unmasked throughout the reception or solemnisation event. The couple can also dance, and singing by up to 10 members of the wedding party at the reception is now allowed, while ensuring a 2-metre safe distance from other attendees.
Children aged 12 years and below, who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time, may wear a face shield.
10. Am I allowed to serve food and beverage during the solemnisation ceremony?Geraldine and Sheldon’s Elegant Solemnisation at VUE at OUE Bayfront by Not Pixelated
Food and beverage are not allowed to be served during a solemnisation, be it at home or at an external venue. However, you may provide takeaway food for your guests after the solemnisation ceremony is over, but they must not consume the food at the solemnisation venue.
It is the onus of the organiser to ensure that all attendees present at the solemnisation comply with the regulation and refrain from crowding around or outside the solemnisation venue to consume their takeaway food.
11. What about religious rites that involves food and beverage, such as the Chinese tea ceremony? Is this permitted?Yan Rong and Jonathan’s Garden Wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore by Highest Kite Weddings
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 of limiting the social gathering size limit of five persons or the cap of five visitors a day to a place of residence.
Couples are, however, allowed to hold their tea ceremony as part of their wedding reception 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) amongst the ‘wedding party’ of 20 persons.
If you are having the tea ceremony at an external venue where you’ll be hosting your wedding reception, the wedding party here refers to any 20 attendees at the wedding, including you and your groom, and your two witnesses, and can be made up of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, parents, family members, and friends, as long as it does not exceed the head count of 20 persons. For more details on safe management guidelines, refer to Point 9.
12. Can I take photos with my guests during the wedding?Shauna and Rainer’s Dreamy and Intimate Wedding at Spago by Annabel Law Productions
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.
13. What are the safe distancing measures I should take note of and include?Fareeha and Hafiz’s Intimate COVID-19 Wedding at Warehouse 16 and The [email protected] by Mavericks Wedding
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.Reaiah and Jeremy’s Intimate and Heartfelt Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore by Smittenpixels Photography
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 two people for the remaining guests. As mentioned in Point 11, the designated core wedding party refers to any 20 persons you’ve assigned to be in the wedding party. They can be your bridesmaids and groomsmen, family members or friends, as long as it does not exceed the maximum head count of 20 persons, including you and your groom, and your two witnesses. All attendees, including the wedding party, must be split into multiple zones of up to 100 persons in a zone and assigned to one zone only. There must be no entering of unassigned zones. Only the wedding couple is allowed to enter an unassigned zone briefly to take photos.
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.
14. What are the zoning regulations required at the wedding?Lianne and Anthony’s Intimate Oriental Chic Wedding at VUE at OUE Bayfront by Timothy from Tinydot Photography
Guests have to split into zones of up to 100 persons with at least a 2-metre gap and partition between zones, or staggered timings of up to 100 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.
15. Am I allowed to host a gatecrash?Amanda and Kevin’s Magical Wedding at St. Ignatius Church and The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore by Smittenpixels Photography and Bridelope Productions
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 five 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 five 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 five or more visitors on that day, then no more visitors are allowed into that household for the day.
16. What forms of entertainment am I allowed to have at my wedding reception?Rachell and Sean’s Peranakan Themed and Dreamy Rooftop Pre-Wedding Shoot with OneThreeOneFour by OneThreeOneFour
You only can have live instrumental music (except for the playing of wind instruments) at your solemnisation only when it is held in an indoor venue or place of residence. Musicians should be kept to the minimum and must be masked at all times. 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 and activities that involve singing, wind instruments, dancing or loud talking/shouting remain disallowed at all events at all venues. However, you are allowed to play video screenings or projections of your wedding photos during the wedding reception.
Credits: Feature image from Shi Yun and Darren’s Hiking Pre-Wedding Shoot on Coney Island by Happyphotopeople
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