Needless to say, planning a wedding amid a pandemic is much trickier now, and we're not just talking about deciding if you should invite your boss or that long-time frenemy. With Singapore moving into Phase 3 post-CB, regulations to stem the spread of Covid-19 are changing as well. There's a long list of safe management measures to adhere to, but here are some of the key things to note.
A quick look at what you need to know to plan a wedding in Phase 3 in Singapore.
#1: How many people can you invite?
For weddings at home: Maximum of 10 people or eight visitors (in addition to residents in the household), whichever is higher. The number excludes the Solemnizer and vendors. For example, if there are five people living in the household, the five residents and eight visitors — a total of 13 people — can attend the solemnization.
One thing to note, though: If you're getting married at home, you can only hold solemnizations and not receptions (which involve food and beverage).
For wedding solemnizations and receptions held at an external venue, including a place of worship: A maximum of 100 guests, if you’re holding a wedding reception or solemnization at an external venue, that is, outside the ROM(M) Building or outside of your home. The caps include the wedding couple and the wedding party, and excludes the solemniser.
Either way, the wedding couple has to make guest lists for all solemnizations and wedding receptions available onsite for checks.
#2: How do you segregate your guests according to safe management measures?
If you have more than 20 attendees: You’re allowed to designate a core wedding party of up to 20 people (including bride, groom and two witnesses), and remaining attendees have to be split up to groups of eight, with at least 1m safe distance between groups and the wedding party, including during photo-taking sessions.
50 to 100 attendees: There are two ways to split up guests: 1) Two zones of up to 50 people; or 2) Across staggered time slots with up to 50 guests per time slot, leaving at least 30 minutes between sessions. These limits include the couple and wedding party, but exclude the Solemnizer. Of course, guests should also still be split into groups of eight.
Only the assigned core wedding party group of up to 20 people (including bride and groom) is exempted from the group of eight rule. They are allowed to interact with one another in this group and sit at a table of more than eight. However, they cannot mingle with guests outside of the wedding party group.
#3: Important things to note about zoning arrangements at a wedding:
- All attendees, including the couple and the wedding party, are to be assigned one zone each. Only the wedding couple is allowed to enter other zones briefly, for example, for photo-taking.
- Zones must be demarcated with a physical solid partition (at least 1.8m high). You can also use continuous physical barriers that are at least 3m apart — these include plexiglass screens, barricade tape or queue pole stands with retractable belts.
- Each zone must have separate entrances or exits or staggered entrance or exit timings to prevent the two groups from mixing. If possible, separate facilities such as washrooms should be assigned to separate groups.
#4: Fixed seating is a must. Regardless of number of guests or arrangements, you have to assign seats to your guests at your wedding reception.
#5: Food and beverage: Food must be served to attendees at their assigned seats. No buffets are allowed. In other words, no self-service queues or staff-served buffets are permitted. No alcohol must be served or sold after 10.30pm.
And if you’re thinking of serving food or drinks at your solemnization, banish that thought: it’s not allowed under current Covid-19 regulations.
#6: To mask or not to mask? The wedding couple can wear face shields instead of a mask. They’re also allowed to remove their face shield or mask for key moments, such as exchanging vows or rings, to kiss and march-in or outs. However, they have to maintain a distance of at least 2m from others while doing so. All other attendees have to keep their masks on at all times, except when eating and drinking and momentarily for photo-taking.
#7: Table-to-table photos should be avoided. However, you may still hire a photographer for your wedding reception, but they must maintain a distance of 1m between their photo subjects. There should also be a 1m spacing between groups, including that of the wedding party of 20 (including bride and groom) and other groups, during photo-taking. Only at #covidweddings.
#8: Other activities: No photobooths or other freestanding activities, such as pre-wedding drinks reception, allowed. Take more selfies with your fellow table-mates?
#9: Music or live performances: At wedding receptions, live performances (including instrumental music) and activities including singing, dancing or loud talking/shouting/toasting are not permitted. Yup, go ahead and scrap the ‘yum seng’ portion out of the wedding day schedule.
However, if you’re holding a solemnization at home or an indoor venue (except at the ROM(M) building), live instrumental music (except wind instruments) is allowed, though musicians have to be masked at all times, and adhere to other safe management measures. Live music is not allowed if you’re holding a solemnization at an outdoor venue, to prevent crowds from gathering.
#10: You can hold a tea ceremony, but subject to conditions. You may not conduct cultural rites involving food and drink, such as the tea ceremony, at the ROM(M) Building or at a place of worship, as this is considered separate from the solemnization. For tea ceremonies at home, it’s subject to the prevailing SMMs, that is, no more than eight visitors present. If it’s part of the wedding reception, it can be held among the wedding party of up to 20 pax.
#11: Contact tracing: As with most venues and events in Singapore, all guests should check in via SafeEntry and activate TraceTogether before entering the premises. Temperature checks should also be conducted at the entrance. It’s also recommended that there’s an appointed safe management officer at the event to ensure SMMs are adhered to.
Info accurate at time of writing. For more details, go to https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/faq/sectorspecific/marriage.
Photo: Olivia Bauso via Unsplash