Say bye to mega-weddings and hello to micro-weddings
For most of us, the most expensive celebrations we’ll ever spend in a lifetime is probably on our own wedding. Because it usually involves over a hundred people, the cost of weddings can easily amount up to about $10,000 to $50,000. It’s that one-time off event which most couples would not mind spending on.
As you would have guessed, the wedding industry here is booming. So when COVID-19 came, the wedding industry has been hit hard. All weddings had to be cancelled or postponed during the Circuit Breaker period. It wasn’t easy for both couples and vendors who have suffered losses during this period of time.
1. Yes, you can invite up to 50 people for your weddings.
When the Circuit Breaker was over, couples can only hold mini weddings of 10 pax in phase 1. Things got a little better in phase 2 where the weddings were allowed up from 20 to 50 attendees (at external venues). It seems like we are able to conduct a decent wedding but on a smaller scale. But it’s that really so? As a bride-to-be, I thought that it was great news until I read the fine print on the Safety Management Measures (SMM) for weddings.
In preparation for my wedding in early 2021, I have been gathering as much information as I can from various sources. Hope you will benefit from this article if you are planning a Phase 2 wedding in Singapore soon!
2. But, should I invite all 50 guests to my Phase 2 wedding?
Can’t invite all my relatives, friends and colleagues I’ve met since Primary School? I guess in this situation I can make do with 50 guests. And that was what I thought.
But I decided to stick with 20 guests or lesser after reading the rules and safety guidelines for weddings. It made absolutely no sense to invite 50 guests to your wedding or solemnization when your guests cannot intermingle with each other.
What do I mean?
According to the rules and regulations for Phase 2 wedding, you can only be in close contact with your wedding party of 20 (which includes the bride and the groom). That means you, as a bride or groom, cannot intermingle or take table photos with your other 30 guests.
The Wedding Party
But you and your partner can hang out and mingle with the 18 other people within the so-called ‘wedding party’. This includes your immediate family members, relatives or friends. You can sit together at a large round or long table. But of course, everyone will still need to mask up and follow the standard SMM.
This wedding party, however, cannot intermingle with the other 30 guests and must be seated at least 1-metre away from the 30 guests which are to be seated in groups of 5. What’s the point of inviting 30 other guests when you can’t even interact or take photos with them? You can give them a Whatsapp video or Zoom call but seriously, who would do that when they are just a few tables away?
But I am staying positive. Who knows? The situation might get better.
The Wedding Guest and Vendor list
You need also declare the number of guests you are inviting and submit the guest and vendor list to your solemnizer. Should you flout any of the rules, the solemnizer has the right to call off the solemnization if the rules are not adhered to.
However, based on my conversations with vendors whom I’ve spoken with, they are couples who secretly flout the rules. And the venue vendors have to remind them about the SMM or otherwise their businesses would be at risk. Now you probably know why not many couples would openly talk about their post-COVID-19 weddings.
3. What about Solemnisations held at ROM or at home?
The number of attendees is limit to 10 people, excluding the solemnizer and vendors like your photographers, makeup artist and videographers. And if you are conducting it at home, your attendees need to activate the TraceTogether app.
4. What about other wedding-related activities? (e.g gatecrash, tea ceremony, group photo-taking)
Couples would need to adhere to the prevailing gathering size limit of 5 people. That means that you can only have 5 visitors in your house at any one time. And if you are doing gatecrash in the hotel, you got to make sure that there are only a maximum of 5 people gathering in one room.
One of the strategies to keep to this limit is to stagger the timings for different visitors or guest to enter your house or hotel rooms.
If you are doing outdoor shoots, I can split yourself into groups of 5. Since, you typically don’t have to gather in tight-knit groups of 5, just make sure you practise social distancing and space yourselves out.
Our own ministers have posted photos on social media where there are more than 5 people in the photo but are all 1-metre apart from each other. So, I guess the rules aren’t that strict when it comes to outdoor photoshoots?
5. Who to invite for my Phase 2 wedding?
Because you can’t invite all your mum’s or dad’s side of relatives, it is somewhat challenging to only pick certain uncles or aunties to invite. And since they usually come with their partners or children, that makes it even more difficult to decide who to come.
So, for myself, my parents decided that I should just invite our own immediate family members. The rest of our relatives can watch our wedding live over YouTube or Zoom.
I’ve also seen couples who chose to hold a small intimate solemnisation of 10 – fewer than 20 guests. Such micro-weddings are not that bad either. You will have more time for yourself and your family. Such simple affairs are stress-free and cost-saving. Save the money for your new BTO renovation instead.
6. Should I live stream my wedding?
It would be nice to livestream your wedding so that you can get your closest friends and relatives to witness this special moment with you. If you are not on a budget, it will be nice to have some live performances in between and an emcee to ‘entertain’ your guests. Otherwise, it might be really boring for your online attendees to be watching the whole wedding solemnisation in awkward silence.
It would be great if you can have an emcee or one of your family members to host the live stream session. It can start off with an introduction, followed by the actual solemnisation. You would want your online attendees to listen to your vows for each other so it might be a good idea to use a mic. And this could follow up with a thank you speech by the bride or groom. You may even invite your best friends and relatives to pre-recorded congratulatory speeches for your wedding. Then, live stream the pre-recorded videos!
You would not want your ‘audience’ to be watching you live for more than 1 hour. It will be a tad too long so keep it short and simple!
7. How to entertain my online wedding guests?
There’s simply a lot of creative freedom as to how you want to Livestream your wedding. Some couples engaged live bands to perform virtually or play a playlist of their favourite tunes as background music.
You can even deliver some celebratory kits like cupcakes or bento boxes to your online guests to bring that ‘wedding celebratory mood’ directly to them.
Is Phase 3 coming?
By the look of things, I believe that the relevant government bodies may eventually increase the gathering size but I doubt we are entering Phase 3 anytime soon. As such, we are planning our wedding based on Phase 2 SMM and regulations.
Below are some useful links to check out.