Singapore couples say 'I do' despite higher wedding costs, Covid-19 curbs

Mr Jerrold Tan and Ms Stephanie Chan had postponed their wedding celebrations twice owing to the pandemic. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Staff members at the Mandarin Oriental, preparing for the wedding of Mr Jerrold Tan and Ms Stephanie Chua. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Mr Jerrold Tan and Ms Stephanie Chan decided not to hold off on their wedding celebrations any more, despite a 10 per cent guest dropout rate and higher costs following the roll-out of stricter Covid-19 regulations.

The veterinarians, both 29, tied the knot at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore on Saturday (May 8). They had postponed their wedding celebrations twice owing to the pandemic.

"As long as it was safe for us... (we decided) we would go ahead... with the 100-person wedding that we had planned for," said Mr Tan.

New regulations were announced on Tuesday, in response to a recent spike in community cases.

The rules, which kicked in yesterday, include mandatory pre-event testing (PET) for all unvaccinated attendees of wedding receptions involving more than 50 people.

For wedding solemnisations where more than 50 people are attending, PET is also required for an unvaccinated wedding couple.

Mr Tan and Ms Chan were unfazed by the PET requirements and having to spend more - as each test cost between $60 to $80 per guest - saying it was better than postponing their wedding again.

The couple also shared a video of the PET - prepared by the hotel - with their guests, to assuage any fears about the process.

Even so, about 10 per cent of their original guests decided not to attend.

Ms Chan said some of them were still wary about getting tested, and the increase in community cases.

The couple filled the vacancies with people from a longer guest list they had drawn up earlier.

Mr Tan said the new five-person limit per table, down from eight previously, was more significant for them. They had to rearrange seating for their guests.

Another couple - Mr Shiv Yadav, and Ms Jasvin Kaur, both 32 - also held their wedding on Saturday.

They had postponed the traditional Hindu ceremony, which was to have taken place during the circuit breaker last year.

A guest undergoing a swab test conducted by Kingston Medical Clinic at a wedding reception on May 8, 2021. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Mr Yadav, an operations manager, said he incurred about $10,000 in costs after postponing the wedding. "I said: 'This time around... (it's just) another $4,000 (for the PET) - let us get it done and over with'," he added.

He said only three out of 90 original guests pulled out and that most of them had no issues with the PET.

"They are basically family and they are really very close to us... They would stick their necks out for us," he noted.

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