Free mediation for wedding couples, vendors affected by Covid-19 restrictions extended by 2 months

Safe management measures have reduced venue capacities, forcing many couples to change wedding plans.
Safe management measures have reduced venue capacities, forcing many couples to change wedding plans.PHOTO: PEXELS

SINGAPORE - Wedding couples and vendors who have been affected by recent Covid-19 restrictions will benefit from an extension of two months to the free mediation offered by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw).

This comes after a rise in coronavirus infections in the community in the last few weeks.

Initially applicable only to weddings scheduled to take place between May 8 and the end of this month, the ministry said on Thursday (July 29) that the programme will now apply to events scheduled between May 8 and Sept 30.

Interested and eligible parties may submit their requests online to MinLaw, together with a copy of their contract by Oct 31.

MinLaw will aim to hold the mediation within two weeks of the request submission. The session will generally be conducted virtually and take about two hours.

"We recognise that Covid-19 measures have had a significant impact on the wedding industry, including wedding couples and vendors," said the ministry.

"MinLaw strongly encourages eligible parties to consider mediation, participate in the programme with an open mind, and be receptive to working out a mutually acceptable solution."

MinLaw announced the programme to help with wedding disputes on July 14. Wedding receptions were not allowed from May 16 to July 11.

While wedding receptions have been allowed to resume, safe management measures have reduced venue capacities.

This has forced many couples to change plans, resulting in some cases to contractual disputes with their wedding vendors.

Under the programme, if both parties agree to mediate, a trained professional appointed by the ministry will help to facilitate a settlement for free, voiding the need to resolve the dispute in court.

An example of a potential dispute would be where the wedding couple and a vendor are not agreeable to a rescheduling or downsizing of the contract, written or otherwise, to provide goods and services.

" If both parties agree to mediate, a neutral, trained mediator will facilitate the mediation in a non-adversarial and confidential setting. The mediator will help parties work towards a mutually acceptable solution," said MinLaw.