Coronavirus: Singapore

Wedding couples cheer easing of restrictions

Since she was in her 20s, Ms Beverly Li has known what she wants for her wedding day.

She and her fiance, Mr Brandon Kam, 36, dreamed of a wedding with song and dance, even before preparations began.

But when she found out that singing and dancing were not allowed at weddings as part of Covid-19 restrictions, Ms Li, 32, who has years of dance experience, was disappointed.

Fortunately, about three weeks before their big day on Dec 12, the authorities relaxed some restrictions for weddings, including allowing couples to dance at their wedding receptions. Singing and dancing had not been allowed at weddings since June last year, after the circuit breaker ended.

The relaxed measures, which started on Monday, also allowed couples to remove their masks. Up to 10 people from the wedding party will also be allowed to sing without their masks on.

These activities can take place as long as the wedding couple or those from the wedding party undergo an antigen rapid test (ART) supervised by the venue operator, or have a valid pre-event test result within 24 hours before the end of the event. Previously, the wedding couple were allowed to remove their masks only for key moments, such as the exchanging of vows.

"I was overjoyed, and jumped up from my seat when I heard the news. We will definitely be doing the ART so we can have more activities during our wedding banquet," said Ms Li, an assistant human resource manager, adding that she did not expect restrictions to be eased as they had been previously extended.

On top of a 1½-minute-long dance by them, they plan to have the groom's sister sing. Instead of having a YouTube video played at the wedding, their emcees will also be singing live.

Increasing the household visitor limit from two to five people was also a game changer for wedding couples. It was the "biggest win" for Mr Kelvin Koh, 31, who had felt restricted by the two-person cap, especially as the couple had to work with external vendors like make-up artists and photographers.

His fiancee, Ms Lynette Wee, almost resorted to having her make-up done elsewhere so that the make-up artist would not have to be counted under the previous two-person visitor limit.

But with the higher limit, the 27-year-old will now be able to get her make-up done at home for their wedding tomorrow. Being able to remain unmasked throughout the wedding, as long as they test negative on an ART first, is also a bonus.

Mr Koh, who is an IT engineer, said: "We won't have to worry about removing the mask multiple times for key moments or my fiancee having her make-up ruined."

Ms Janelle Goh, who will also be getting married tomorrow, said the higher cap on visitors has eased logistics, such as managing external vendors.

The 30-year-old accounts consultant was ready to give up on having professional photographs taken as the two-person cap on visitors would limit her to only letting in her make-up artist and the groom.

She said: "I feel elated and very, very lucky. Now, I will be able to have photographs of me getting ready for my wedding, and my parents putting the veil on me. These are really touching and memorable moments.

"This is the best, it is like a wedding gift from the Government."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2021, with the headline 'Wedding couples cheer easing of restrictions'. Subscribe