240 couples marry on auspicious Aug 8 despite Covid-19 restrictions

Ryan Liu and Zhuang Yaqi live-streamed their solemnisation ceremony from their home. PHOTO: ZHUANG YAQI

SINGAPORE - For Ms Zhuang Yaqi and Mr Ryan Liu, getting married on Aug 8 had been in the works for over a year - 0808 is "auspicious" and it is the day before National Day.

"It just feels like it's an extra festive period, and the date is also very easy to remember. We liked it from the start," said Ms Zhuang, 30, an account manager.

The couple decided to go ahead with their wedding plans on Saturday (Aug 8) despite the restrictions brought on by the ongoing pandemic.

They were among 240 couples who tied the knot on the special date, up from the 44 couples who did so on Aug 8 a year ago, a Thursday.

Mr Liu, 26, a teacher, said: "When Covid-19 first broke in January, we considered postponing the wedding date, but as the months went on, and the pandemic looked like it would stay, we decided to stick to the original plan.

"The pandemic is a problem, but we shouldn't feel tied down by it. Life goes on, whether or not there are troubles."

A spokesman for the Registry Of Marriages (ROM) told The Straits Times: "With the recently announced revised safe management measures, couples who want to solemnise their marriage need not delay their plans. They can still have intimate and meaningful wedding celebrations.

"What matters is the couples' love and commitment for one another."

The couple can have up to 48 people attend solemnisation ceremonies held in venues such as places of worship or hotels.

If the ceremony is held at home, at the Registries of Civil and Muslim Marriages building or designated areas at the National Museum of Singapore - where the venues tend to be smaller - then the limit is eight guests.

Safe management measures include having guests don face masks and checking in via national digital check-in system SafeEntry for ceremonies held at an external venue.

All attendees should also check their temperatures and ensure that they are feeling well before turning up.

Self-service buffets at receptions are not allowed, and neither are live performances or activities that involve singing or shouting.

Ms Zhuang and Mr Liu are getting married at her home, with only immediate family members attending.

Everyone will be eating single-portion plates of "ayam penyet" following the solemnisation, and plastic shields will be provided to separate guests during the meal time.

Mr Liu's mother, who lives in Hong Kong and is unable to travel to Singapore due to border control measures, will join other guests via a livestream link.

Mr Liu said: "My mum can still 'attend', with the help of technology. When the pandemic situation is more stable, and restrictions are lifted, we'll hold another big banquet dinner so that everyone can come."

Mr Yuan Yiyang, 27, and Ms Christine Sun, 29, also tied the knot on Aug 8. They are the first couple to be married at Gardens By The Bay's Supertree Observatory, which is now open for wedding solemnisations.

The couple had many dates at the Gardens in the past and "felt great" to hold their special occasion there, which 20 close friends attended.

Mr Yuan Yiyang and Ms Christine Sun are the first couple to be married at Gardens By The Bay's Supertree Observatory. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

They picked the date so their anniversary dinners will always fall on the eve of a public holiday.

Ms Sheryl Lim, 26, and Mr Benjamin Yip, 30, also tied the knot on Saturday.

Ms Lim said: "We'll have another big dinner when the situation is better. For now, we will make the best out of things."

The pair picked the date because they first started dating in August 2012. They will be holding a relaxed sunset ceremony in a condominium clubhouse by the pool, with 20 guests attending.

Ms Lim, who is a financial consultant, added with a chuckle: "In a way, this is also quite good - we can save on a lot of costs."

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