Choose the best option: after the wedding ceremony at the church, they go to the hotel for the wedding ____


If your wedding banquet must go on, there are practical changes you can make to lớn reduce the risk of infection among your guests, says Kristen Juliet Soh.

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Bạn đã xem: Commentary: yes, you can still get married in a time of covid

A couple wearing masks for protection from the new coronavirus, attends a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Centre in Gapyeong, South Korea, Feb 7, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Heo Ran)


SINGAPORE: The largest COVID-19 cluster in Singapore is linked khổng lồ a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong, with 47 confirmed cases as of Mar 19.

The event was held in a private function room with round tables that seated 10 people each. Approximately 200 attendees enjoyed a multi-course Chinese-style dinner, stage performances, và merrymaking among friends.

You know what sounds similar lớn the SAFRA Jurong event? Wedding banquets.

Explore our interactive: All the COVID-19 cases in Singapore & the clusters and link between them

LISTEN: What"s behind the different approaches countries are taking towards COVID-19?


This is a bad time for any event organiser, but while many events are non-essential và can be postponed, weddings are a trickier affair.

Experts have highlighted that the pandemic may stay for a year, even longer. Against this backdrop, the most socially responsible option is to lớn postpone big events, in order lớn reduce the risk of further spreading of the coronavirus – & wedding banquets are little different.

After all, many of such in Singapore are huge affairs involving hundreds of guests. For hotel ballroom venues, couples are usually obligated to book at least trăng tròn to 25 tables, given minimum requirements, which will run up an attendance of 200 to 250 guests.

Let’s not forget, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has advised for events lớn be capped at 250 participants – though this number is meant as a rough benchmark, since factors such as duration & density are just as important.

Advertisement (File photo: Unsplash/Samantha Gades)

Would you want the first day of your married life to lead lớn a new COVID-19 cluster that involves your loved ones? Even for couples who must meet HDB timelines lớn produce a marriage certificate, could you not get your marriage registered first & hold the banquet later?

Then again, how easy is it to lớn postpone a wedding dinner and have to vì it all over again at some point in the future?

Couples in Singapore typically plan a year ahead for their weddings, which see the solemnisation ceremony held back-to-back with the banquet. Invitations are sent out a few months in advance.

The cost & time already invested in this once-in a-lifetime event, and the coordination effort in ensuring friends và relatives make it khổng lồ the wedding would have been tremendous. There’s also the question of whether the terms & conditions of the contract signed with the venue provider provides the couple with flexibility in changing the date, without huge additional costs.

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READ: Commentary: Bridal studios và deposits – beware of putting too much down for your big day

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If you have weighed the pros & cons carefully, & decide to go ahead with the wedding as planned, here are five practical tips to lớn bear in mind during this pandemic.

Having to lớn make big changes khổng lồ your wedding banquet is enough to lớn send any bride into bridezilla mode but you shouldn’t have to thất bại sleep. Many couples have braved SARS in 2003 and pressed on with their wedding banquets.


Keep the event to only close friends and family members. Negotiate with your sự kiện space provider to reduce the required minimum number of tables.You can also check with them lớn see if it is possible to arrange for the staggering of your guests into two sessions - for example, an earlier dinner service & a later dinner service on the same day, or even a breaking-up of the banquet into both lunch & dinner.

(Photo: Unsplash/Alvaro CvG)

Your space provider may extend these arrangements if there are no other bookings on the same day – and at no cost out of goodwill, or simply because it will be better than not having your business at all. You might have paid the deposit but most hotels collect a huge chunk of the payment after the event.

There’s a bright side khổng lồ this: Now you have a legit reason to lớn roll back invitations to lớn all those nosy relatives & hateful acquaintances you were forced to invite.


Adjust the seating arrangement to lớn ensure 1m of space in between your attendees, as per the MOH’s recommendations.

Work with your event space provider lớn reduce the number of seated people per table. This allows for more space between each guest.

READ: Commentary: Why Singapore is preparing to lớn tap the brakes lớn slow COVID-19 spread

READ: Commentary: Three scenarios if the COVID-19 outbreak gets worse


Consider shortening the length of your wedding banquet. Is it really necessary to screen your childhood photos, cut a fake cake for photos, và do coordinated dances with your wedding entourage? You might want lớn reconsider the morning gate-crashing activities too.

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These are certainly fun moments on a regular day, but remember, this is no regular day; we’re now at war against a virus.

If you want life and your wedding to go on, perhaps trim the programme khổng lồ what’s most meaningful & memorable, & keep the duration of the sự kiện short.


Before the wedding, remind your guests they should abstain from attendance if they’re feeling unwell. Assure them you would understand and not take any offence.

(Photo: Unsplash/Wu Jianxiong)

LISTEN: Beyond COVID-19, how vày we take Singapore"s public hygiene standards to lớn the next level?

During the wedding, make announcements lớn remind guests to practise good personal hygiene. In lieu of wedding favours, provide hand sanitisers for your guests so they can use them if needed.

Ask if your khách sạn servers will be wearing gloves. And skip the hugs và handshakes. You can save that for another time.


Check with your venue provider what their arrangements are with respect lớn temperature screening and contact tracing.

You should ensure your guests’ temperatures are taken before they enter, and prepare your bridal entourage to lưu ý down relevant details for tương tác tracing, including seating arrangements & any travel history.

While those who already have Stay-Home Notices or Quarantine Orders served on them should stay away from your wedding, a gentle reminder lớn all guests can be useful.

READ: Commentary: Why Singapore is better prepared lớn handle COVID-19 than SARS

READ: Commentary: The biggest work-from-home exercise may have just begun. How ready is Singapore?

Remember that guests who are flying in from overseas lớn attend your wedding won’t be able to bởi so. As MOH has announced, beginning on Mar 21, they will be issued a 14-day stay-home notice.

Consider livestreaming the event for guests unable lớn attend the wedding but would have loved to join in your celebration, so they can be a part of it at home. Send out the QR code for e-hongbaos.


The pandemic is an unforeseen curveball that may găng soon-to-be brides & grooms. But this hurdle is definitely no greater than all the other complex challenges a wedded couple will inevitably face in their lifetime – in bringing up children, navigating new family dynamics and managing money.

Take it in your stride và seize the opportunity to practise creative problem-solving as a couple. Many couples have already done so.

A couple wearing masks for protection from the new coronavirus, attends a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Centre in Gapyeong, South Korea, Feb 7, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Heo Ran)

For example, a Singapore couple who travelled to china just before their wedding chose lớn isolate themselves. They attended their own wedding via livestream while their guests enjoyed dinner at the hotel.

A Hong Kong couple chose lớn forgo the sit-down wedding dinner. They packed food in takeaway containers for their guests to lớn bring home instead.

I’m sure these couples & their guests will find such an extraordinary wedding memorable, which will make for a fascinating story for the grandkids.

Whether you’re postponing or continuing with your wedding banquet, remember that your wedding takes place on just one day, but your marriage lasts a lifetime.

Whether that dream wedding turns out for the worse rather than for the better, keep the bigger picture in sight. Don’t win the battle but đại bại the war.

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Kristen Juliet Soh is the editorial director of AVENUE ONE, an online lifestyle publication.