What Will Weddings in Singapore Be Like Post-Covid-19?
The emergence of Covid-19 has changed many things—how we work, commune, dine, and amongst these, how weddings are celebrated. Since February, weddings have been downsized, postponed, and even held virtually as couples struggle to adapt to the new measures brought about by the pandemic.
As of June 19 in phase two of Singapore’s safe re-opening, it is stated that “solemnisations at home, and at ROM or ROMM, may take place with up to 10 people, excluding the solemniser. At other venues, they may take place with up to 20 people, excluding the solemniser.”
Despite the uncertainty, some couples continue to forge ahead with their nuptials this year, with trimmed down guest lists, venues, and festivities. We speak to wedding experts Vivian Ng, founder and chief planner of Lejoy; Caroline Yakop-Lim, principal planner of The Wedding Entourage; and Tiffany Ong, director of events at Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore to find out how couples can make the most of the situation and what will become of weddings in a post-Covid-19 world.
Making virtual weddings personal
Don’t skimp on the details
Just because you are celebrating your wedding virtually doesn’t mean you should skimp on the details, says Yakop-Lim. “Couples can add their personal touch through custom décor, food bento, gift boxes, and invites.” A virtual photo or video booth, as well as a good live band and host who interacts with the guests, will also help to complete the virtual wedding experience, and make it all the more memorable.
“Creating a wedding website allows your guests to enjoy the same experience; from learning the couple's love story to watching the live stream of the celebration.”
“Another thing to consider is to introduce a theme to the wedding party,” adds Ong. “There is no better way to feel like a part of the party than dressing to the theme!”
Stay connected with guests
While virtual wedding celebrations offer an alternative solution to keep everyone you care about in the loop, it can also feel very distant for guests behind the screen. A celebration kit offers a physical element to the festivities and keeps your guests engaged.
“People are looking for connections more than ever in times like these, so a little creative gesture can really make a big difference. Aside from livestreaming the celebration, couples can consider pre-delivering a celebratory package—complete with personalised champagne flutes, a small bottle of champagne—or even a craft kit for guests to make their own handheld greetings that can be flashed during the wedding!” shares Ong.
On top of sending a celebration kit with favours, Ng suggests arranging food delivery for guests. “They can have a post-ceremony celebration via Zoom where everyone can rewatch their happy moments together and indulge in some merrymaking together in a more casual setting.”
For the cherry on top, Ng adds that couples can consider sharing a personalised playlist and custom background for the event—if guests are connecting via Zoom.
(Related: This Australian-Japanese Couple Incorporated Elements of Their Cultures into Their Singapore Wedding)
The future of weddings
While wedding solemnisations of up to 20 are now allowed, going virtual remains the safest, risk-free way to celebrate as uncertainty continues to loom. Wedding vendors have also adapted to the situation by offering virtual services. The Wedding Entourage most notably presented a trial this month, putting together a virtual wedding with all the works—from stationery and floral arrangement to entertainment and a virtual photo booth.
“Virtual elements will definitely be a mainstay in weddings to come. It helps to include overseas guests as most of our couples are well-travelled with vast connections,” observes Yakop-Lim.
As the possibility of second or third waves of the coronavirus looms in Asia, small-scale, or micro-weddings looks to be the new normal for the near future.
“With the uncertainties post-circuit-breaker and the downturn of the economy, couples who are looking to be wedded but have yet to start their planning may be more cautious about their spending and celebration scale,” explains Ng.
“For those who always liked the idea of an elopement but could not have one due to circumstances, this may be the perfect opportunity for just the two of them to do so with their nearest and dearest.”
Due to the pandemic, her boutique event planning company, Lejoy has brought its overseas elopement packages back to Singapore, curated to include some of the best and most talented in the local wedding industry. In accordance with Covid-19 advisories, the flexible package includes everything from the bridal dress, makeup and hair to photography, floral arrangements, venue, and celebration kits for guests.
(Related: What We Know about Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s Secret Royal Wedding)
With travel plans thwarted for the near future, Ong believes that destination weddings will be replaced by ‘destination-style’ weddings held close to home.
“Firstly, hybrid weddings that combine smaller-scale on-site celebrations with a virtual one—for family and friends living overseas—will become increasingly popular,” Ong says.
“Secondly, outdoor wedding venues will be in demand. The open-air environment is a lower-risk set-up and allows for flexible distancing arrangements. Thirdly, with guests being more cautious towards travel, couples are more likely to try and create aspirational wedding experiences in home-based locations that offer a naturally beautiful backdrop.”
Slated to open in October 2020, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore has already introduced virtual walk-throughs of their wedding venues as well as online consultations. The luxury urban resort features a variety of wedding spaces with panoramic backdrops, catering for celebrations as small as 20. It also offers an optional live-streaming facility, enabling couples to stream the wedding onto a dedicated website, where family and friends can join the celebration remotely.